Celebration time with the ‘Gayle Force’

The Change Foundation would like to join in the celebrations and congratulate Chris Gayle on his fantastic record breaking and setting performance at the Cricket World Cup in Canberra today (24th Feb. 2015).

Chris’s brilliant work on the pitch can also be seen through his work off it with The Chris Gayle Academy programmes in Jamaica and London.  The Change Foundation work in London and Jamaica and in partnership with The Chris Gayle Foundation to help unlock the potential of talented young cricketers from disadvantaged backgrounds to become role models in their local communities.



A tribute to Graeme Porteous

It was with enormous sadness that we heard the news of the death of our great friend, Graeme Porteous.   Graeme died in an avalanche whilst skiing with his friends.

Graeme played a central role in the development of our Rugby for Change partnership with the Dallaglio Foundation and through this role became our friend.


We all knew that Graeme was a very successful businessman but he also had a natural empathy and respect for the work our team were doing with some of our most at risk and vulnerable young people.

He never said, ‘I know best’, although he probably did, but instead always tried to help us all be as good as we could be.

We left our meetings with him with a spring in our step and a smile on our faces but we also left them a little wiser and a little more focused.

We are truly shocked that we won’t be seeing Graeme again and our charity is much the poorer for his passing.

In his heart he wanted to help children and young people fulfil their potential and he thought using rugby as the vehicle to achieve this was a great way to do it.

Our sadness will now be channelled into making our Rugby for Change programme the best it can be and this programme will now be run in Graeme’s memory and as part of his rugby legacy.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all his family & friends at this time.

The Porteous family have set up a donation page in Graeme’s memory for people to support a cause he was truly dedictaed to. Should you wish to donate please follow this link

Street Elite Reprezent(ed) on Radio

Two of our Development Coaches, Alex Bassan and Henry Glynn, were this week invited onto Reprezent 107.3 FM (Voice of Young London) and the lunchtime show with Shahlaa to talk about the opportunities available to young people on our Street Elite programme.

To listen & find out what they spoke about just follow this link-bit.ly/16kea5P 

The employment initiative Street Elite works with young men and women aged between 16-24 that are not in education, employment or training (NEET). The programme uses sport and youth work to improve employment.


A new name but still changing young lives – #IAmChange

The Change Foundation will be ‘officially’ launched on Wednesday 21st January at Norton Rose’s offices, Riverside, London.

For more than three decades, a UK based sports charity has been changing young lives through the power of sport. The charity originally using cricket with which to engage hard to reach young people now work through a wider range of sports and dance which has led to re-launching itself under the new name of ‘The Change Foundation’.

The charity first began life in 1981 by developing pioneering projects aimed at getting unemployed and directionless young people to train as cricket coaches. Over recent years the charity’s development team have successfully delivered similarly focused projects through a wider range of multi-sports and dance. Originally set up as The London Community Cricket Association, they then became Cricket for Change in 2008 and have now officially transformed into The Change Foundation.

The re-launch also marks the start of a yearlong social media campaign called #IAmChange where we will be celebrating and rewarding young people who have truly made a change for the better.

Andy Sellins, Chief Executive, said: “We’ve identified some of the hardest to reach young people in the UK and across the world. We’ve empowered and inspired them. We’ve provided them with education and employment. We’ve enabled them to innovate and create. We’ve engaged them through cricket and now we are engaging them through multiple sports and dance.  And in 2015, we’re going to make an even bigger impact than we’ve had before, and we’re doing it under the banner of a new name, The Change Foundation”.

Join the conversation on Twitter using @ChangeFdn and #IAmChange or on facebook.com/thechangefoundationuk and share how you are changing young peoples’ lives – and don’t forget to ask your friends and colleagues to do the same.

UK Women’s Blind Cricket Makes History in Nepal

“Thank you for teaching us the sky is not the limit …..especially if you are reaching for the stars”, said Theresa Roberts of the UK’s 1st All Female Visually Impaired cricket team on their tour to Nepal.

IMG_3568The UK’s 1st All Female Visually Impaired Cricket Team – Nepal 2014

History was made by the UK’s First All Female Visually Impaired (VI) cricket team following their groundbreaking tour to South east Asia at the end of last month. After 4yrs of development and dedication, from Beth Evans (their coach), the 11 members of the UK team plus their support staff headed out Nepal to play in their first international match. It was also the first time that the Nepal team (founders of worlds first female VI team) had played against a team from another country.

For the young women on the UK team this was more that just about cricket. For all of them it was a positive life changing trip. Most of the team had not really been too far away from their family and friends in the UK, let alone visit another country over four and half thousand miles away!  The tour gave them the opportunity to develop new higher levels of independence, self-confidence and self esteem.  Being part of the team, and now a touring team, has given them a chance to build new friendships and pillars of support for each other.

The team flew from London via Delhi and landed in Nepal on the 20th October.  They spent a few days acclimatising to what were very hot conditions and so took the opportunity to visit many parts of beautiful Nepal. After their first stay in Kathmandu, the team headed up to the stunningly picturesque town of Pokhara.

The tour allowed the team the chance to mix and interact with young people from a different culture and background. With this in mind the team visited, along with The President of The Blind Cricket Association, a school for the visually impaired in Pokhara. Here they met some of the female students to talk about the school and blind cricket.

The girls visiting a Blind School in Pokhara, Nepal

The team eventually headed back to Kathmandu to prepare for the 3 international matches against their Nepalese counterparts.  The host country gave the UK team a wonderfully warm welcome as both teams were excited about making history in this first ever all female VI international. In what were testing weather conditions to play in, the UK team competed well over the three matches but were pipped in all 3 games by a more experienced Nepalese team.  Nevertheless, each member of the UK team had achieved so much more on this tour than they could have ever have imagined.

UK VI Cricket Team in Action in Nepal – 2014

After their last match both teams were invited to a special reception hosted by the UK Ambassador, Andrew Sparkes, at the British Embassy in Kathmandu.  Here the UK team were able to enjoy a wonderful evening and the chance to share with guests some of their stories.  At the matches, The British Ambassador thanked ”the Nepali “sisters” for giving an opportunity to their British counterparts to compete in the first ever women’s international blind cricket series in the world. You have given us a great opportunity,”

The Chief of Communications at UNICEF, Nepal, John Brittain who was a guest at the matches said, “I hope that this great achievement will take not just blind cricket to higher heights in the country (Nepal), but also inspire other people, especially children with various other disabilities to take up sports as a means of self-expression as well as self-empowerment.”

UK and Nepal Teams – World’s 1st All Female VI International – 2014

Huge thanks must also go to the support of the tour from Major Pawan Ghimire, of the Cricket Association of the Blind Nepal, whose drive, dedication and ambition saw Nepal become the world’s first ever all female VI team. Pawan says of women’s blind cricket in Nepal, ”I just wanted to give equal opportunity to both men and women”.

As has been said the trip was life changing for many. Here are just a few thoughts from some of the UK team members:

Sarah Clare – Just back from an absolutely amazing and life changing trip to Nepal! Never gonna see the world in the same way again! Made me more determined than ever! ‘Let’s go ladies let’s go!!’ We are going to do amazing things!!!!

Sonia Pereira – Thanks to all the girls for making the trip to Nepal incredible. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of such a fantastic team. This trip has changed me as an individual and appreciative of the things I have. Thank you Beth (Evans) for giving me this once in a lifetime opportunity and for believing in my abilities.

Isabell Kipling – Had an amazing time away with these girls, love and miss you guys and Beth you are an inspiration to us all if it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t of been where we are now what would we do if we didn’t have our amazing coach Bethan Evans xxxx

The tour was kindly supported by: England & Wales Cricket Board, The Brian Johnston Memorial Fund, The Primary Club, the READY charity, the VICTA charity and MetroVI Sports.

Words of tribute about Phillip Hughes of Australia

Here are few words of tribute about Phillip Hughes of Australia by
The Change Foundation’s Chief Execuitve

I spend a lot of my time talking about the power sport has to change lives, which is at the very heart of our charity’s work. So it’s been strange to explain to my two young daughters, who have just started playing cricket, how someone can die ‘having fun’, as they put it.

I’ve just heard that the first round of matches of the Blind Cricket World Cup in South Africa have been called off, mainly as a sign of respect to Phillip and his family but partly because no one is in really in the mood to play. We have five young players in the England Blind Cricket team who came through the charity and they were fit and focused and desperate to win a few days ago but are now thinking about life and friendships and sport in a slightly different way for a while.

Once the whistle blows or the umpire says ‘play’, we mere mortals live our lives vicariously through our sporting heroes and for a few hours can enjoy the thrill of their invincibility knowing that we are immune from real harm.

We don’t expect our sporting heroes to let us down, let alone die playing the sport we all love and the shock of seeing Phil hit by that bouncer will stay with many of us who love cricket, for a very long time.

I’ve just seen the simple but wonderful tribute film to Phil Hughes put together by Cricket Australia. I didn’t know Phil but he was clearly a great bloke – two simple words that in the competitive world of sport, are perhaps a players greatest accolade.

I don’t mind admitting that I shed a tear watching it.

The thoughts and prayers of everybody involved with The Change Foundation are very much with the Hughes family and Australian cricket.  #PutOutYourBats

Pride at The Blind Cricket World Cup

The Change Foundation are very proud to say that its very own Si Ledwith, Head of Development, has made the starting XI of the England Blind Cricket Team versus holders Pakistan on 28th November.

Si Ledwith in action!

England will be looking to build on their third-place finish at the recent T20 tournament and 
bring home the Blind Cricket World Cup from South Africa.

The fourth Blind Cricket World Cup will take place later this week in South Africa and England named a 17-man squad to travel to South Africa for the tournament. England will take on Pakistan in their first match of the tournament which will also feature teams from Australia, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, South Africa and West Indies.

You can follow Si on @SiLedwith8 and the tournament on the Blind Cricket World Cup 2014 Facebook page here

Good Luck Si and others we know Dan Field, Ryan Jones and Mark Bond!



Dance4Change to support young people with sight and hearing loss

The Change Foundation’s ‘Dance4Change’ programme has partnered with ‘Sense’, the national deafblind charity to launch a dance course for young people with sight and hearing loss.

The dance sessions will provide the opportunity for young people from 17-25 years old to develop their dance and performance skills, while working with some of the UK’s top dance professionals.

The course is free and no previous experience is necessary. Participants will be supported by dance professionals, multi-sensory communication experts and trained support staff throughout the sessions.

Nic Vogelpoel, Head of Arts and Wellbeing at Sense, said:

“We’re really excited to be working with Dance4Change to organise an accessible dance course for young people with sensory loss. Dance offers a unique language for creative expression and the chance to extend physical awareness. We hope that everyone taking part will leave the course with new skills and have lots of fun.”

The short course launches at The Place (17 Duke’s Road, WC1H 9PY) in London on14 November and runs every Friday from 6.15-8.15 till 19 December.

To sign up and to discuss any individual requirements get in touch with Beth on bethevans@thechangefoundation.org.uk or Nic on nic.vogelpoel@sense.org.uk

Best New Project success for Dance for Change

The Change Foundation are delighted to announce that its newest programme, Dance for Change, was voted as ‘Best New Project’ at the 2014 Beyond Sport Summit Awards.

Best New Project, Dance for Change, Andy Dalby-Welsh – Director of Operations & Partnerships, Navjeet Sira, The Change Foundation and Olly Dawson, Sport Relief collect the award from Graeme Smith Carol Tshabalala during day 4 of the Beyond Sport Summit 2014 at Vodacom World on October 30, 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)

This year’s Awards made up part of the annual Beyond Sport Summit, which took place across various venues in Johannesburg from 28th to 30th October. Themed around youth leadership, this year’s Summit and Awards showcased leading sport-for-social change programmes and how they can make a positive social impact across the city by inspiring the youth to become leaders amongst their communities.

Supported by Sport Relief, the Beyond Sport Awards celebrate and reward the best projects from around the world that use sport to bring about positive social change. Cricket superstar Graeme Smith and SuperSport presenter Carol Tshabalala presented the award for Best New Project to Dance4Change from The Change Foundation, which uses dance to inspire young people to work together and address the challenges they themselves face in their day-to-day lives.

Over 350 projects were entered into this year’s awards from over 70 countries around the world. The winners of all the Beyond Sport Awards, will receive global recognition, a package of substantial business and strategic support, and exclusive access to partnership and media opportunities.

Nick Keller, Founder of Beyond Sport said “All our shortlist represent the very best in leadership both in society and their own communities. Amongst all the remarkable work, the winners have demonstrated innovation and impact at an exceptional level and are an inspiration to all; we hope winning today further strengthens the incredible work they have already achieved”.

The Change Foundation is very humbled to have won in a category that contained the following fantastic projects:

  • eHoops – Sport Changes Life, Northern Ireland
  • Kick Out Corruption – L.A.C.E.S., Liberia
  • The PLAY for Sport Development Project – MLSE Foundation and Right to Play Canada, Canada

Other winners include from the Summit also included:
Corporate of the Year went – Chevrolet’s Coaches Across Continents
Sport for Social Inclusion supported by Barclays- Darfur United Soccer Academy
UNICEF Sport for Education Award – Ocean Academy
Sport Federation or Governing Body of the Year – Premiership Rugby
Sport for Health – Girls Empowerment Project
Sport for the Environment – Waste Management Phoenix
Sport for Conflict Resolution – Sport4Youth and Peace
Charlton Athletic Community Trust – Sports Team of the Year