The minibus was handed over to Mustapha Dumbaya, the organisation’s North West Educational Assistant, along with a surprise pile of Christmas presents for children supported by the programme.

The coach, which was generously sponsored by Michael Josephson, MBE, using funds raised by the Michael Josephson MBE Summer Ball 2019, was presented outside Barlow RC High School in Manchester. Children and young people supported by the programme joined in with great excitement.

The Sunshine Coach has really transformed our ability to deliver reward trips in the North West, which is a key part of our approach. Young people on our programmes see these experiences as huge incentives to engage and thrive on our programme. It’s fantastic to see the benefits of them being able to spend time with their peers and practitioners outside of the school gates. 

Antar Adams, Football Beyond Borders Head of North West

Football Beyond Borders uses the power of football to support young people who are disengaged at school. The charity is currently delivering 38 schools programmes in the North West region, predominantly in Greater Manchester and North Lancashire, but also stretching all the way from Merseyside to West Yorkshire. In every school, the charity delivers an intensive social and emotional learning programme to help young people at risk of exclusion develop the skills and grades necessary to transition into adulthood. Sessions are delivered in the classroom and on the football pitch, with some young people receiving support from a team of qualified counsellors and psychotherapists. In addition, the charity takes participants on inspirational reward trips, which might include meeting their footballing heroes, to help build and strengthen peer relationships. The Variety Coach will be instrumental in ensuring Football Beyond Borders can offer these incredible experiences to more than 600 young people in the region.