A Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner-backed scheme has enabled a Middlesbrough teenager to turn his life around in just over a year.
Jordan Winward, 17, of Middlesbrough, has just received MFC Foundation’s 2021 Participant of the Year award.
He received the award at an event at the Riverside Stadium to mark 25 years of the MFC Foundation – and was treated to a standing ovation from the 180 people present including his proud mum.
When he was referred to the PCC-funded Premier League Kicks Targeted programme in June 2020, Jordan faced a number of issues which had led to the breakdown of several educational placements.
Over the next six months, Jordan attended regular mentoring sessions at MFC Foundation. He took part in boxing and football sessions and his confidence vastly improved.
After last Christmas, Jordan was categorised as NEET – Not in Education, Training or Employment – despite being in Year 11. It was clear that more needed to be done to help him.
MFC offered Jordan mathematics and English tuition to make sure he had a chance to finish year 11 and realise the potential.
In February 2021, Jordan began attending Riverside Stadium every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for two hours to study maths and English Functional skills in addition to weekly football sessions.
He attended weekly boxing sessions with former IBF World Champion Stuart Hall on Thursdays and Fridays. These sessions gave Jordan something to look forward to at the end of the week and kept him motivated.
100 per cent attendance
Jordan seized the opportunity and achieved an attendance rate of 100 per cent. He passed his Functional Skills Level 2 in maths and Level 1 in English. Previously, he was expected to leave Year 11 with no qualifications.
This summer, Jordan took part in the Foundation’s National Citizenship Service (NCS) programme and completed First Aid and FA coaching qualifications. This was a remarkable achievement for a young man, who many would have given up on.
Cleveland PCC Steve Turner said: “I have chosen to help fund MFC Foundation’s PL Kicks for the next three years.
“It’s stories like Jordan’s, which persuaded me how vital it is to continue to fund the programme.
“With support like that provided by MFC Foundation, we can turn round the lives of more young people in Cleveland, diverting them away from crime and becoming the victims of crime.”
Keith Robson, Targeted Youth Support Coordinator, said: “Jordan’s achievements in 2021 are nothing short of remarkable and it is testament to his hard work and dedication that he is awarded the Participant of the Year.
“It’s also a lesson that you should never give up on young people. If you persevere and give them the right level of support, they can make changes.”