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Advantage is a free one-to-one wellbeing mentoring programme for 11-21 year olds, delivered at local football clubs.
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How does it work?

Our mentoring sessions are led by you and what you want to talk about. You have a 1-hour individual session with your mentor once per week. You can stay in the programme for up to six months, or less than that if you feel you’re ready to move on – it’s up to you!

 

The mentoring session is an informal space to chat and connect. You might have specific goals that you want support with, or you might want to take some time to get to know your mentor and figure out some goals together. Your goals can be personal, educational, social, employment, or wellbeing related, or maybe something else! It’s completely up to you.

Who will my mentor be?

Mentors on Advantage are staff at the football club community organisation who have experience working with people your age and talking about the kind of issues or worries that you might have. We have mentors of different ages, genders and ethnicities so we are happy to listen to what kind of person you feel you might get along with.

 

Your mentor has had training in this kind of mentoring, but mainly they are focused on building a good relationship with you and getting to know what you would like to achieve from the programme. They are happy to tailor the sessions to suit what you want to get out of it, so feel free to let them know what you would like to talk about or what you would like support with.

Meet the club mentors....
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Ruby

I grew up in South East London and went to an all girls school in Westminster called The Grey Coat Hospital. I am an only child and my parents originated from Sierra Leone (West Africa) - yes we have the best Jollof Rice! I am 25 years old, I am a Taurus and I love life! I'm also very clumsy so that helps making people smile and laugh.

 

My interests are reading, football, binge watching crime and true shows on Netflix, as well as a couple of the Real Housewives shows.

 

I love to travel and my favourite football teams are the Red Devils (Manchester United) and Leone Stars (Sierra Leone’s national team).

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Paulo

I was born in Brazil and moved to the UK in 2001, always resided in East London and attended Rokeby School for Boys in Stratford before they moved it to Canning Town. Being immigrants, we had no knowledge of the support available to me as a young person, so most of the times I had to figure life out by myself.

 

I got involved in youth work to help as many young people as possible to know they are not alone, and there are many different support options for them.

 

Interests: Football (my favourite teams are Man Utd & West Ham), video games, psychology of team sports, world cuisines, travelling, meeting new people.

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Jack

I have worked with Arsenal since 2011, helping young people in the local community develop the skills and confidence they need to gain employment.

 

I have traditionally supported young people in deprived areas and those who’ve been in care, mentoring them and helping them to find and keep jobs.

 

Examples of what I do include teaching, interview skills, and helping to get CVs ready.

 

I am an Arsenal fan from 9-5 and a West Ham fan outside of that.

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Emma

My job is to support the young people with any struggles or issues that may be weighing on them through regular contact and one-to-ones. 

I was born and raised in East London with one English and one Spanish parent. I did a Sports Degree and a Youth Work Masters whilst at University.  

I play and coach Field Hockey, I love to read, and enjoy a musical.

I am also a lifelong Arsenal fan and enjoy watching Arsenal and Leyton Orient matches at the stadiums, both the men's and the women's teams!

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T

I have been part of the Saints Foundation since 2019 after I finished my degree in sport and exercise. I’ve loved every part of my journey in the Club and feel lucky to have a job I enjoy.

 

Throughout my time in the Foundation, although my roles have changed, I have supported participants with setting goals, developing healthier habits, and overcoming obstacles.

 

I’ve recently started working with young people and like being able to give the support and guidance mentees need to achieve the goals we have set together.

Interests: Sport and exercise, puzzles, comedy, science and documentaries.

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Sarah

​I have a background in education, but with a primary focus on Pastoral care. Supporting young people with mental health and emotional wellbeing concerns was a large part of my role in the school, and it led me to realising that mentoring was something I wanted to be involved with full time.

 

My interests are quite varied, I love listening to and going to live music, calligraphy and being creative through art is also really important to me.

 

Obviously my favourite football team is Palace – how could I say anything else!?

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Toni

I'm a the Mental Health Coordinator for the Liverpool FC Foundation. I love my job as I am able to offer young people support, advice and interactive sessions which helps them to build the skills and knowledge surrounding their mental health and wellbeing.

 

I enjoy helping local young people who need some support around their low mood and anxiety, to come up with coping strategies which can be used in their every day life.

 

I'm particularly proud when a young person I've supported goes on to another Liverpool FC Foundation programme and I see how well they're doing after my work with them.

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Pablo

Born and raised in West London I have supported young people for over three decades. I have worked across the UK and world on a number of projects and initiatives developing communities.

 

My philosophy as a multi sport coach is develop the young person not just the athlete. My personal journey through adolescence and sport has helped shape my working practice. Being the coach & mentor I needed as a young person but didn’t have. 

In my free time I love traveling, spending time with my family, learning other languages and keeping fit. 

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Errol

I am the Mental Health Coordinator for QPR in the Community Trust. I grew up in West London but I support Man Utd. Working in West London means a lot to me as I am able to give back to a community that I have always known.

I have been working with young people for the past 10 years. I really enjoy my work and helping others to overcome barriers and reach their goals.

My interests are football, food, music and visiting historical places. I have always had a fascination with different cuisines, but a good Sunday roast is my favourite meal.

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Peaches

I started as a participant at the age of 14,  at 18 I started volunteering and within a few months I became a casual member of staff. I was studying at university at the time and once I finished, I was offered a full-time job!

 

Over the years my role has changed but for the last few years I have been working with young people, within their school, supporting them with confidence building, self-esteem, personal development, behaviour, next steps in life and academic support.

 

I have a passion for helping people and making a difference within the community. I love to travel, I like watching movies and spending quality time with my loved ones. 

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Adnan

I'm an experienced football coach with over 10 years of experience after having achieved a degree in the field of Sport Psychology and Coaching.

 

I'm qualified as a Youth Worker, Mentor, Mental Health First Aider and as a Trauma Informed Practitioner. I've been a tutor for employability traineeships, as well as being an FA welfare officer for over 6 years.

 

My current role is PL Kicks Coordinator for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. I am most proud of the work we have done whilst at QPR Community Trust working alongside the bereaved and survivors of the Grenfell disaster.

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Olivia

I have a background in Therapeutic Play, which is imbedded in my practice as a Wellbeing practitioner. I have previously been a family support worker and worked for a charity that supports young people who are impacted by domestic violence and substance misuse. 

I am driven to support and normalise the discussion around mental health so young people feel empowered to reach out for help if they need to. I believe the first step is accepting our emotions, and not putting pressure or judgement on ourselves. 

I have also definitely become a Villa fan since joining the Foundation just over a year ago.
 

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Vant Bastan

I was born in Colombia and moved to the UK in 1996. Growing up in some of the most gang ridden and poverty-stricken areas of South London, I realised at a young age that no matter language, race, religion, or creed, the one thing that brought us together was the love we had for the game and the respect we had for the coaches.

 

Being asylum seekers with no idea
of how things worked in this country, trial and error, mentors, youth workers and coaches played a pivotal role. I got involved in youth work/coaching to use football as a vehicle to help as many young people with a similar background. Football is a universal language that we can all speak…

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Jack

I’ve grown up in Southampton and was first involved with Saints Foundation 9 years ago. First as a participant when I was a teenager that needed support later as an apprentice and for the last 4 years.

 

I have now worked here in 3 different roles all supporting people of various ages and backgrounds. I’m very grateful for the support I’ve been given, and now I want to support young people in Southampton to overcome the challenges they face and work towards achieving their goals.

I love football, going to music festivals & gigs, comedy and cinema but most of all spending time with friends & family.

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Flavia

I have always loved supporting others with their health and wellbeing, with most of my education relating to Psychology.

 

I have worked with both adults and young people and have recently joined the Saints Foundation and am looking forward to getting involved in mentoring and supporting on a one-to-one basis. 

I am originally from Brazil, moving to England when I was 7 years old. I have a passion for travel and have spent time living in Spain, Italy and New Zealand. I also enjoy learning new languages and am attempting to learn Japanese right now. 

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Sue

I am currently the female gang’s worker for QPR, and I have been employed in this role for over a year. Prior to this I have had a variety of roles, but my passion has always been around youth engagement and female empowerment. I have played football for QPR Ladies for the last few seasons as well as being a avid gym user. 


I have a keen interest in the London music scene and have been fortunate enough to also know a few local artists. I enjoy traveling and exploring new places.
 

I got involved in youth work to help as many young people as possible to know they are not alone, and there are many different support options for them.

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Pippa

I have mentored for the past 3 years, working with a multitude of ages, and have always found it rewarding helping those who need it. I got involved with mentoring as I like to give young people many ways to know they are not alone, and to be there as a support system for them.

I have always had an interest in coaching, and this started with netball. I have been a competitive netballer for 10 years playing in local and regional leagues. Netball has always been my outlet for support, and somewhere where I have excelled and realised my true self.

 

My interests are watching Netflix (all day, every day!) and watching women’s football especially Arsenal women’s.

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Ghab

I am the Brent Kicks Coordinator for the QPR Community Trust and I am a Mentor for the Advantage programme. Working with young people in Brent is extremely rewarding as it's the area that I grew up in.

 

My passion is working with young people and seeing them develop into positive adults. I have been working with young people in the local community for 10 years

 

I was born in Brazil and I came to England at 5 years of age. I support Corinthians, which for me is the greatest club team ever.

 

My favourite player of all time is R9 the real Ronaldo.

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Where do the sessions take place?  

The sessions can take place at the club and community arm's inspirational club facilities, online, on the phone or in a public place of your choice. You choose what type of session you would prefer.

 

Remember it’s your choice, and it’s important for us to meet you somewhere where it is comfortable and safe for you and us. 

What if I don’t get along with my mentor?

We try to make sure that everybody is matched with a mentor who they will have a productive working relationship with, but we understand if you have any concerns and we want you to feel comfortable raising them. You will always have the contact details of somebody at the football club community organisation who is not your mentor who you can contact if you have any concerns at all about the programme. You can also speak to whoever referred you to the programme.

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