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Creating young Fearless journalists

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Since 2013, the Danny Fullbrook Fearless Foundation has been working alongside the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust to provide more sports opportunities for young people.

In 2014, a second round of funding saw the Fearless Foundation and the Brentford Trust create an educational workshop built around Danny’s passion for writing and football. By utilising the experience of the Griffin Park Learning Zone, a Fearless Journalism Workshop was designed for Year 5 and 6’s which included a lesson in sports writing and a football session with a Trust coach.

So far, the workshops have been an overwhelming success, partly due to a competitive element which has got children very excited about writing. The five writers of the best match reports will attend the Brentford v Bolton Wanderers match on April 18th at Griffin Park where they will be treated as journalists, indulge in hospitality and also get the chance to write a match report on the game. The winner of that competition will receive a top secret prize, which will certainly be a once in a life-time experience.

On 10th March 2015, Danny’s mother and Trustee of the Fearless Foundation, Sylvie Fullbrook, attended a Fearless Journalism Workshop at St Mark’s Primary School in Hanwell, the school where Danny’s son Edward attended when he was in nursery.

As a Fulham fan, it was not easy for her to watch a video highlights reel of Brentford defeating her beloved Cottagers, but she was able to see how the children responded to the activity.

“At first the children were quiet but then they really got engaged and excited about what they were doing,” said Sylvie, who spoke to the Year 6s about her son and how passionate he had been about journalism.

“Danny would be absolutely thrilled to see what is happening with money generated in his name and the way it is inspiring young people. It is a marvellous project and I can see how much hard-work Brentford have put into it. I was also very proud of the children who were fantastic.”

With over 500 pupils taking part in the workshops, the top entries will be put through to the next stage. At the end of March, a panel of trustees, journalists and a Brentford player will come together to select the five winners. Year 6 teacher at St Mark’s, Peter Briley, predicts the standard will be high.

“It is nice that both the boys and the girls were interested in the subject matter. They couldn’t wait to start writing and as soon as we did the notes they asked me could we start writing this afternoon which is unheard of,” said Mr Briley.

“It will be interesting to see if they produce higher quality work, which I expect they will, because they care.”

When asked which part of the workshop he enjoyed the most, 10-year-old Flynn said, “All of it! I liked planning the information and the game. I also thought Sylvie’s talk was touching.”

Keen footballer Tara showed off her skills and also set herself a journalistic challenge.

“I liked playing football the best because I like sport. I will definitely try to do the writing exercise again – by myself. I would enjoy going to a match and writing a report that way too.”

With freelance sports journalist Joanna Tilley teaching the journalism side of the workshop, it was Trust coach Amber Lloyd providing the coaching expertise. It was fitting that Amber took the session, as the Fearless Foundation helped part-fund her apprenticeship at the Brentford Trust.

Amber has moved on from her apprenticeship and is now a full-time member of the Trust coaching team, something that may not have been possible without Fearless’ support. As well as being enthusiastic and hard-working coach, another strength Amber brings to the Trust is the fact she is a female role model.

“It is nice to have female coaches as I feel sometimes it is easier for the children to open up to a female coach. We are currently recruiting for the Trust’s Girls Player Development Centre so I have scouted some talent today,” says Amber.

Once again, we return to the word Fearless. Amber is Fearless – she is not put off from being a young, female coach in a male-dominated world.

Danny Fullbrook would have been impressed by that. And like his mum Sylvie said, he would have been proud that his passions for sport and journalism are being used to inspire the next generation.

If you would like to support our projects, you can donate to the Fearless Foundation by clicking here. 

AL

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