‘The secret is belief. Belief in the youth, belief in myself and belief in my team.’
This week Access Sport are pleased to congratulate Jennifer Akinola, who has completed her ten-week ‘New Horizons’ placement programme in partnership with Hackney Community College. The programme offers students with learning difficulties the chance to gain experience in a work setting. Jennifer has been working with Disability Legacy Project Manager Patrick Hopkins in the Bethnal Green office every Tuesday, focusing on the development of the disability section of Newham and Essex Beagles Athletics Club.
After undergoing a mock interview, Jennifer was placed with Access Sport. During her time, Jennifer was on hand at disability athletic sessions to aid sessions and gain an insight into the community clubs Access Sport support. She also gained general office experience and an understanding for the charity sector working alongside the team to plan and market an event for the club.
Jennifer explains how she enjoyed her time. “I have really loved working here. It has been the best work experience I’ve done and I don’t want to leave. I will miss everyone. Thanks Access Sport!”
The Disability Legacy Project started in September 2011 and has engaged five mainstream sports clubs to become more inclusive of disabled people. Progress has been fantastic with some volunteers from Forest Flyers – a disability hockey club in Waltham Forest – even gaining recognition for their hard work by picking up awards at the Pro Active London Awards in April (see here for details). Patrick Hopkins explains how the programme has been a great success.
“It was great having Jennifer in the office. Her enthusiasm was infectious and everyone was sad to see her go after the ten weeks were up. I think Jennifer got a lot out of the experience, and you could see her confidence grow over the course of the placement. Personally I’ve learnt a lot from working closely with Jennifer and with our guidance she made a positive impact on my project too. I would recommend the scheme to other employers who are thinking about taking on a student from the New Horizons programme.”
If you would like to be a part of the programme please contact Aneurin Wood, Principal Disability & Equalities Policy Officer at the Learning Trust on 020 8820 7404 or firstname.lastname@example.org.