Waltham Forest College is the home of one of seven Education and Football Development Centres run by the Foundation, targeting young people who are at risk of drifting away from education and training after leaving school. The Centres use football as a hook to re-engage young people into education.
Ledley, alongside the Mayor of Waltham Forest, Councillor Terry Wheeler, and the Foundation’s CEO, Grant Cornwell, officially unveiled a new plaque to commemorate the continued partnership between the Foundation and College.
The programme started in 2011-12 and has since tripled in size, with 150 students currently registered. Throughout the academic year, students work towards gaining a BTEC qualification in sport and coaching at levels one, two and three or a Sport HNC.
During the celebration ceremony, Ledley took time to speak to students and said: “No matter what age you are, you never stop learning. I’ve just started learning a whole new set of skills as I work towards gaining my coaching badges. The key thing to remember is to work hard, stay focused and follow your dream.”
Grant Cornwell, CEO, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: “Waltham Forest College is a key partner for us and this plaque is a way of saying thank you to them for their continued support.
“Through the programme, we’ve helped a number of young people in our local community to gain the qualifications they need to secure employment in the future. By using the appeal of football to draw young people back in to education, we are able to create life changing opportunities for these students.
“To all of the students who have just started the course this year, listen to the advice that Ledley has given you – work hard and you can achieve your dreams.”
Amy Lewington, 18, is a second year student on the course and was given the opportunity to work with Tottenham Hotspur Foundation during the summer months. Speaking about the programme, Amy said: “I was studying A-levels at school but it wasn’t for me. I want to get into coaching and teaching and this course is brilliant. It is more suited to what I want to do and to my learning style.”