This month Nottingham Forest announced the launch of Dream Big, a campaign that aims to encourage Notts kids to achieve their full potential. Created by Owner Evangelos Marinakis, the initiative will reach out to 200 schools across Nottinghamshire, helping to address the region’s historically low literacy levels.
Launched at Blue Bell Hill Primary School in St Ann's on Wednesday 5th June, pupils viewed an exclusive animated feature film about the success of the squad from the Clough era and were tasked with a Forest related workshop designed to encourage and promote literacy engagement. In addition to this, they were treated to a guest appearance from Nottingham-born Forest legend Garry Birtles.
Birtles, from Chilwell, describes talking to the kids about the club’s back-to-back European Cup wins. He told us that collectively the class agreed Manchester City was the best club in the country and so he asked them to stand up if they thought City had won more times than Forest. “All but three stood up, thinking that Manchester City had won more Champions Leagues than us.” He said, “That just puts it into perspective, what was achieved at this place, for a city of our size. It can be there again. If you can get the kids interested, off the streets and playing sport, it could be absolutely brilliant.”
Forest see the power of sport as a tool that can encourage kids to dream big. Building on the club’s 40th anniversary celebrations, this workshop is just one of many initiatives that the team hopes to deliver across the city with the aim of inspiring the younger generation to believe in themselves.
The launch was also attended by Leader of Nottingham City Council, Councillor David Mellen who praised the club for their involvement. “Children in our city deserve the best possible start in life. In Nottingham, too many of our children start school behind the expected literacy levels so it is great to see Nottingham Forest leading the way and inspiring future generations.”
Birtles is enthusiastic about the campaign, "It is fantastic to see what the club are doing.” He comments, “Since the new ownership came in the vision and the commitment to the local community has been flawless. It's not just token PR events, they are actually trying to involve themselves in initiatives to help improve the city which will benefit the people of Nottingham.”
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