Young Advisor Arissa’s Inspiration experience

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Young Advisor Arissa’s Inspiration experience

Arissa is a StreetGames Young Advisor and a member of the team that worked on developing our Youth Manifesto. Here, she tells us in her own words about her experience of an opportunity that StreetGames were able to offer as part of our Inspiration campaign thanks to Matchroom Boxing.

Having become involved with StreetGames last year through my role as a Young Advisor, recently I was fortunate enough to be invited to a Matchroom Boxing event at Manchester’s AO Arena where I got to go backstage and meet some incredible people that I idolise and look up to. I was honoured to meet some amazing people, including one of the night’s winners Rhiannon Dixon as well as Matchroom chairman Eddie Hearn, Manchester City player John Stones, The Stomping Ground founder Charlie Parsons, commentator Steve Bunce and boxers Sunny Edwards and Anthony Crolla.

The entire night was a dream. I saw some fantastic fights, and being backstage and getting to see how everything is so well thought out made me enjoy the experience even more. I was grateful for all the fighters and people who I spoke to for taking time out of their day to have a chat.

Rhiannon Dixon became world champion that night, and seeing it happen with my own eyes made me want to dream and aim for the same thing. I met people who I know will be a part of my life in the future and will help me achieve everything I want to.

None of this would have been possible without StreetGames and Alex Le Guevel at Matchroom Boxing and I would like to thank them for giving me this opportunity. My love for boxing has only grown and as a Young Advisor for StreetGames I have many new ideas which include boxing that I would love to share.

It was definitely a night I will never forget and I’m forever thankful to everybody who made it happen. I look forward to working with StreetGames and Alex in the future to see how far I can get. That night proved that anything is possible if you are committed enough and have enough passion.

Young People’s Voices – We Need You!

Young People’s Voices – We Need You!

StreetGames is working with a group of 5 Young Advisors to develop a Young Person’s Manifesto in the lead up to the elections in 2024.

Can You Help?

Please can you help the Young Advisor Team by sharing this survey link with your young people and encouraging them to complete it – it should only take a few minutes. We also have some top tips on how you can really bring this activity to life in your session (see below).

A manifesto is a public declaration of views and intentions. The role of a young advisor involves supporting StreetGames to develop a Young People’s Manifesto, that will be shared with Government in the lead up to the elections. The aim is to put the voices of young people in the minds of the political parties as they develop their election manifestos. Our Young Advisors have been working hard behind the scenes to develop a short on-line Survey to explore topics they think are the most important and to bring to life the issues young people are facing in underserved communities. We are looking to collect as much information from young people (ages 11 – 25) as possible to evidence our manifesto. We are looking to collect information from now until the 31st January.

What to Do

Please can you encourage young people from your projects between the ages of 11 – 25 to complete the survey. Or alternatively you could capture feedback on the survey questions via discussion groups or creative activities. We have some top tips on how you can really bring this activity to life in your sessions below:

  1. Focus groups: Bring your young people together and facilitate discussions based on the questions in the Survey. This can then be added into the survey/audio recorded/typed into WhatsApp and shared with Rhiannon (Volunteering & Youth Voice Manager, StreetGames) on 07485373008 or Rhiannon.sheendejesus@streetgames.org
  2. Get creative: There are many ways to bring consultation to life, including engaging activities such as: Post it note races, barrier walls, drawing, vlogs and movie showcases. There are more examples here. You can also utilise our M&E toolkit, which can support you further.
  3. Identifying young people/volunteers in your organisation to lead the conversations in the sessions to enable peer-led youth voice.
Important Survey Information:

As the information collected will be used to develop the manifesto that will be shared with the network and all political parties, please note the following:

Please can you (as LTO leaders) review the questions first to make sure you are comfortable with what is being asked before sharing on to your young people. Participation is voluntary – you do not need to ask some (or all of the questions posed) if you do not feel they are appropriate for your group of young people.

  • This is voluntary research – young people do not have to take part if they do not want to.
  • All views will be captured anonymously and only used in aggregated formats (i.e. no individual responses will be identified)
  • This research should take place in a ‘protected environment’ such as a youth/community centre – i.e. not one young person collecting the views of other young people on the street.
  • Download our parental opt out form (if required) and our trusted adult form.

If you have any questions or need support on any of the following please get in touch with Rhiannon.sheendejesus@streetgames.org or Hannah.crane@streetgames.org

As a thank you for supporting us on this we would like to enter your LTO into a prize draw, with a chance of winning a £100 voucher. You can opt into this prize draw on completion of the survey.

1,000 Young Voices: Enhancing Sport in Wales with New Insights

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1,000 Young Voices: Enhancing Sport in Wales with New Insights

Written by Claire Lane, National Director, Wales

StreetGames recently published our 1,000 Young Voices report, a major new survey of 1,000 young people commissioned to better understand the key issues and the similarities and differences amongst young people from lower-income households and the challenges that they face when it comes to accessing sport and physical activity.

We know all too well that young people growing up in low-income households and in under-served communities often experience inequalities of opportunity & participation. The underlying causes and issues of these broader inequalities are complex – some of the resulting barriers are ‘material’ (e.g. cost, transport, access to facilities) whilst others are deeply psychological. Some issues have been made worse by the pandemic and the current cost of living crisis.

The knowledge obtained through this new research has real value in understanding the current landscape when it comes to participation in sport and offers valuable insight into how to better engage different segments of the population going forward. And while 72% said that they enjoy taking part in sport and 75% want to do more, currently only a quarter of those surveyed specifically said they spend their time playing sport. It’s clear that access to sport still lags behind appetite.

Some of this is understandably down to the ongoing cost of living crisis. Over a third of participants feel the Cost of Living crisis has negatively affected how much they take part in sport and physical activity. This figure is especially high amongst those with caring responsibilities with half saying they do less, whilst also being significantly higher than average for those who are Neurodivergent and/or have a Physical Disability. But the research also went deeper in seeking out the different motivations and barriers that young people have when it comes to getting involved, from lack of confidence in taking part, to those who attend more for the social side than the sport itself. Key to increasing participation across the board is providing an offer that ensures that whatever your main drive for coming along, there is something available to suit.

As StreetGames’ National Director for Wales, I’m heartened by the work the Welsh Government has been doing in recent years to put health and wellbeing front and centre in their policies and approach. We are all working towards making the Vision for Sport in Wales a reality, where we have transformed Wales into an active nation where everyone can have a lifelong enjoyment of sport, and as a National Partner to Sport Wales we’re committed to working collaboratively to make this happen.  Core to this is helping to deliver on the seven well-being goals that form the central mission of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act. That Act, the first of its kind in the UK, gives a legally binding common purpose – the seven well-being goals – for national government, local government, local health boards and other specified public bodies. It details the ways in which specified public bodies must work, and work together to improve the well-being of Wales. Our own work strongly correlates with three of these wellbeing goals:

  • Healthier Wales,
  • More Equal Wales,
  • A Wales of cohesive communities

Each of these goals could also benefit from the new insight provided by the 1,000 Young Voices report, in particular its research on the seven segments of young people that capture the motivators, barriers, and associated emotions that young people experience in relation to sport. From those who lack confidence around getting involved, to those whose sport as a valuable way to destress, we all have different reasons for wanting to get involved in sport and it’s important to develop an offer that appeals to as many different motivators as possible. By harnessing this 1,000 voices insight we can continue to build on our Doorstep Sport offer to ensure everyone can be active in a way that provides enjoyment.

The recently published annual report for 2022/23 from The Children’s Commissioner for Wales contains recommendations to tackle child poverty that speak directly to the findings from the 1,000 young voices insight. The Commissioner is recommending to Welsh Government that there is increased investment in play, sports & leisure facilities, and youth support, as well as free bus travel for all children. Our insight shows that over 20% state that they have no way of getting to activity sessions, and three quarters want to do more.

At our recent Network Events in both North and South Wales, there was a real buzz in the room when sharing the insight, and discussing the seven segments. Many of our Locally Trusted Organisations (LTOs) across Wales are doing fantastic work to provide a varied and vibrant Doorstep Sport offer that caters for many different young people, but they also recognised that they need support from the wider sector to diversify the offer further. When asked what StreetGames should do to activate the insight, and particularly the 7 segments, the overwhelming response was to support NGBs to understand it and work with LTOs to create new ways for young people to participate locally.

We have a fantastic track record of working with NGBs in Wales and have a rich history of co-creating products and interventions with a wide range of sports. This new insight will help us to go further to challenge and positively disrupt the mainstream sport sector, and provide opportunities to create meaningful change to tackle the stubborn inequalities that young people living in low-income, underserved communities face, when it comes to accessing sport and physical activity opportunities.

If you want to know more about the work we do in Wales, or are an NGB that wants to collaborate then please get in touch at wales@streetgames.org

Amplifying Youth Voices: StreetGames Wales Dragons Den Pitch Day Success

Amplifying Youth Voices: StreetGames Wales Dragons Den Pitch Day Success

Written by: Rhiannon Sheen de Jesus 

At the end of July, StreetGames Wales took part in their now annual Dragons Den pitch day, supported by SEWSCAP and SEWH. The event was the mid-point in what will become an 18-month project to support young people living in areas of poverty across South East Wales to get their voices heard, and take action. The project includes working with a range of Locally Trusted Organisations (LTOs) in the StreetGames network to help them identify young people to become peer researchers. These magnificent young people then undergo a series of training workshops and receive support to help them investigate a research project, and ultimately develop a business proposal to tackle their local issues. This year’s research theme was around developing attractive sport and/or physical activity offers for young people living in underserved communities, engaging around 20 peer researchers from six LTOs. The team in Wales have worked tirelessly to support the peer research groups locally, and all four dragons (judges) were blown away by the pitches delivered. The young people they met gave them so much hope for the future and how this funding could make a massive impact on the young people’s lives in underserved communities.

Each group was given 15 minutes to pitch for up to £15,000 and had to produce and submit a business plan, detailed budget and risk analysis. The groups ranged from 16 years old to 24, and feedback from the dragons stated that some of these proposals were the best they had ever seen! With well-written proposals, a brilliant analysis of the research undertaken and such detailed budgets, the dragons were all blown away in different ways by different groups. One group talked openly about their personal challenges to accessing sport and physical activity and how they want to ensure other girls in their community don’t face the same struggles. Another group talked about how anti-social behaviour and youth violence had rocketed since covid, and is causing real problems. Their simple intervention will make real and lasting change possible for their peers.

Why are we sharing this? Youth voice is an integral part of everything we do at StreetGames. By engaging, upskilling and supporting young people in local communities, we are shifting the power. The power that changes the lives of young people and their communities by offering them a way of expressing their concerns in a safe and empowering atmosphere. A place where local issues can be shared and acted upon to create meaningful change. This also has a positive impact on the peer researchers, who develop many soft skills and hard skills to further their personal and career development.

As a result of this project, the peer researchers have been successful in obtaining funding to tackle the issues they face in their local community through DoorStep Sport provision, with over £75,000 being invested into 6 underserved communities.

Our Partnership Fundraising manager in Wales, Kevin Roberts says: ‘We are delighted to be able to continue our excellent relationship with SEWSCAP & SEWH, and to be able to provide more young people with access to high quality, evidence-led Doorstep Sport sessions in underserved communities in South Wales. Our innovative partnership has resulted in over £75,000 being invested into organisations across the region, using the peer research methodology which will have a lasting effect on the young people involved, beyond the life of their projects. We are incredibly grateful to SEWSCAP & SEWH for their continued support, and look forward to seeing the projects develop over the months ahead.’


Ar ddiwedd mis Gorffennaf, cymerodd StreetGames Wales ran yn eu diwrnod maes blynyddol den y dreigiau, gyda chefnogaeth SEWSCAP a SEWH. Roedd y digwyddiad yn ganolbwynt i’r hyn a ddaw yn brosiect 18 mis i gefnogi pobl ifanc sy’n byw mewn ardaloedd o dlodi ar draws De-ddwyrain Cymru i leisio’u barn, a gweithredu. Mae’r prosiect yn cynnwys gweithio gydag amrywiaeth o Sefydliadau y mae Ymddiriedolaethau Lleol (LTOs) yn eu helpu i adnabod pobl ifanc i ddod yn ymchwilwyr cymheiriaid. Yna mae’r bobl ifanc godidog hyn yn mynd trwy gyfres o weithdai hyfforddi ac yn cael cymorth i’w helpu i ymchwilio i brosiect ymchwil, ac yn y pen draw i ddatblygu cynnig busnes i fynd i’r afael â’u materion lleol. Roedd thema ymchwil eleni yn ymwneud â datblygu cynigion chwaraeon a/neu weithgarwch corfforol deniadol i bobl ifanc sy’n byw mewn cymunedau nad ydynt yn cael eu gwasanaethu’n ddigonol, gan ymgysylltu ag oddeutu 20 o ymchwilwyr cymheiriaid o 6 LTOs. Mae’r tîm yng Nghymru wedi gweithio’n ddiflino i gefnogi’r grwpiau ymchwil cymheiriaid yn lleol, a chafodd pob un o’r pedair draig (beirniaid) eu chwythu i ffwrdd gan y caeau a ddarparwyd. Rhoddodd y bobl ifanc y gwnaethant gyfarfod â nhw gymaint o obaith iddynt ar gyfer y dyfodol a sut y gallai’r cyllid hwn gael effaith aruthrol ar fywydau’r bobl ifanc mewn cymunedau nad ydynt yn cael eu gwasanaethu’n ddigonol.

Rhoddwyd 15 munud i bob grŵp gynnig am hyd at £15k, bu’n rhaid iddynt gynhyrchu a chyflwyno cynllun busnes, cyllideb fanwl a dadansoddiad risg. Roedd y grwpiau’n amrywio o 16 oed i 24, ac roedd geiriau gan y dreigiau yn nodi bod rhai o’r cynigion hyn y gorau a welsant erioed! Wedi’i ysgrifennu mor dda, dadansoddiad gwych o’r ymchwil a wnaed a chyllidebau mor fanwl. Cafodd y dreigiau eu chwythu i ffwrdd mewn gwahanol ffyrdd gan wahanol grwpiau. Siaradodd un grŵp mor agored am eu heriau personol unigol eu hunain i gael mynediad at chwaraeon a gweithgaredd corfforol a sut maent am wneud yn siŵr nad yw merched eraill yn eu cymuned yn wynebu’r un brwydrau. Soniodd grŵp arall am sut mae ymddygiad gwrthgymdeithasol a thrais ieuenctid wedi cynyddu ers covid, ac yn achosi problemau gwirioneddol. Bydd eu hymyrraeth syml yn gwneud newid gwirioneddol a pharhaol yn bosibl i’w cyfoedion.

Pam ydym ni’n rhannu hyn? Mae llais ieuenctid yn rhan annatod o bopeth a wnawn yn StreetGames. Drwy ymgysylltu, uwch sgilio a chefnogi pobl ifanc mewn cymunedau lleol, rydym yn newid y pŵer. Y pŵer sy’n newid bywydau pobl ifanc a’u cymunedau trwy gynnig ffordd iddynt fynegi eu pryderon mewn awyrgylch diogel a grymusol. Man lle gellir rhannu materion lleol a gweithredu arnynt i greu newid ystyrlon. Mae hyn hefyd yn cael effaith gadarnhaol ar yr ymchwilwyr cymheiriaid, sy’n datblygu llawer o sgiliau meddal a sgiliau caled i hybu eu datblygiad personol a gyrfa.

O ganlyniad i’r prosiect hwn mae’r ymchwilwyr cymheiriaid wedi llwyddo i gael cyllid i fynd i’r afael â’r problemau y maent yn eu hwynebu yn eu cymuned leol trwy ddarpariaeth Chwaraeon Cam Ddrws, gyda dros £75,000 yn cael ei fuddsoddi mewn 6 chymuned nad ydynt yn cael eu gwasanaethu’n ddigonol.

Meddai Kevin Roberts, ein Rheolwr Codi Arian Partneriaeth yng Nghymru: Rydym yn falch iawn o allu parhau â’n perthynas ragorol gyda SEWSCAP a SEWH, ac i allu darparu mynediad i fwy o bobl ifanc i sesiynau Chwaraeon Stepen Drws o ansawdd uchel, a arweinir gan dystiolaeth, mewn cymunedau nad ydynt yn cael eu gwasanaethu’n ddigonol. yn Ne Cymru. Mae ein partneriaeth arloesol wedi arwain at fuddsoddi dros £75,000 mewn sefydliadau ar draws y rhanbarth, gan ddefnyddio’r fethodoleg ymchwil cymheiriaid a fydd yn cael effaith barhaol ar y bobl ifanc dan sylw, y tu hwnt i oes eu prosiectau. Rydym yn hynod ddiolchgar i SEWSCAP a SEWH am eu cefnogaeth barhaus, ac edrychwn ymlaen at weld y prosiectau’n datblygu dros y misoedd i ddod.

Youth Justice Sport Fund’s success offers lessons in engagement

Youth Justice Sport Fund’s success offers lessons in engagement

Young people today lead complex lives, and the reasons why some fall into crime or anti-social behaviour are also complex. Factors such as family relationships, poverty, lack of opportunities, and poor socialisation can all play a role. In addition, there are a range of theories which posit that the way we perceive, label and interact with young offenders or those at risk of offending can have a significant impact on their own mindsets and actions.

For young people who are at greater risk of offending, sport can provide a twin-track approach that prevents them from entering the Youth Justice System and towards activities that build strengths, capacities and potential whilst emphasising positive behaviours and outcomes. The opportunities for engagement and for ‘relationship building’, in and through sport, provide a valuable medium through which to offer this twin-track approach to empower young people to develop social capital and pro-social identities.

It is precisely this approach that has shaped the recent hugely successful intervention from the Ministry of Justice, the Youth Justice Sport Fund. Managed by The Youth Justice Sports Fund (YJSF) Consortium, which brought together StreetGames, The Alliance of Sport in Criminal Justice, and was chaired by the Sport for Development Coalition, the consortium enabled the. investment of £5m supported 220 projects across England and Wales to use sport to enhance positive outcomes for vulnerable young people. The funding facilitated voluntary and community sports organisations to undertake targeted work supporting children and young people with a secondary level of need who are understood to be at risk of either entering the criminal justice system or being a victim of crime.

The aims of the programme were twofold:

Aim 1: Support vulnerable young people aged 10-17 at risk of involvement in crime, anti-social behaviour and serious violence through involvement in local sporting activities.

Aim 2: Build capacity and the capability of sport sector delivery organisations to work effectively with their local criminal justice partners, including Youth Justice Services, Police and Police Crime Commissioners (PCC)/Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) structures.

7,832 young people were involved in the programme, with a total of 68,741 attendances during the twelve-week period. An average of 36 young people engaged per organisation, although this varied between organisations. Of the young people engaged, 82% came from the most deprived communities within the bottom four IMD deciles. As the initial evaluation report clearly highlights, this programme demonstrated that a sport-plus approach offers more opportunities to undertake meaningful work with young people experiencing high levels of challenge in their lives and enabled staff to build a strong rapport with young people. It also enhances young people’s skills and knowledge and provides access to additional support.

This success was based on more than just sport; it relied on the extensive expertise of the organisations involved in coordinating the programme and the high levels of trust enjoyed by the local organisations delivering on the ground.

This experience ensured that some of the most influential characteristics of the fund were baked into delivery across the board. These included:

  • Ability to flex the original project plans to respond quickly to any unforeseen challenges and adapt their delivery to continue to meet the overall aims of the programme.
  • Autonomy to decide budget priorities to reach and engage the targeted young people in their projects.
  • A high level of trust was placed in organisations to deliver what was needed in their communities whilst meeting the expectations placed on funded projects.
  • The consistent and ongoing support offered to projects throughout the programme by the Consortium, including MEL support, enabled them to collect and report data that would previously have been impossible without a blend of financial support and guidance.
  • Underpinning the programme with the shared Theory of Change and clear expectations of projects made clear from the outset.

The ability to provide this level of flexibility to respond to local leads and to support the provision of meaningful MEL data was a critical success factor for the programme. Projects that were supported through the YJSF were able to demonstrate, at the point of application, that they were able to meet clearly articulated expectations on MEL, as well as the ability to effectively implement the different aspects of the Theory of Change, to engage young people with a secondary level of need. As a result, the 220 projects who received funding were in a great position to succeed.

That flexibility to design projects that they felt would be best suited to the targeted young people and to adapt projects if needed in response to the reality of the context they faced proved hugely important and underscores exactly why LTOs are best placed to carry out this kind of work. Their natural agility, combined with the strong trust they already enjoy in local communities, means they can reach the young people that others find hard to reach and engage them on their own terms.

The tremendous success of the YJSF, and the incredible speed with which it was effectively rolled out and delivered, should be taken as demonstrable evidence of the power of sport, the effectiveness of trusted sporting organisations and the role that sport and physical activity can play in supporting vulnerable young people towards personal growth and development.

SPORT 4 GOOD: Empowering communities through inclusive training and strengthening the Doorstep Sport Workforce

SPORT 4 GOOD: Empowering communities through inclusive training and strengthening the Doorstep Sport Workforce

At StreetGames, we are driven by our passion for creating an excellent, diverse local workforce that reflects the richness and diversity of the communities our LTOs serve. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that every young person living in a low-income, underserved neighbourhood has access to the right sporting opportunities, free from barriers and limitations.

The StreetGames Training Academy plays a crucial role in achieving this goal. We develop and deliver bespoke training programmes that equip coaches, volunteers, and sports development staff with the necessary skills, confidence, and knowledge to bring Doorstep Sport to every underserved community.

Our training empowers the workforce to initiate positive change by focusing on areas such as building relationships, adapting mainstream sports delivery, community safety, as well as mental and physical well-being.

What sets us apart is our dedication to making learning easy, practical, and interactive. This approach allows us to reach and engage individuals who may not have had previous access to training or positive learning experiences. StreetGames training has a higher percentage of candidates from ethnically diverse communities than most NGB training offers – “we take our training to the doorstep of these communities instead of just online, or at central venues that suit us – we are the people beside the people and it’s all about ‘Frontline First’.” – Mark Roughsedge, Workforce Lead, LSE.

By expanding their knowledge, skills, and behaviours, we broaden their opportunities and boost their confidence to pursue further training, volunteering roles, and employment with Locally Trusted Organisations who are committed to utilising the power of Doorstep Sport to transform lives and local communities.

Over the last year, the StreetGames London South East team have delivered over 70 courses to nearly 1000 candidates, with 66% of participants coming from ethnically diverse communities, showing that we are training people who traditionally face barriers to mainstream coaching qualifications. 58% of those accessing our training also come from LSEG groups 1-4, showing that we are reaching those people who face numerous other barriers to CPD opportunities in the sports sector.

Through these initiatives, we have supported LTOs to adhere to the 5 rights of Doorstep Sport (Right Place, Right Time, Right Price, Right Style, Right Leaders) to make sure the community sport offer is what children and young people want it to be so they keep returning to be healthier, safer and more successful in their own communities.

Leading our workforce development work in London is, Dan Dodge and Mark Roughsedge who are our Workforce Development Managers.

For more detailed information about our comprehensive training offer, or to arrange for StreetGames to come and deliver training at your venue for your team and partners, please visit The Training Academy section on the StreetGames website or email training.academy@streetgames.org

Nurturing Potential: The transformative power of volunteering with StreetGames for youth empowerment

Nurturing Potential: The transformative power of volunteering with StreetGames for youth empowerment

Written by Lucie Vickers, Head of Volunteering & Youth Voice

At StreetGames, we have always recognised that the benefits of sport and physical activity go far beyond the obvious boosts to mental and physical wellbeing. More than almost any other activity, sport has the ability to offer people new skills, new confidence, and an improved ability to work together as part of a team.

For many of the young people who take part in Doorstep Sport, one of the things they say made the biggest difference for them is the way that taking part in sport and physical activity has allowed them to break out of their shell and take on new roles and responsibilities, and this is especially true of our young volunteers.

StreetGames places great emphasis on social action and volunteering within its network of projects. The StreetGames Volunteer programme, which was established in 2007, offers volunteering opportunities for 16-25 year olds – helping them to make a positive difference in their local community.

A typical young volunteer will support and run local sport sessions, tournaments, assist at large-scale national sports tournaments, learn how to coach sport and design youth-led activities. By contributing in this way, they increase resources in their local community and provide more young people with the opportunity to participate in sport.  The programme also assists with developing their confidence, self-esteem and community leadership skills and they have the opportunity to gain recognised awards and qualifications.

A volunteer survey that was undertaken during 2015 with over 300 StreetGames Young Volunteers provided extremely useful feedback in relation to the value of the programme to the young volunteers and also its impact. The results showed clearly that the volunteers enjoy the time they spend volunteering, with – 97% stating that, when thinking about their last volunteering experience, they had enjoyed it (including 59% who stated that they had very much enjoyed it) – with respondents most commonly describing volunteering as: ‘fun’, ‘rewarding’, ‘helpful’ and ‘enjoyable’. But the benefits extend far beyond having fun, with volunteers highlighting the importance of benefits such as gaining leadership skills, additional qualifications, and benefiting from mentoring.

In recent years, StreetGames has been able to offer young volunteers the chance to develop even further through our annual residentials, camps or youth conferences. Last year at our Summer Camp, the Young Advisors took the lead on planning and delivering activities for the young people in attendance. For many of the Young Advisors, this was the first-time delivering activities to large groups of young people which some said they found daunting initially. However, by consistently putting themselves out of their comfort zone, the Young Advisors came away from camp with much improved confidence. The difference these experiences make to young people over a short time frame is quite extraordinary, with the overwhelming majority reporting that the 2-3 days they spend supporting peers at Summer Camp has a huge impact – ‘life changing’ in some instances.

Once engaged with StreetGames, young people can continue to be involved for years to come. Young Advisors are invited to be part of the alumni group and continue to be offered a variety of opportunities that SG are able to provide. The Head of Volunteering and regional staff remain in contact with those that wish to, on a regular basis. As a result of these relationships, StreetGames staff regularly provide references for young people embarking on their employability journey, and even provide signposting or application support. Some of our young volunteers have gone on to address audiences in the Houses of Parliament, lead sessions in online conferences, and even represented StreetGames at the Royal Garden Party.

Volunteering offers a fantastic pathway for young people in underserved communities to discover their passions, build their confidence and unleash their potential. At StreetGames, we’re committed to making sure as many young people as possible can benefit from those opportunities.

 

From Volunteering to Buckingham Palace: Unleashing confidence and lifelong connections with StreetGames

From Volunteering to Buckingham Palace: Unleashing confidence and lifelong connections with StreetGames

Written by Kate Turnbull, Young Advisor.

My journey with StreetGames started around three years ago, when I was supported into volunteering by my PE teacher at school and into a local organisation, Hat-Trick in Newcastle. I was later introduced to StreetGames by completing Activators and Level 1 qualifications in sports.

As I continued to volunteer as a sports coach, my confidence and ability to overcome challenges grew significantly over the years. This experience not only helped me regain the confidence I had lost during high school but also prepared me for future work environments.

In July and August of 2022, I was a Young Advisor for StreetGames’ Summer Camp in Birmingham for the Commonwealth Games, during which we even attended some of the games! At Summer Camp, along with a group of Young Advisors and StreetGames staff, we ran a camp in line with encouraging young people into sports and also providing an opportunity to experience camping. It was a fun time for me and helped me build up confidence, resilience and I met so many wonderful people along the way.

On the 9 May, I was invited to Buckingham Palace as the representative of all of the young people that had been positively impacted by StreetGames throughout the years. It was such a high honour to represent the many people who had been positively influenced by such a wonderful organisation.

My journey through StreetGames is a one that I will forever remember, making lifelong friends and developing my skills through sports.

Uniting the Movement: Addressing growing inequalities in sport and physical activity among lower socio-economic groups

Uniting the Movement: Addressing growing inequalities in sport and physical activity among lower socio-economic groups

Written by Mark Lawrie, Chief Executive

Sport England’s latest Active Lives survey has provided a glimmer of hope amid the pandemic-induced stagnation. Results from the survey show that activity levels among adults have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, a positive development. However, the report also reveals that the activity gap between the most affluent and the least affluent demographics has widened, with a significant 20% differential. This finding is a clear indication that persistent barriers continue to hinder adults from lower-socio-economic groups (LSEGs) in their participation in sport and physical activity.

The most recent annual Active Lives survey, conducted between November 2021 and November 2022, tracks physical activity and sport participation in England. The survey found that 63.1% of adults aged 16 and over in England were physically active for at least 150 minutes per week, which is the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended level of activity. This percentage is comparable to pre-pandemic levels and is an improvement on the previous year.

Despite this encouraging news, the survey also found that fewer people from lower socio-economic groups (LSEGs) were  likely to participate in physical activity than those from higher SEGs. In fact, while 72.6% of adults in higher socio-economic groups reported being ‘active’, for those in the lowest socio-economic groups that figure is just 52.7% and for those who are currently unemployed, the figures showed a sharp downward trend with just 45% recorded as  ‘active’. The activity disparity is also clear in relation to the least affluent places, with those in the most deprived areas seeing activity levels remaining stubbornly below the pre-pandemic baseline.

These persistent and growing inequalities are extremely concerning and highlight the need to redouble the focus on supporting and encouraging participation in sport and physical activity among disadvantaged groups.

That’s a vision shared by Sport England and clearly laid out in Uniting the Movement, their 10-year strategy to make sport and physical activity more equal and accessible. Uniting the Movement’s end goal of ‘a nation of more equal, inclusive and connected communities’ feels absolutely the right one, and a goal which only becomes more urgent as inequalities between the top and bottom of society continue to widen. At StreetGames we are and always have been committed to working alongside Sport England and the wider sector to ensure these aims can become reality.

At StreetGames we know that a promising approach to addressing this issue is to support Locally Trusted Organisations (LTOs) that are already doing great work in engaging young people and their families in sport and physical activity. LTOs play a vital role in breaking down the barriers that can prevent people from LSEGs from participating in sport and physical activity. Moreover, local organisations have a unique understanding of the challenges faced by their neighbourhoods and can tailor their programs and initiatives to meet the specific needs of these communities. They can also provide support and encouragement to young people, who may be hesitant to participate in sport and physical activity due to a lack of confidence, inadequate equipment, or other obstacles.

By supporting these embedded, well-connected organisations, we can help ensure that everyone has access to a range of sport and physical activities that can improve their physical and mental health, boost their confidence and self-esteem, and enhance their social skills.

Making sport as accessible as possible, by ensuring every community has activity available close to home, at the right price, delivered in the right way is exactly what we at StreetGames work to provide through Doorstep Sport. Doorstep Sport offers accessible and affordable opportunities for young people to take part in informal sport within their local community through vibrant, varied, fun and sociable sessions. Effective Doorstep Sport delivery has a strong emphasis on youth leadership, offers personal development opportunities and encourages lifelong participation. Delivered in the right way, Doorstep Sport can also be hugely adaptable, and can be modified to achieve a wide range of positive impacts in communities, including combating holiday hunger, preventing youth offending, and supporting young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Initiatives like Sport England’s Together Fund are a great contribution to this work. StreetGames are using this fund to support community organisations to provide attractive, varied and vibrant sporting offers for the young people in the underserved communities in which they work. Examples of this in action are how we’ve supported the East African Association based in South London to provide new activity sessions, facilitate trips, and offer wrap-around support for young people facing issues linked to housing and immigration, and our work with Salford Community Leisure who organise a range of activities, including the Salford Summer Festival, to promote sports opportunities in underprivileged areas. In this final phase of the fund, StreetGames have supported over 100 community organisations to deliver life-enhancing Doorstep Sport to young people in their local area.

But we also need to tackle the feeling that exists for too many young people that playing sport or being part of major sporting events is for other people and beyond their reach. For many young people living in underserved communities, major sporting events can feel a million miles away – geographically and culturally. That’s why StreetGames launched our Inspiration campaign last year to open up access to major sporting events for young people, create brilliant volunteering opportunities and give young people the chance to broaden their horizons and set their sights higher. With 24,000 young people from 725 communities engaged in last year’s campaign, we know the appetite is there – what is too often missing is the means.

While the overall bounce back to pre-pandemic activity levels is a positive development, it is concerning to see the activity gap between the most affluent and least affluent demographics widen. To address this disparity, we need to focus on supporting local community organisations that are already doing great work engaging young people and their families in sports and physical activities. By doing so, we can help create a more equitable and inclusive environment in which everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the many benefits of sport and physical activity.

Sports Leadership Academy

Sports Leadership Academy

We are delighted to share that applications are now open for a new and exciting sports and employability programme – the Sports Leadership Academy.

The one-year programme is being managed by London Youth and supported by StreetGames and League Leaders, in partnership with the Mayor of London (MoL) and London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).

The Sports Leadership Academy will increase the skills, knowledge, confidence and aspirations of 100 young people aged 14-24 who live in some of London’s most underserved communities. It will be delivered through a series of bespoke training opportunities, practical work experiences and Sports Industry Insight Sessions.

Central to the Sports Leadership Academy will be the formation of a Youth Academy Board, made up of 20 of the 100 young people, ensuring the programme is created by young people, for young people. Youth voice and the lived experiences of young people will be the key driver behind the curriculum.

The aims of the programme are to:

  • Identify and engage underserved young people who desire to enter the sport workforce
  • Provide exciting, fun and positive development opportunities to inspire and ensure the next generation of the sports workforce are more work ready and have greater knowledge and understanding of opportunities in the sector
  • Work with partners, youth organisations and young people to better understand underserved young people’s journeys, including barriers and the key pillars of support and training required
  • Allow youth voice to play a key role in programme design and development, ensuring the programme is created for young people, by young people

How to Apply

Let us help you develop your young people to become more work ready. From your organisation, we need one committed young person to be part of our Youth Academy Board, and four others to be part of the opportunity.

Applications are now open and the deadline to apply for this opportunity is Monday 15th May, at 5pm. We are especially keen to hear from organisations in: Bexley, Brent, Croydon, Enfield, Hackney, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Lambeth, Lewisham and Redbridge.

To find out more about the programme, access the Application Guidance Document and submit an application, please visit the dedicated programme page on London Youth’s website.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Marco (Employability Manager) or Radhika (Programmes Officer) at sports@londonyouth.org.

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