Head of Community
West Ham United Community Sports Trust

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Joe L – West Ham United


Joseph, Head of Community, West Ham United Community Sports Trust.


West Ham United have looked at the way they want to tackle their corporate, social, responsibility, their CSR legally there is no obligation for a company to deliver outreach CSR work. However West Ham have seen that it’s fundamental to them being the club they are.


What the community sports trust does is then delivers that mission around providing and putting back into the community. Basically the trust is there to provide opportunities for young people who may not have had the best or may not have had the opportunities in life so far.


We’re trying to use the power that football has, that sport has, to generate fantastic outcomes. Trying to get them to get them to seek their own opportunities.


If you tell someone to read, they probably won’t read, but if you somehow get them to enjoy reading, they’ll pick up the book on their own, so I need employees that are very passionate, has to be first. Very passionate in what they do. They need to love their job. I don’t want them to pick and choose in terms of oh that’s the fun bit so I’m going to do that, actually they see the whole job in terms of what we’re trying to create which is an outcome at the end, which should be a positive outcome.


I need to trust them, I’m not going to micro-manage you, you need to be proactive but be very pragmatic at source. If you see something going on, because of the client group we’re working with, if you see something then you need to act on it.


Probably three main crossroads. One being the devastating realisation that I was not going to be a premier league footballer and really enjoyed the coaching angle, so I really enjoyed working with young people. I enjoyed the experience I did have playing football and I thought actually I’d like to teach. The whole education behind that was going to University, back to University. Really enjoyed the coaching angle at University and then was offered, kind of a post graduate role in America, coaching. So that was a lot of fun again for a year, straight after Uni, to start what is now a career in sport development.


Some people, education, in terms of your traditional route isn’t the best way for them, so a more hands on, practical on the job learning apprenticeship style is exactly what they need.


If you’re in secondary school volunteer, you know really look at your interests, look at your hobbies, look at your additional qualifications that you can gain. And you see some of the stories of these young people and you think they’re gonna go somewhere, they are really gonna be as successful as they possibly could be and they’re going fulfil their potential because they’re already, at that young age motivated to help people outside what some people, in terms of finance might see as something that’s why do you volunteer, you’re not earning any money, actually you’re doing it because you’re earning yourself and you know you’re preparing yourself for work.


So if you know that you, for example get nervous or, you know everyone gets nervous in situations, so if you get nervous or you’re low in confidence it’s like anything you need to practice, so you really need to work with your peers, your friends, your family, your teachers and say look I need to practice and practice and practice this and prepare. You know don’t go into a situation if you’re not prepared for what could come your way, so the worst thing to do is go into a job and not fully understand A) what that job is, within the interview, and be a bit blasé about it. Prepare, prepare, rehearse, make sure you’re fully in tune with what you think the person at the other side is gonna want to hear from you.


End of Joe L


Joseph has always loved sport and wanted to be a professional footballer when he was younger. He has turned his passion for football into a career and initially started coaching young people. He now heads up West Ham United’s community action outreach programme. Joe is looking for passionate employees that are proactive and motivated.

More information about Youth and community workers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

25%  male 
75%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Youth and community workers provide support to individuals or groups of individuals through a range of activities or services that aim to encourage participation in social and community life and promote personal and social development.
There are no formal academic entry requirements though a minimum age for appointment between 18 and 21 normally applies. Most qualified youth workers possess an accredited diploma in higher education or postgraduate diploma in youth and community work. A majority of qualifying courses are for people aged over 21 years of age. Background checks including a CRB check are likely to be required.
  • Organises social, recreational and educational activities in local community and youth groups;
  • Undertakes the day-to-day running of community centres and supervises the activities of part-time and voluntary workers;
  • Liaises and supports voluntary workers running groups in village halls, churches, mosques and other places of worship;
  • Advises individuals with particular needs or problems through informal discussion, individual counselling or formal group discussion;
  • Helps set up credit unions, encourages parents to establish playgroups, works with other groups to find solutions to shared concerns or problems.
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