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COMMUNITY: Greg’s journey from homelessness to coach at Coventry City Girls with the help of SBitC through the Accelerate Project

Greg pursuing his dream of becoming a professional coach....

12 April 2018

With the help of Sky Blues in the Community through the Accelerate Project, Greg has gone from homelessness to a role as Senior Assistant Coach at Coventry City Girls FC.

Delivered by Sky Blues in the Community as part of a network of 23 local partners, the Accelerate project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund and managed by Coventry & Warwickshire CDA. Accelerate aims to provide opportunities to support individuals and remove barriers preventing them from entering work or self-employment.

Before moving to Coventry, Greg had been homeless for 5 years. Now based here, he was put in touch with Crisis Skylight, an organisation that supported Greg in many ways, including the Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) service to help with his depression. Through Crisis, Greg attended a job fair where he met with Sky Blues in the Community’s Training & Skills Officer and enrolled onto Sky Blues’ Accelerate programme.

Sky Blues in the Community offers Accelerate participants the opportunity to undertake a Level 1 Qualification in Sports Leadership alongside a variety of workshops in health & wellbeing, employability skills and literacy & numeracy.

Sky Blues in the Community’s Training & Skills Officer, Andrew Hopcroft said: “Upon meeting Greg for the first time, his enthusiasm and passion for football coaching was so inspiring – he didn’t take much convincing that the Accelerate programme was for him.

"I knew straight away with that he would use this opportunity to better himself and make a real go of becoming a coach - I couldn’t wait to start working with him and see his progress.”

Throughout the Accelerate course, Greg demonstrated an energy that was infectious within the group; motivating others on the course in both classroom and practical activities. Since completing his Sports Leaders Qualification, Sky Blues in the Community have continued to support Greg as he continues to pursue his dream of becoming a professional coach.

He has recently passed his FA Level 1 in Coaching Football Qualification after completing the course led by Sky Blues in the Community’s Head of Community, David Busst at Blue Coat School – who also put him in touch with Coventry City Girls FC.

Accelerate Participant, Greg, told us: “Personally, the Sky Blues’ Accelerate programme has helped me rebuild my confidence which had taken a significant knock. The Sports Leadership course has helped me work towards my dream of coaching, which I never thought I'd achieve.

"I have a voluntary role as a Senior Assistant Coach at Coventry City Girls FC and I have recently accepted the Manager position for the Under 18’s team. The club has made me feel welcome and is helping me gain the experience needed to take my FA Level 2 Qualification.”

For more information about the Accelerate project, please contact Sky Blues in the Community’s Training & Skills Officer, Andrew Hopcroft, via Email: or Telephone: 024 7678 6349.

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