Stevenage football coach talks about getting ‘life back on track’

Lee Allinson

Lee Allinson - Credit: Archant

A football coach has spoken about how he has got his “life back on track” two years after seeking a charity’s help.

Lee Allinson

Lee Allinson - Credit: Archant

The Prince’s Trust enterprise programme – open to those aged 18-30 and who are unemployed or who work less than 16 hours a week – gave Lee Allinson a £3,000 loan in April 2012 to set up the Pro Elite Football Academy in Stevenage.

Lee, who is 29 and lives in Ayr Close, Stevenage, was a promising young footballer, but had drifted away from the game and was unemployed when he approached the charity, having previously got in trouble with the police.

He said: “I’ve had a few issues in the past and I signed up to The Prince’s Trust to help me get my life back on track.

“They gave me the financial and moral support I needed to set up my business which is going from strength to strength.

“I can relate to a lot of the kids who fall out of love with football because I’ve been through the same situation myself. Some of them end up going off the rails if they don’t make it professionally and we’re here to show them the error of that.

“The Prince’s Trust has been fantastic to me. They’ve offered me support and guidance on every aspect of my business. I would encourage anyone who is eligible to apply for funding.”

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Steve Bailey, Lee’s business mentor, said: “Over the past two years I’ve seen Lee grow up and his business really develop. The programme isn’t just about giving young people money, it’s about supporting them to develop themselves as people.

“Any young person who is thinking about setting up their own business should get in touch.”

The Pro Elite Football Academy runs at the Stevenage FC Football Academy in Broadhall Way every Friday from 6pm to 7.30pm and costs £40 for a six-week course. For more information about joining, email info@proelitefootballacademy.co.uk or call 07984 102262.

The next enterprise programme runs from Tuesday, March 25, until Friday, March 28, at The Prince’s Trust East of England office in Argyle Way, Stevenage.

For more information contact Tracy Talbott on 07415 251337 or email tracy.talbott@princes-trust.org.uk

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