Once a Robin always a Robin

Two asylum seekers from Uganda have been volunteering at Ashton United home games through the club’s community work.

Timothy and Ken have been involved with Ashton United in the Community (AUITC) for the past 18 months, and have recently received the news they have been granted leave to remain in the UK as refugees.

AUITC Project Manager Steve Hobson said: “Ken and Timothy have been like a breath of fresh air. They have thrown themselves into every task given, and always with a smile on their faces.

“Having supported them through the asylum-seeking process we now look forward to helping them secure employment and establishing themselves as UK residents.”

AUITC is the club’s community engagement arm and offers volunteering opportunities to local people and at Hurst Cross stadium.

It supports a number of projects that tackle issues associated with the deprivation prevalent in the community, such as poverty, loneliness, isolation, poor health and wellbeing, community safety, lack of education and unemployment.

Tim and Ken wrote a letter to the charity: “It's not every day that you will walk into a place and instantly feel at home, but this is exactly what it felt like when we walked into the front of Ashton United football club. The instant hospitality, kindness and support, that Steve Hobson and the rest of the staff gave us was more than a welcome and it instantly meant a safe haven to volunteer.

“To this day, it's now about one-year and five months since we joined Ashton United FC and  the charity, and over time we have become part of the family and thanks to the great support, we have now changed status from previously asylum seekers to Refugees granted leave to remain; this would never have been possible without the support.

“We are forever indebted to Ashton United FC 's generosity, support, skills that we have acquired over time and forever cherish the new family we have created with every member of staff at the club. Thank you, Ashton. We are glad to be part of your volunteering team and match day stewards. 
We look forward to more success.

“Ashton football club ranks as the number one volunteering choice destination.

“Kenneth and Timothy.”

Another volunteering success

Ashton United in the Community Volunteer James Wotherspoon has managed to gain employment with Taylors Bakery, Ashton.

 

James has been working as a volunteer at Ashton United Football Club for the past few years, during which he has gained valuable experience and skills to enable him to seek full time employment.

 

Ashton United Vice Chairman Steve Hobson commented, ‘Everyone at Ashton United is thrilled for James. He has given countless hours to the club volunteering and we have seen him grow in confidence and self esteem. James has always wanted to get a full time job. In football parlance, Taylor’s Bakery have made a huge signing!’

Volunteers rewarded

On Tuesday 16th April 2019 a packed clubhouse witnessed a presentation ceremony to the clubs fantastic band of volunteers, each volunteer was presented with a certificate to mark their outstanding services to Ashton United Football Club.

Following the ceremony free food and drink was provided and a very pleasant evening was had by everyone.

Time for a brew

 
After hard graft volunteering their services there is always time for a brew and a chat. Who's up to what and what the latest comings and goings are at the football club are always high on the agenda. There might also be time to get the boots on!
Volunteering Recognised
Ashton United in the Community and Ashton United as a club were recognised at the 2018 Manchester Football Association Grassroots Awards with Andy Finnigan receiving a nomination for Volunteer of the Year and the Club for Adult Male Club of the Year. Andy commits many hours of his time as a volunteer as Secretary of Ashton United, Groundsman and supporting practically every event and project of AUITC from HurstFest through to management and training up of volunteers, training courses and helping with publicity and marketing. A true stalwart of the charity.
 
Ashton United FC received the nomination on the back of a successful season on the pitch, where the club was promoted to the Vanarama National League North, which was achieved through the efforts of the backroom support from over 60 volunteers, many who have learned new skills, increased confidence, and made new friends. A number have been so successful that they have moved on into full time employment in the professional sports industry.
Pictured at the awards ceremony (left to right) is Andy Finnigan, Carol Finnigan (Trustee) and Jackie Tierney (AUFC Director)

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