A UCFB student has been working alongside her studies trying to spread the voice of young people in Essex and developing football projects across the county.

Siân Hillis is a BA (Hons) Football Business and Coaching student at our Wembley Campus, who is also the chairperson of the Essex Youth Forum.

The forum engages with young people across Essex, and aims to use football as a positive impact to communities throughout the county.

Towards the end of this season, Siân attended the BBC Essex Women’s Cup Final, which showed the impact football is having in Essex.

Held at the JobServe Community Stadium (the home of Colchester United), the final between
Billericay Town and Hashtag Reserves was attended by more than 2,000 people.

Speaking about the event, Siân saisd: “This showcase is massive for women’s and girls’ football in Essex as it puts women’s football on the big stage and shows younger players what is possible.”

As chair of the Essex Youth Forum, Siân delivers meeting and collaborates to ensure the voices of the youth in football in Essex are heard.

Along with her vice-chair Gemma, Siân was at the final the raise the profile of the forum as it aims to be the visual representation of youth voice within football.

Siân's view of the final at the JobServe Community Stadium

She added, talking about her studies: “My time at UCFB has been busy! I’ve really enjoyed the past three years and have been fortunate enough to have experienced some fantastic opportunities, such as:

  • A coaching placement with Arsenal Women FC
  • Leading the Female Coaches Club
  • Attending the FA and BUCS Women’s Leadership Programme

UCFB has also opened many doors for me as outside of university, alongside my role at the Essex FA.

I am involved in the FA Regional Youth Network and completed the FA Leadership Academy.

"Moreover this year, I will be supporting the FA National Youth Council with the delivery of the FA Leadership Academy, which takes place in July.

She finished: “Take as many opportunities as possible. This is a great way to grow your personal and professional networks and gain experience in a range of areas.

However, this doesn’t happen without hard work, determination, and resilience.

To find out more about opportunities for work available alongside undergraduate degrees at UCFB, click here.