By Tony Dewhurst
Sheffield United's Community Trust team 'The United Initiative' gave teenagers a valuable taste of work in the football industry during a special holiday course at Bramall Lane.
The five youngsters, who are aged between 14 and 16, shadowed experts in a range of roles from stadium manager to community coach, gaining hands on experience of working in football.
Courtney Andrews, a pupil at Westfield Sports College, and Parkwood Academy's Jodie O'Brien picked up retail skills helping out on the shop floor at the busy Blades Superstore.
Also getting their feet on the football job ladder were Luke Foord of Brinsworth Comprehensive School and City School's Luke Andrews who got a taste of community coaching, while Connie Barrass of Wickersley School and Sports College, toured the ground and United's Academy as stadium managers.
The Year 10 and 11 pupils won the four-day work placements after entering npower's What's Your Goal 2012 - a programme that allows teenagers to experience football's world of work and develop their skills with professionals doing the behind-the-scenes jobs.
Sue Beeley, United's Head of Community, said: "Our staff were impressed by their ambition, dedication and enthusiasm.
"The students had a really positive attitude and it was a great way to show them how a professional football club operates."
Meanwhile, Sheffield United hosted its first Community Awards at Bramall Lane to celebrate the success of local people.
Key awards included the Outstanding Personal Achievement accolade, achieved by Akash Munir, a volunteer for the Kickz Project.
Akash was recently shortlisted for the Kickz Awards, with the award for his hard work encouraging people to get involved in Kickz events.
The ceremony also celebrated the club's links with partner agencies, with Shahbaz Ramzan, one of Sheffield City Council's Safer Neighbourhood Officers, winning the Kickz Partner prize.
"The awards were a great opportunity to bring all our social inclusion projects together and celebrate their achievements," said Sue Beeley.
"It was a really inspiring event which I hope will encourage others to get involved in community activities."
The Community Awards event was attended by 200 guests which included participants, volunteers, staff, club representatives, while dignitaries included the Deputy Lord Mayor of Sheffield and the High Sherriff of South Yorkshire, Julie Kenny.