Head of Community
Sheffield United Football Club
00:00:04 I’m Sue B and I’m Head of Community here at Sheffield United Football Club. We try to offer projects for groups to do who would not normally engage with the football club and promote the enjoyment of sport to hopefully enable us to work positively with the community instead of us seen as being outside the community.
00:00:27 I love what I do. It’s hard work but I love what I do. There’s lots of variety, there’s lots of challenges. I could be delivering to a class full of children who have come here to do something; I could be working alongside community groups on something that they’re doing. It is very, very varied, and enables me to work with a very broad base of people.
00:00:50 When I was at school, the one thing that I wanted to do was actually teach. I always, even as a youngster, always enjoyed looking after younger children, always enjoyed helping them learn now to do new things, and that continued until I actually graduated and I went into teaching.
00:01:10 My father was actually a teacher. My mother actually worked in an office. My mother hadn’t been able to take her education past sixteen and therefore she was very conscious of the fact of me being able to do something that she felt she’d missed out on.
00:01:29 I embarked on a degree with a teacher qualified… with a teacher status; although I did my degree in history. In the school where I started off, there was a member of staff leaving and I went in on a trial basis really. I enjoyed it, and they were pleased with what I did, and academically it stacked up so I was given a permanent job. But I ended up then teaching some languages, some sport, and very little humanities.
00:01:59 I think I probably did about fifteen years, maybe a bit more. I think I got to the stage where I just thought I’d like to do something a bit different. Can I utilise the skills that I’ve acquired to do something different? And applied to open and develop, a Playing for Success Centre, which was an after school learning centre in a professional football club, and the job was advertised. In fact, one of my friends actually saw it and brought me the thing and said ‘I’ve found a job for you. I think you’d better apply,’ and that’s literally how it came about.
00:02:35 The opportunities that that provided me with then has enabled me to move into the work I’ve done since. So working in education within a football club enabled me then to move on, and I did a role then working within one of the academies, working with young players on their education. It is something that I find very challenging, very enjoyable, and I hope that we are making a difference, and particularly in showing that the football club is not just about the football game.
00:03:15 The hours I work are very, very varied. I can work Saturdays, I can work Sundays, I can work evenings, so you have to be willing to accept that your day isn’t going to be nine to five and walk away. But it’s making sure that you try to balance up what you do, but I do enjoy sport anyway so I suppose that coming down on a Saturday and working is alright because I’d probably go to a game anyway.
Sue B is Head of Community at Sheffield United Football Club. “I suppose that coming down on a Saturday and working is alright because I’d probably go to a game anyway.” She was a school teacher after college but after 15 years fancied a change to do something that used her skills in a different ways.
More information about Youth and community workers
The UK average salary is £28,758
There are 37.5 hours in the average working week
The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male
- 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.
Related career stories
From personal careers advice to finding work, see our round-up of
useful websites to help you on your way