Dean’s Big Aberdeen Story

Dean McBainI left Torry Academy, my local school, as a 16 year old lad with not a clue what I wanted to do for a future job. I had decent qualifications but nothing worth shouting about and also had a place at college for Mechanical Engineering, a course I had no interest in however I wanted to leave school and have a backup plan. I did not look forward to going to college, especially for a course I had no idea about. Thinking about my alternatives did not give me great confidence as I did not enjoy my last year of school and didn’t see a real point in staying on for 6th year and no other realistic job I could think of made me excited about what the future held.

I seen an advert on the AFC website saying that AFC in the Community (AFCITC) were looking for a new apprentice Community Coach and straight away I wanted it. I then got in contact in WorkingRite, an apprenticeship company which offers young school leavers the chance to become employed with a company under a 6 month apprenticeship. After a WorkingRite interview and an AFCITC coaches in-service I received the news that even though there was 10 applicants, I got the job!!!

During my apprenticeship I got to experience a lot of different programmes ran by AFCITC and also done a lot of Football Coaching, I then started to go through my SFA Coaching Badges. This really gave me a new lease of life and love for football. This led me to start up my own football club Greyhope Boys Club with my friend. We were just two enthusiastic young boys who wanted to give youth in the local area more of a chance to play football and express themselves. Greyhope is now a successful club, almost 2 years old and is still running through myself and my friend Cejay.

Once my 6 months with WorkingRite came to an end AFCITC kept me on as an apprentice in which I continued to be involved with football coaching, but also started to get involved with the Wider Community Engagement programmes, working with over 65 year olds. I loved the community work side of work and I finally found what I feel is the perfect line of work for me.

In the last year I have went from Apprentice coach to Assistant Community Projects Officer and now Community Projects Officer. I have now got a permanent contract in a job I love and taking on new responsibilities. As well as co-ordinating programmes such as the Aberdeen City Council funded ‘Get Outdoors’ programme as well as the new Life Changes Fund ‘Dementia Friendly Communities’ funding.

As well as continuing to grow as a Community worker through experience and training, I am also growing massively as a person. I also am now the Young Volunteers co-ordinator and help put all of our young volunteers through their Saltire Awards.

Without the opportunity given to me by WorkingRite, AFC, AFCITC (now Aberdeen FC Community Trust – a standalone charity) and all of my colleagues along the way, I would be nowhere near as happy as I am now.

Aberdeen Issues from this story

  1. When young people are unsure that their goals are, shouldn’t  more of us  give them a chance to try out a work experience and  become ace?
  2. What can we do to get more young people out of doors?

Below is a video, featuring Dean, with more information about AFC Community Trust


Aberdeen FC Community Trust is Dean’s STORYTELLER.

AFC Community Trust aims to …”provide support and opportunity to help change lives for the better”. For information please visit or visit us on Facebook at and visit or twitter @AFCCT. AFC Community Trust is based at Pittodrie Stadium, Pittodrie Street, Aberdeen. AB24 5QH. 01224 650400

You can get involved with AFC Community Trust by volunteering in a number of our programmes, or helping us raise funds for the charity in a variety of ways. For further information on how you can get involved or help then please email us on

AFC Community Trust is the partner charity of Aberdeen FC –


  • Aberdeen City Council Wellbeing Team – The Wellbeing team have provided AFCCT with funding, training opportunities, support, and guidance over the last 18 months.  The Wellbeing team is a small team of individuals with different skills and backgrounds. We work in a person centred way to help older citizens to stay as active as possible and to achieve their goals.
  • Life Changes Trust – Provided AFCCT with funding to help support Dementia Friendly Communities across the North East of Scotland.  The Life Changes Trust was created to drive real and meaningful improvement in the lives of young people with experience of being in care and people affected by dementia.
  • WorkingRite –Dean McBain started working at AFCCT by completing a 6 month apprenticeship, before earning a full time permanent contract with AFCCT.  WorkingRite’s mission is to “help 16-19 year olds who need support into sustained employment, apprenticeships or purposeful learning. We do this through individually matched work placements with local employers”.
  • Tartan Army Children’s Charity (TACC) – TACC fund a social inclusion programme for young people from Seaton called Footy Tea, and Breakfast Club.  “In a venture with Aberdeen FC Community Trust and Aberdeen FC, TACC will give children a game of football and a hot, healthy dinner on Friday evenings. Out with school hours, some of these kids would not have a nutritional meal and this project promotes healthy eating while encouraging social inclusion in an area which is considered socially deprived”.
  • The Scottish Football Association support football across Scotland, including the development of coaches, managers, and players
  • Aberdeen FC – Currently top of the SPFL Premiership, and AFCCT works closely with AFC on every programme to help change lives for the better in the North East of Scotland
  • Sodexo Prestige Aberdeen Football Club boasts an array of versatile suites and executive boxes within a truly unique venue in the heart of Aberdeen. Our dedicated and experienced team will ensure your events are distinctive and memorable, tailoring packages specific to your requirements to ensure your day is a guaranteed success. Everyone from our knowledgeable sales team, to our skilled chefs and event managers will be on hand to advise you along the way and provide you with a personalised experience when planning your event
  • Alzheimer’s Scotland  Alzheimer Scotland provides a wide range of specialist services for people with dementia and their carers. We offer personalised support services, community activities, information and advice, at every stage of the dementia journey
  • The Gaitherin – The Gaitherin is a festival of music and drama based on today’s traditions of the North East of Scotland, and is open to young people from Central Aberdeenshire, and looks to use music as the tool of working with young people
  • Aberdeen City Council, Community Learning and Development – “Working alongside our communities and partners to provide learning services which will enable individuals to develop and progress in their lives…”
  • Aberdeen City Council Social Care and Health (Adult Protection team) – Supporting and Protecting Adults at Risk of Harm
  • Aberdeen Guarantees  Aberdeen Guarantees aims to promote local opportunities which are available in the city and also engage local businesses in local youth employment activities to enhance young people’s experiences and develop young people’s employability skills.
  • ACVO ACVO is the Third Sector Interface for Aberdeen City. ACVO is part of Voluntary Action Scotland. We exist to develop, involve, represent and support the voluntary, charity and social enterprise organisations in Aberdeen. We are one of 32 Voluntary Interfaces (TSI’s) created throughout Scotland and represent what is often called the ‘Third Sector’.
  • Saltire Awards The Saltire Awards are for young people between the ages of 12 to 25 to recognise and reward people for their hard work and fantastic contribution volunteering.
  • Aberdeen Sports Village – Aberdeen Sports Village is the premier sport and exercise facility in Scotland and provides world class opportunities for everyone in the community
  • Sport Aberdeen – We are Sport Aberdeen, a Private Company Limited by Guarantee, but more importantly we are a not-for-profit company and a registered charity. We deliver sport and physical activity services on behalf of Aberdeen City Council
  • Aberdeen Foyer –  The Foyer helps people build confidence and develop their skills and talents to make major changes in their lives.We provide accommodation with support to former homeless and at risk young people. We deliver linked up services – education, training, mentoring, counselling, employment support and health improvement initiatives.
  • Aberlour Futures – Aberlour Futures is a training and learning centre which supports workforce development and the expansion and development of quality childcare services.   We aim to provide the best possible training and support to staff working with children and families throughout Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

What Happened Next

What has happened after Dean’s Story?

  • AFC Community Trust has won the ‘Best Professional Club in the Community” award from the Scottish FA Grassroots Awards in Hampden.
  • Marion Douglas commented “I have been Pittodrie since 2013 when it was just a Health Walk once a week. That was when I met Dean along with David Smith.In 2014 it became a charity and was twice a week then. I was in and still am Over 65’s Get Outdoors Programme.At first Dean was quite quiet and shy, when he spoke about anything it was said and done in just minutes. Over time I have seen Dean grow into such a confident and self assured young man.He can and does take control of almost any situation.When Dean first started with us he had a very good mentor in David Smith, they were chalk and cheese but bounced off each other and thus created a great atmosphere for Over 65’s to be doing activities.Dean can converse with any group be it schoolchildren for football or Over 65’s, he makes it fun.  David was given a step up but it was a little time before Dean proved he could do the same.We have had a full programme since 5th jan this year 3 times a week which takes a lot of planning. Dean is more than capable of this now. We at Over 65’s are very proud to see how Dean is progressing and how much he loves doing it he is a credit to AFCCT.”

What did you think of Dean’s Story?

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