Melbourne City FC’s City in the Community has been named joint winners of the Darebin Business Community Award for their employment and disability programs throughout the City of Darebin.
Three programs were recognised for the award with City Pathways with MatchWorks, Disability Awareness program in schools and the blind football school holiday clinic coming into the panel’s consideration for the accolade, with City picking up back-to-back community awards
City Pathways is a football and job skills program, focused on providing a holistic approach to finding employment for 17 job seekers with a disability/mental health condition.
Participants in the program resided in the City of Darebin resulting in eight participants gaining employment and two participants going on to further training.
While employment was the ultimate goal of the program, it also addressed the various barriers the job seekers were experiencing and provided linkages to community, health and support services.
The ‘One City Disability Awareness’ program was aimed at raising awareness in school students about people with a disability. Blind football was used as a tool to educate Year 7 students about disability, in particular, blindness and vision loss by taking part in fun blind football activities.
The sessions were conducted in four local schools, two of which are located in Darebin with 118 students from Reservoir High School and 55 students from William Ruthven Secondary College participating in the program.
The program was timed to run before and during the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio where blind football is a sport. Players from the B League (blind football League) assisted in the delivery of the program in schools. A resource was prepared for the students and teachers to continue to facilitate discussion and thinking about awareness of disability.