The positive power of football was highlighted this week as the beautiful game led the way at the Beyond Sport Awards in London.
Street League, a charity using football to help disadvantaged young people into work, education or training, received the prestigious P&G UK Impact Award - presented to them by Lord Coe - for their Changing Lives Through Football project.
The Football Foundation’s Extra Time programme and Everton in the Community’s project Tackling Inequality, Empowering Ability were also both highly commended.
Beyond Sport is the global organisation that promotes, develops and funds the use of sport to create positive social change across the world. They launched the P&G UK Impact Award in association with the Daily Telegraph to recognise the most innovative and successful projects in the UK.
Street League uses the positive power of football to help disadvantaged 16-25 year old NEETs (Not in Employment, Education or Training) make a positive change in their lives. There are currently one million 16-25 year olds out of work in the UK.
The eight-week Street League Academy engages students in a structured football and education programme, offering employability workshops and advice, including mock interviews and one-to-one support.
Three out of every four of academy graduates - approximately 600 young people this year - find employment or get back into education.
Street League Chief Executive Matt Stevenson-Dodd said he was “incredibly honoured” to receive the award.
“Winning something like this is amazing. For everybody who works at Street League, it’s great to have our hard work recognised at the highest level,” he told Club Website.
“We make a great impact with some really disadvantaged young people and those who most need our help, so to have that recognised by Beyond Sport is phenomenal.”
Rowan Simon, himself once a Street League graduate and now an apprentice coach with the organisation, was also present to receive the award from Lord Coe.
Street League currently operates in London, Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester and Edinburgh, with a sixth centre due to open in Liverpool next month.
There are plans to open 12 centres by 2014 and a support package from Beyond Sport should help them on their way.
The two other highly commended projects will also receive a support package from Beyond Sport to enable them to further develop their activities.
Extra Time, run by the Football Foundation, which engages more than 3,000 elderly men and women in physical activity to help improve emotional wellbeing and reduce social isolation.
Everton in the Community's Tackling Inequality, Empowering Ability programme, which addresses mental health issues on Merseyside.
The Beyond Sport Awards programme provides support worth £2 million annually to projects across the world that use sport to address issues within their communities.
Further winners of the Beyond Sport Awards 2012 will be announced at the Beyond Sport Summit, which will be held in London from 23rd to 25th July. To find out more visit beyondsport.org.
Street League will be featured in June’s edition of The Clubhouse – the monthly newsletter from Club Website. Click here to sign up to The Clubhouse.
The P&G UK Impact Award, in association with the Daily Telegraph
Changing Lives Through Football - Street League (nationwide)
Highly commended projects:
Extra Time - Football Foundation (England)
Tackling Inequality, Empowering Ability - Everton in the Community (Merseyside)
Other nominated projects:
School Of Hard Knocks - School of Hard Knocks Charity (London)
The Respect Programme - Pompey Sports and Education Foundation (Portsmouth)
Promoting Diversity Through Sport - PeacePlayers International (Belfast)