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James from DCCT
Effective Effective

Effectively fulfilling potential...

James, aged 22, has been a star student on our degree course for the past three years. As he awaits his final grades, he’s thrilled to be one of our volunteers taking the spotlight during Volunteers Week.   

It was through the degree that gave James the chance to volunteer: ‘’I had built good working-relationships with people like Mike and Gareth in the Education team, and they knew who I was’’.

During his studies in Football Coaching and Administration, he became a part of the of the initial girl’s football pathway at Derby County and stayed on when it all merged into the Female Talent Pathway.

James said ‘’I’ve assisted all the FTP teams in a coaching capacity, whether it’s to help with numbers and a safeguarding perspective or they need someone to run the session, I’m there’’.

It’s his work within the FTP U18 squad, that has stood out to colleagues and staff at the Trust. ‘’Whether they play at Wycombe or as close as forest and at home. I help where I can… picking up the cones and footballs or assisting with first aid. I just make sure all the players feel safe and welcome. It’s not always easy top fit into a team so I want them to feel they are in a safe environment. If they feel safe and accepted, they will thrive and perform better on the pitch.

Despite his nomination for Volunteers Week, James was quick to highlight the success of the team around him, rather than his individual performance. ‘’At the start of the season, the players were quite nervous. Now they look like they’ve played with each other years. They all bounce of each other and work together as a unit. They play like a team, feel like a team and now are a team. The U18’s has had a few setbacks… postive ones like players being called up to the first team, but it can disrupt the flow things. It just shows just how quickly they can settle.’’

James went on to say ‘You get the opportunity to make a positive impact on people’s lives. Sometimes people come from different background, and coming to training can be the best part of their week. Whether it’s the F&E, FTP, or the younger degree students. When you can see the impact it has on individuals, they came to your session and enjoyed… that’s what it’s all about for me‘’.

Being competitive in nature, James has enjoyed seeing teams progress whilst he’s been a volunteer. ‘’I know what goes on behind the scenes, and to see all that hard work pay off for them is great feeling. The blood, sweat and tears all come together in one moment… the teams have shown character. We talk about the Trust's value about ‘fulfilling potential’ … at the start of the season, if you said by the end the the U18’s would win the league, win the cup and competing against the champions of champions… we would snap your hand off. In terms of fulfilling potential, we have gone above and beyond.’’

James has proven to be a kind-hearted person and is happy to not be the biggest name in the group and often the first person to arrive and last to leave. He does the hard work but make sure things are streamlined. ‘’I feel appreciated this week. It’s long cold nights in winter with hard work, but to be noticed and appreciated, feels good. It’s nice to see it’s all been worthwhile for us all.’’

See the rest of our nominated Volunteers!

I feel appreciated this week. It’s long cold nights in winter with hard work, but to be noticed and appreciated, feels good. It’s nice to see it’s all been worthwhile for us all''.

James, DCCT education volunteer

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