Dedicated Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health student Jack Mullineux has already managed to secure his dream job after completing his Masters and graduating from Edge Hill University today.

Jack from Wigan, has always held the belief that sport can make a positive contribution to people’s lives and after completing his BA (Hons) Sports Development degree at Edge Hill, he was awarded a bursary through the Postgraduate Support Scheme which enabled him to complete his Masters.

During his time at Edge Hill, Jack has made a huge contribution to university life and has delivered regular sport and physical activity sessions to children, young people and adults who were classed as hard to reach or inactive throughout the community of Everton. This involved aiding the delivery of a community programme called ‘The Peoples Family Project’ as a coach and family mentor.

“The project was particularly challenging as some families held little interest in taking part in the sessions,” said Jack. “However, forming a rapport and offering one-on-one support facilitated their engagement and improved their health and future career prospects.

“On completion of my undergraduate degree, I wanted to enhance my academic skill set and gain valuable and relevant experience in the policy driven field of sport, physical activity and mental health. Fortunately, after applying and completing a presentation and interview I was offered a place to study for my Masters which involved becoming a project mentor for Tackling the Blues.

“My MSc was an interdisciplinary degree in Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health which was aligned to working in collaboration with Everton in the Community (EitC). The focus of delivery was on health and wellbeing in community settings such as primary schools across Merseyside. This was part of Tackling the Blues which is an early children and youth intervention programme targeting people aged 8-14 who were registered with a mental illness or who were at risk of developing mental health problems.

“I was responsible for the delivery of physical activity and sports sessions which enhanced young people’s physical and mental competencies, and from my experience Tackling the Blues has made a positive impact on the children involved in the programme. This provision is vital in schools because 50% of mental health problems are developed by the age of 14.”

Jack found the sports sector to be a highly competitive market in terms of securing full-time employment, so he began to apply while studying for his Masters degree.

Preston North End Community and Education Trust offered Jack a full-time position as a Community Inclusion Officer, which involves working on a range of programmes including coaching women and girls in schools, colleges, universities and community settings.

Jack also delivers walking football sessions and the Kicks programme which uses the power of football and the value of sports participation to help hard-to-reach youngsters in some of the most high-need areas. In addition to this, he is in the process of developing partnerships to set up a football based mental health programme.

“The job is challenging but rewarding because I have the opportunity to work across a wide remit of work and engage a number of people from different backgrounds, age groups, genders and abilities,” said Jack.

“The advice I would give to students who are seeking to secure employment before graduating is begin to look for jobs as early as possible. Some employers release vacant positions before graduation dates so applying whilst studying indicates to an employer that you are organised and committed. Also, book regular meetings with the Edge Hill careers team or your tutors who can potentially provide you with ample tips, support and advice in regards to CV writing, job searching and interview techniques.”