Suffolk New College teams up with Futurestars charity

Sam Burman, Simon Milton, Mike Mulvihill and Lee Mandley

Left to right: Sam Burman, Simon Milton, Mike Mulvihill and Lee Mandley. Suffolk New College and Futurestars have formed a new partnership. - Credit: Suffolk New College

Suffolk New College and charity Futurestars have formed a new partnership that will see the charity's logo on the college's football team's home shirt, as well as trips to Africa for students. 

Futurestars is an education-through-sports programme that brings weekly coaching sessions to underprivileged children in Tema and Accra, Ghana, and Lomé, Togo. 

Former Ipswich Town footballer, and Futurestars director, Simon Milton paid a visit to the college to formalise the partnership.

Mr Milton was at the college's campus in Ipswich to discuss plans for how the charity and the college could work together, including students on health and social care, public services and sports courses visiting Africa to gain skills while working as volunteers for the charity.

Head of sport at the college, Lee Mandley said: "Our link with Futurestars started two years ago and we were all set to take students across to Ghana this year.

"Those on health related courses were going to work in hospitals, public services students were going to help out on community projects and those on sports programmes were going to take part in coaching.

"Covid put those plans on hold, so we are looking at taking a group out to Africa next year. It was great to meet up with Simon this week to formalise the link.

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"These opportunities will be life changing for our students and every time we go out into the community we will be proudly representing Futurestars thanks to our new football shirts."

Futurestars director Mr Milton added: "It’s great to see our logos on the front of the shirts. We’ve got them on shirts out in Africa, but this is the first time they’ll be on kits in the UK.

“In terms of our work, we support 5,000 children and have links with seven schools.

"We help fund teachers and we have five staff in Ghana. We are looking to grow what we do and help the project go from strength to strength. In order to do this, we need the support of local organisations like Suffolk New College and we are very excited about this partnership.

"Any courses that students are on – we can find a placement for them – it will be an opportunity for them to gain some real life work experience and also they will get to learn about themselves. Once up and running, we want to make this an annual visit".

Plans for further work between the charity and college are being drawn up, with a fundraising dinner for Futurestars at the college's newly opened restaurant on the agenda for 2022. 

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