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Volunteers week: Michael & Dec

Robins Foundation volunteers Michael and Dec have used their first-hand experience of some of the challenges faced by young people in the local community to bring about positive change.

Michael and Dec first began working with the Foundation six years ago, when the duo were selected to become members of the Robins Foundation’s Youth Council – a body of young people who use their own experience and understanding of the community to shape the Foundation’s delivery (ran in partnership with South Bristol Sports Centre).

The two youngsters were keen to combat the issue of anti-social behaviour taking place in their local community. They used their first-hand experience to identify that one of the leading causes of this anti-social behaviour was boredom caused by a lack of opportunity for young people to get involved in positive activities.

In order to change this, the two youngsters worked with the Robins Foundation to create a free turn up and play football session for young people in the area.

Both Michael and Dec took it upon themselves to volunteer at these weekly sessions – and have continued to do so ever since.

Dec presenting an award to participant at a Luke5s session

The creation of this free and informal project, named ‘Luke5s’, has been a huge success and (prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus) engaged with over 100 young people each week. In addition to this, the project has also caused a significant decline in the amount of anti-social behaviour taking place in the area in which it operates.

From here, the two youngsters increased their voluntary work with the Robins Foundation, with both Dec and Michael volunteering at the Robins Foundation's school holiday football camps and on various other projects ran by City's official charity.

Michael and Dec keeping participants entertained at last year's disability football festival

Bristol City Robins Foundation Projects and Partnerships Manager, James Edwards, commented: “Michael and Dec have shown exceptional dedication and commitment to making a positive impact in the local community and their voluntary work has done just that.

“They are a credit to themselves and we are lucky to have them volunteering with us.”

The two youngsters continue to engage in a significant amount of voluntary work in the community whilst studying with the Robins Foundation – Michael studies the BTEC Level 3 in Sport Extended Diploma whilst Dec is enrolled on the Sports Media course (ran in partnership with Boomsatsuma).

Michael, Dec and fellow Youth Councillors Lauren and Grace, receiving the community service award

To find out more about the education courses on offer with the Robins Foundation click here.

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