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Volunteering With The Foundation – Craig’s Story

Originally born in Belfast, Craig has been an adopted son of Newcastle for some time now. A BT engineer frequently working night shifts, he wanted a way to get more active during the day and rekindle a passion for football coaching that had started a few years before.

Step in Newcastle United Foundation!  After attending a presentation at BT’s head office delivered by Foundation Disability Coach Reggie Dornan, and some encouragement from his employers, Craig started volunteering with the Foundation as part of the Premier League/BT Disability Fund project.

The PL/BT Disability Fund is a national programme designed to create opportunities for disabled people through sport, removing barriers and increasing disability sport participation.

Part funded by BT and BT Supporter’s Trust, more than 19,000 participants have taken part in the initiative since it began in 2016.

Starting with helping out at out Power Chair Football sessions, and at sessions at Gateshead College, Craig hasn’t looked back. His enthusiasm and willingness to get involved has never faltered and it’s not an unusual sight to see him lying under a power chair, tool kit in hand, using his engineering skills to fix a fault. And for all his night shifts, he has never missed a session.

Craig said: “It’s my desire to ensure our participants have the best environment and enjoyment possible during the football sessions, and get as much out of them as I do.”

After almost a year of volunteering with the Foundation, Craig is looking at achieving some FA coaching awards. He had been involved in some coaching many years ago, but had never quite followed through on it. Now, with a little help from the Foundation, he’s ready to take the next steps.

Reggie Dornan, Senior Disability Football Development Officer at Newcastle United Foundation, said, “Craig is one of many passionate BT employees now volunteering on our Premier League / BT Disability Fund project. They’ve all got involved and brought something special to all the various sessions we run through the programme.

“The best compliment I can give Craig is that he has such a great working relationship with our staff, parents and all the coaching groups of children and young adults. He’s now looking to apply to start his FA coaching awards, and we’ll be supporting him every step of the way.”

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