This month young people from our Street Elite programmes have been uniting across London to graduate from this year’s programmes. Street Elite uses football to help young people recognise their full potential and find long term work opportunities.
Two weeks ago, young men and boys from our London and Birmingham Street Elite cohorts went head-to-head in a nail-biting football tournament. Hosted at The Change Foundation HQ, teams from Birmingham and West, East and North London battled it out on the pitch.
Two of the programme sponsors; The Berkeley Foundation and Freestar, were able to come and show their support on the day. Thanks to their sponsorship, we have kept the programme running throughout the difficulties of the pandemic. This year also marks the tenth year that we have been working with The Berkeley Foundation. They have been an invaluable supporter of the Street Elite programme, providing lasting support and long term career opportunities to countless young people from the Street Elite programme.
The Berkeley Foundation also attended our female Street Elite graduation ceremony, where Sally Dickinson Head of The Berkeley Foundation helped to present the young people with their graduation certificates.
Sally shared: “Berkeley Foundation is in our tenth year of working with The Change Foundation on the Street Elite Programme. What makes the programme so impactful is how the young people are empowered to make positive life choices to get them into employment, training, or further education. The Street Elite team works with Berkeley Group and other employers to provide mentoring and work placements for young people, and each year we are thrilled to see more success stories as a result of the programme.”
The female Street Elite graduation was a tremendous success. Hosted in a community centre on London’s iconic Brick Lane, everyone attending dressed up and had a professional cover photo taken by a photographer. A nail technician was also on sight, so all the young people were pampered and feeling confident before they went on stage to get their certificates.
One of the young women graduating this year bravely got on stage and put on an incredible singing performance. After she warmed up the mic, a former X-Factor contestant Sese Foster gave everyone a star performance and a powerful speech where she shared her experiences of living with anxiety and mental health.
One of the young people shared: “I’ve had such a good time today… the coaches are always so nice and even though it’s been coached on Zoom, Street Elite this year has been really fun.”
We look forward to seeing the graduates continue to develop as lifted Covid restrictions allow us to take Street Elite off Zoom and back on to the pitch.