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Gayle-force windfall for soccer adacemy

Gayle-force windfall for soccer adacemy
Football academy celebrates netting 400 donation
A football coaching academy, run by a Birmingham City soccer legend, which helps to transform the lives of vulnerable youngsters has received a 400 boost from generous workers.
John Gayles football academy has been given a donation from employees of employment and training experts Pertemps People Development Group (PPDG).
The former Birmingham City striker set up the football academy 11 years ago with the help of funding from Birmingham City Council and it now coaches more than 750 young people between the ages of five and 27 in and around the Acocks Green area.
During this time thousands have passed through the academy, transforming the lives of young people who have often been steered away from anti-social behavior and crime.
Some of the players have been signed by professional and non-league clubs and others have gone on to become coaches themselves. With recent council cut-backs the academy has struggled. However, PPDGs Aidan Begley believes it was a perfect opportunity to give the football academy a boost.
He said: When I read about Johns academy I realized it shared our values of developing individuals. I could also see how the academys work benefits the wider community and not just those individuals. As a Blues fan, its also refreshing to see an ex-footballer who wants to give something back to the city where he grew up.
John said he was delighted with the donation which would help with running costs, in particular to purchase new footballs and bibs.
He said: I understand the need behind the cuts and would like to thank Birmingham City Council for their financial support over the years. Its vital that services such as these are available to young people who often disengage with society and its not just about playing football. As a trained mentor, we offer one to one advice to youngsters links back into education and encourage them to become positive role models.
Tyseley and District Community Association (TDCA) is working with John Gayle to help support the football academy and ensure its good work continues.
Chairman Marcus Brain said: The academy has been tremendous in supporting vulnerable young people across Birmingham. We have experienced a significant reduction in both levels of anti-social behavior and crime thanks to the excellent work of John Gayles and his team.
PPDG delivers the Governments Welfare to Work strategy across the Midlands through Flexible New Deal, Work Focused Training and other employment initiatives. PPDG is using its vast experience of helping long-term unemployed people get back into work to help local jobseekers secure employment opportunities.
PPDGs team of employment experts provides advice on benefits, confidence building, one-to-one support, CV and interview preparation as well as finding the right job or training course. In partnership with DWP, the Ministry of Justice and Jobcentre Plus, PPDG delivers a diverse range of employment and training initiatives including Flexible New Deal, Working Neighbourhoods Fund, Learndirect and many ESF funded programmes. PPDG came fourth in The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For 2011.


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