Communities

'Enterprise Challenge has given me belief'

4 Apr 2017
Premier League Enterprise Challenge final, Matthew from Woodchurch High School

How the Premier League and the Liverpool Foundation has helped Matthew, 15, improve his confidence

Teenage years can be tricky, with friendship, exams and growing-up issues adding to what can be a stressful time.

Woodchurch High School student Matthew has more on his plate than many of his age.

The 15-year-old is the main carer for his nan, who is blind.

"For the past few months I have been mainly living with her so I can look after her as my grandad can't get out any more," he says.

"I wouldn't do it if I didn't love my nan. You are supposed to look after your family."

As he spent his time concentrating on looking after his nan, Matthew did not have the time to develop friendships.

"I didn't do much with other people because I was always out shopping with my nan and taking her places," he says. "It is partly the reason I was so shy."

But in the autumn, Matthew volunteered for the Premier League Enterprise Challenge run by the LFC Foundation at his school on the Wirral.

"I have always wanted to run my own business and it seemed like something I would love to do." 

Matthew and the rest of his team took to the challenge with gusto as they formulated business ideas and financial plans to increase their club's international fan base and its income streams for the USA.

Their proposals impressed and the Woodchurch High team beat other Merseyside schools to represent Liverpool FC in the competition at Manchester City in a regional final.

"Standing on the stage at the Etihad Stadium I was nervous because I kept thinking I would forget some of my lines or mix up the words," Matthew says. "But it ran smoothly and I enjoyed it.

"When we won at the Etihad, most of the group were stunned. We didn't know how to respond, the feeling was unexplainable."

As one of six play-off winners, Matthew and his team went to the eighth Premier League Enterprise Challenge final, where they presented to the likes of entrepreneur Theo Paphitis and former Chelsea defender Graeme Le Saux at the head offices of EY in London.

Premier League Enterprise Challenge final, Matthew from Woodchurch High School
Matthew (right) and his team make their PL Enterprise Challenge final presentation

Woodchurch High did not win in the final, that honour went to the Pingle School, representing Derby County, but taking part in the competition has made a big impact on Matthew.

"I have changed a lot. At the start of this I was nervous and I didn't usually talk much to people. But it has really developed my team working skills and getting talking to people.

"I never had many friends really but I have got loads more now because more people are coming up to me, talking to me and congratulating me. It makes me feel involved."

Premier League Enterprise Challenge final, Matthew from Woodchurch High School
Matthew helps the team prepare their final pitch at the head offices of EY in London

Matthew's immediate priority is to care for his nan but in the future he hopes to run his own restaurant business, a dream that maybe has become a bit closer thanks to the Enterprise Challenge.

"This scheme has given me a lot more confidence. I feel I can hold more responsibility than I did and look after everyone else.

"The Enterprise Challenge his has given me the belief that I can do stuff. I was always interested in having a business but I never thought I would do it. Now I am quite certain I can."

See: PL Enterprise Challenge gallery

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