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Young people receive a taste of success through a Premier League Social Enterprise Programme

By 5th June 2014 No Comments

A group of young people from Q3 Academy have had the chance to work with Aston Villa Football Club’s critically acclaimed Restaurant VMF to sell their homemade desserts and raise income for a homeless charity, in a unique partnership between the Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) and Aston Villa Football Club. Students from the Academy in Birmingham took part in the Social Enterprise Qualification (SEQ), a global qualification developed by RIO in partnership with SFEDI awards designed to accredit social enterprise learning.

Q3 Academy was one of two schools to first take part in Aston Villa Football Club’s new Enterprise Academy, which saw students take part in a Dragon’s Den style pitch to a panel of judges, including two players from the football club, Nathan Baker and Antonio Luna. The students were awarded £200 seed funding for their successful project pitch, which was to raise income for local homeless charity Midland Heart through teaming with Aston Villa Football Club’s Restaurant VMF. They created their own culinary desserts, with all proceeds going to the charity.

Rowan Williams, one of the young people involved in the project, said, “It was a great opportunity for us to go to the AVFC restaurant as part of our Social Enterprise, and a unique experience for us which we really enjoyed!”

The Social Enterprise Qualification aims to teach young people basic business skills and apply these to a social enterprise project in order to solve an environmental or social issue in their community. The qualification is currently available at Bronze, Silver and Gold (a Level 1 award, Level 2 award and Level 2 certificate on the Qualifications and Credit Framework respectively). The young people from Q3 took part in the qualification at Silver level, which involves preparing and delivering a social enterprise activity.

Paula Winzar, Lead Developer at RIO for the SEQ, says, “Aston Villa Football Club have provided an amazing opportunity for young people in the area to take part in Social Enterprise Qualification in ways that link back to the club, so working with the club’s staff and facilities as well as connecting to the club’s charities. This is a great partnership between RIO and AVFC and we hope to continue and grow the programme in the future, enabling more young people to learn ethical enterprise skills.”

Students from Small Heath School are also taking part in the AVFC Enterprise Academy, and their various social enterprise businesses should take off soon.

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