As departure day grows ever closer for a team of staff and volunteers from Burton Albion Community Trust and local organisations to a charity visit to Ghana, Mail reporter Rob Smyth talks to some of the group about their reasons for joining the trip. Burton Albion Community Trust will take a group of sixteen members of staff and the local community on the visit to provide education and sports coaching in a deprived area of the West African nation. Matt Hancock, Jack Trigg and Kirsty Cox from the Brewers along with Deb Holland from The Pingle School are just some of the team that will be taking part in the trip of a lifetime.
‘It is an experience of a lifetime’ were the words of Jack Trigg but ones that echoed all those set to fly out to Ghana in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The Burton Albion Community Trust community administrator will be heading out with colleagues and several others later this year to Ghana and is already looking forward to the trip.
He said: “I’m not going to get this sort of opportunity again and I’m looking forward to experiencing a completely different culture. Helping others is something we do here at Burton Albion Community Trust and that’s what we will be doing in Ghana.
“This is a difficult question to answer. If I’m honest I just don’t know what to expect at all. The experience so far has been great fun. Climbing Snowdon was certainly an experience. I’m just looking forward to the unknown.
“I can make a difference by taking my humour and positive attitude I’m hoping to leave an impression on the children we are going to Ghana to work with. If I can do that then I have achieved something special.”
Jack was born and bred in Burton. After sixth form, he did go to university for a short while but decided it wasn’t for him. He joined Burton Albion Community Trust two years ago.
He added: “I love my job, it’s a great working environment and it’s a brilliant opportunity to go to Ghana.”
He will be joined on the trip by Kirsty Cox, who is the conference and banqueting co-ordinator for the Pirelli Stadium based club.
She said: “I was born and raised in Hatton and studied at John Port School.
“After completing a photography course at Burton College, I went to university in Nottingham to study events management.
“When I graduated I got a job at South Derbyshire District Council as a housing administration officer but moved to Burton Albion for my dream job in events management, where I have worked for the last six years.
“When I have a rare weekend off work, I enjoy shopping and socialising with friends and try to travel as much as possible.
“I feel I need to do something different that’s a challenge to myself.
“I’m approaching 30 years old and wanted to achieve something rewarding before this milestone.
“I wanted to do something that will hopefully make a difference to other people’s lives also.
“It will be a personal challenge and will also raise awareness of the great work done by Burton Albion Community Trust, both on this trip and in the local community.
“I’m hoping to get the satisfaction that I have achieved something out of the trip.
“I think it will be an enlightening experience and it will make me appreciate what we have here in Burton.
“It’s a personal test to some extent I suppose. I haven’t done any charity work before but this should be a trip of a lifetime.
“The group of individuals going to Ghana offer a wide variety of skills. These skills, knowledge and experiences should create a unique trip for us but leave a lasting legacy with the projects that we will do.”
The pair will be overseen on the trip by Matt Hancock, one of the major players behind the trip to Ghana and the community delivery manager for the trust.
He said: “I was born and bred in Newcastle under Lyme as one of four children. I have one older sister and three younger brothers.
“I always had a passion for football but I played county cricket and tennis as a youngster as well as football.
“I thought I’d try to pursue a career in football and was at Stoke City Football Club and Crewe Alexandra and ended up playing for Kidsgrove Football Club and Stafford Rangers.
“I still love playing football and am now player manager for Wolstanton United.
“I went to Manchester Metropolitan University where I studied coaching and sports development.
“At the same time I was able to study for my football coaching badges and have the UEFA B badge.
“Following on from University I worked for Newcastle Borough Council and then Port Vale Academy before joining Staffordshire FA as a football development officer. I came to Burton Albion Community Trust two years ago as community delivery manager.”
“One regret I had after University, for one reason and another was I didn’t go on a charity trip so when this opportunity came up I really wanted to go. I enjoy volunteering and have a passion for developing others.
“I really love charity work and the feeling of making a difference to others. I also want to help showcase the work of Burton Albion Community Trust and enhance the work we are doing in the community. I am also keen to develop personally and have a life changing experience.
“Hopefully through my enthusiasm and willingness to motivate others I will be able to make a difference. Being positive and a role model to all members of the community is another way.
“The variety of skill sets within the group should leave a lasting impression and one that can hopefully help many lives out in Ghana.”
To support the team, visit www.justgiving.com/bact quoting ghana