Darcey Bussell, CBE comes to lunch

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Left to right: Carolyn McCall, Jim Fletcher and Darcey Bussell CBE.

On Friday 21 March at the Delauney in London’s Theatreland, Carolyn McCall CEO of Easyjet, hosted a lunch with guest of honour Darcey Bussell CBE for her network of ladies who are leaders in their various fields. The aim was to raise awareness of our new programme – Dance4Change – and to seek prospective ambassadors and supporters. To our delight, our guests engaged with the concept and there was animated discussion, challenge and comment. It is clear that Dance4Change now has support in the business arena as well in social action and the dance world.

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Groundbreaking Asian Cricket Awards – C4C Legacy Partner

Cricket for Change has been officially announced as ‘Legacy Partner’ of the Talk Home Mobile Asian Cricket Awards. The launch (on 28th March 2014) event was hosted at Lord’s Cricket Ground saw the big hitters of the cricket world in attendance.

Former England cricketers, Isa Guha, Vikram Solanki, Wasim Khan MBE and Min Patel were joined by members of the prestigious judging panel, including Baroness Warsi and the CEO of Grange Hotels, Tony Matharu.

Alasdair Ramsay, Communications Manager said, “Cricket for Change is immensely proud to have been chosen as ‘Legacy Partner’ for such a groundbreaking initiative. We are excitedly looking forward to helping make great strides in seeing how we can support and develop the passion of cricket within the south Asian cricketing community”.

Online nominations will open on May 1, from which the winners will be chosen by a diverse panel of judges, ranging from former players to Baroness Warsi, who was in attendance at the launch.

Isa Guha, former England international cricketer and ambassador for the awards, spoke of the importance of the inclusion of the Women in Cricket Award. “I think it’s really important if you are trying to create equality by supporting Asian communities that there is a female award,” she said. “Cricket is a religion in south Asian countries and you’ll often see families who are playing the park – the sisters, the mums they’re all getting involved and they love the game just as much as the men do.”

A total of 12 honours will be presented at Lords on October 7 2014, including a Grassroots Award, Woman in Cricket Award, Coach of the Year prize and Professional Player of the Year Award.

Baljit Rihal Co-Founder of the Asian Cricket Awards said, “The Asian Cricket Awards were devised to acknowledge the huge contribution that South Asians make to all aspects of this wonderful sport and as such, this is the first ever event dedicated to celebrating their involvement.”

To find out more about The Asian Cricket Awards go to: www.asiancricketawards.co.uk

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Creating positive change for young women in sport

Great excitment here at the excellent news that C4C’s Beth Evans and Navjeet Sira have been invited to present and talk about the UK’s first and only All Female Visually Impaired cricket team at The 6th IWG World Conference on Women and Sport in Helsinki.

The event which takes place June 12 – 15, 2014 at Helsinki’s premiere conference venue, Finlandia Hall will be under the overall theme of ‘Lead the Change – Be the Change.

The conference combines theory, policy, and practice in the area of women and sport and brings together decision-makers, politicians, researchers, educators and students, coaches and athletes with the aim of advancing the dialogue around women in sports and creating positive change.

Their presentation will examine the development of the first female VI cricket team in the UK and their journey. They will share their life-changing moments and their dream to travel to Nepal to play in the first ever female internationally VI cricket match. The courage of the team will blaze a trail for other disability female teams across all sports. It is important to realise the importance of female only teams, especially within disability sport which has very low levels of female participation. It is clear something needs to be done to inspire change.

This excellent news shows the great work that C4C does amongst young people, in this instance, for and in young women, all of which rightly gains the attention of sports movers and influencers.

Follow this link to find out more on the UK’s first All Female Visually Impaired team!

There is a lot more to life than the Six Nations!

As the Six Nations gathers pace towards an exciting finale, C4C’s Mike Henderson is a highlighted success in Robert Kitson’s, of The Guardian, article published on Sat. 1st March 2014, which discusses Sky’s fly on the wall programme, ‘School of Hard Knocks’.

The following is an extract from that aforementioned arrticle:

“It is the latest lesson from the School of Hard Knocks, the unique collision of rugby union, fly-on-the-wall television documentary and disadvantaged young adults which should be compulsory viewing in all middle-class households when its seventh series starts on Sky in September………..

…..Michael Henderson, a grateful graduate from the 2010 Croydon edition and now a mentor himself after spending 25 years in and out of prison, reckons the programme saved him from oblivion. “My life now is so far removed from the life I had. Being involved was such an empowering and positive experience.” England versus Wales, even the Six Nations itself, suddenly feels like a parallel universe.

The 43-year-old Henderson, who was first incarcerated at 14, also feels rugby has intrinsic qualities other sports cannot offer. “The football culture is all about gold and glory: I want to be the next Messi, I want a million-pound pay cheque. The difference in rugby is that it’s not a one-man show.

“The other day I visited Isis young offenders prison (next door to HMP Belmarsh in south-east London) where we had governors and prisoners playing against each other. We find rugby brings people together. There was no ‘I’m going to get you, I’m going to hurt you’. It was just epic.”

Epic, certainly, but how about the wider picture? While no one is expecting rugby to conquer every big conurbation overnight, next year’s Rugby World Cup will spread the gospel. The inspirational Henderson reckons there is a large untapped audience out there. “A lot of young people have a misconceived perception of rugby. When they actually get playing it they go: ‘Wow.’

“We work with schools which are marginalised, disaffected and disadvantaged. Initially many of the students didn’t want to play. Now, two years on, they’re embracing it and playing regularly because it allows them to channel negative energy in a positive way. For me, not enough people are informed about the benefits of rugby.”

The moral of the story? There is a lot more to life than the Six Nations”. The full artcicle by The Gurdian’s Robert Kitson can be found here.

Mike Henderson works on our Dallaglio Foundation Rugby for Change programme.

Heroes make their mark at disability sports festival

Last week (early Feb. 2014) saw 65 young people and their teachers from the London schools of Brent Knoll, Redgates Primary (Croydon), The Link Primary School (Croydon), Priory and Cricket Green came together to take part in the first Hit the Top Heroes Disability Sport Festival at The National Sports Centre in Crystal Palace.

‘Hit the Top Heroes’ is an exciting new project being launched by Cricket for Change (now The Change Foundation). The project is being delivered by five young leaders and coaches (the Heroes) each with a variety of disabilities. They will work to inspire and engage parents, teachers and other young people with a disability aged 13 and under to the benefits of participating in cricket and sport.

Wendy Martin who was at the event from Priory School “Good fun, hectic and enjoyable. Coaches were really good and independent.”

It seems as the staff at The Link in Croydon agree with Wendy, “Brilliant, well organized, and just the right amount of people. The staff were really friendly”

Stuart Goshawk, CEO of The Wembley National Stadium Trust, ‘Hit The Top Heroes’ funding partners, says, “We are delighted to be supporting Hit The Top Heroes. It is a great example of showing what can be achieved through supporting the personal development of role models who can inspire so many others.”

At this first of six festivals to be run in 2014, the young people attending will have the opportunity to take part in and enjoy cricket, football, some fitness fun, boxing and Mini-squash all alongside some ‘Funfair’ activities.

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David Smith, (a previous C4C Development Coach) said of this first event in the programme, “The Heroes are about to begin their work and festival Number 1 is ready to rumble at Crystal Palace!”

As well as the sports festivals, the Hit the Top ‘Heroes’ will be running creative and engaging in-school (both in special and mainstream) sessions via assemblies, parent’s evenings and clubs. The hope is to engage with over 1,000 under 13’s by using sport to improve their physical and mental well-being, whilst increasing their confidence and independence.

And the final word on the event goes to the staff at Cricket Green School, “Outstanding!! Really engaging for the children and Staff”.

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‘Street20’ cricket in the Favelas – creating hope and a brighter future

Cricket for Change has partnered with Cricket Brazil (with the support of British Airways and the Anglo-Brazilian Society) to launch a programme designed to inspire and build aspirations of young people from Favela communities in Rio de Janeiro. The programme uses ‘Street 20’ which is an exciting, engaging and inexpensive form of cricket which can be played on any rough piece of ground.

This image from the Street20 Favela programme was named as ‘Photo of the Year’ at the 2013 ICC Development Awards for the Americas Region. Taken by a member of the C4C team on the development trip.

Cricket for Change and Cricket Brazil introduced the game of ‘Street20’ to two Favela communities demonstrating how the game can be used as a tool to bring young people and communities together. The initial visit will lead to a programme being delivered in 2014 which has been supported by the Anglo-Brazilian Society with a grant of £5,000.

At the introductory sessions the young people’s faces and smiles belied the somewhat dangerous backdrop of their normal lives. The Anglo-Brazilian Society believe that their generous investment in the favela Street 20 cricket programme will allow young people to develop better relations with police and each other.

Oliver Ballhatchet, Consul at the British Consulate-General in Rio said “This is a great offering from cricket Brazil and Cricket for Change. It is great to see how a British game can be used to change the aspirations and attitudes of some of Rio’s most disadvantaged young people.”

The fact that cricket is not universally known in Brazil is a really positive aspect to the programme. Young people in Brazil love football but also pick up on the negative aspects of the game. Cricket has the ability to inject real respect and positive behaviour from the outset and to offer this in a deprived and challenging environment will be a real forward step for the Favela communities in Rio.

CEO of Cricket Brazil, Vincent Bastick stated, “The initial part of this project has gone fantastically well. The two Favela communities have welcomed our project and we have already been contacted by two more who want to be a part of it.”

Initial sessions in Favelas in São João and Fallet, Santa Teresa, have proved very popular with up to 50 young people having the opportunity to take part and build enthusiasm for this programme.

Andy Dalby-Welsh, Director of Operations at Cricket for Change said, “Our initial visit has been so well received. Once the regular sessions start taking place our aim is to come and assist with a festival that brings different Favela communities together. We will also be delivering a ‘Street20’ leaders programme that will create young leaders from some very disadvantaged backgrounds.”

Developing ‘Street20’ cricket leaders and ambassadors from within the community is a great way of moving towards a peaceful and positive future for young people.

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The Chris Gayle Academy – recruiting for 2014 – take your chance now

The London based Chris Gayle Academy is looking to recruit London based young men aged 16-24 for the 2014 season. The programme wholeheartedly supported by Chris Gayle himself, is a social development programme using cricket to unlock the potential of young people struggling with life’s issues and to support them in becoming role models within their communities.

The programme starts in the middle of Jan.2014 and if you are based in London and interested then do get in touch with us at dannybaker@cricketforchange.org.uk

Please note that you will need to living and based in London** to be able to play hard cricket ball and not be afraid of hardwork!

The Chris Gayle Academy takes young people on a journey of self development using cricket as the hook to motivate and inspire them. The Academy (which launched in 2013) works alongside a mix of young people (aged 16-24) who are; excluded from school, youth ex-offenders, young refugees, gang members or who are NEETS* and who may also be struggling to find their way in life and not being able to fulfil their true potential.

There are plans to open a Jamaica based Academy at some stage during 2014.

If this is you and your interested then get in touch with us at dannybaker@cricketforchange.org.uk

*NEETS – Not in Education, Employment or Training

* For those living outside the UK, although we are open to all sadly we are unable to provide scholarships, no assitance to travel to London & no proivison of any other related costs

Mentoring through sport proves inspiration for young entrepreneur

Ex-youth offender, Anurah Farrell, overcame nine other finalists to win the Urban Voice UK ‘Project Your Talent 4 Business’ award along with £17,000 of business support.

Anurah was awarded the prize for developing a device for carrying multiple sanitary bins by hand. It dramatically reduces the number of trips staff have to make to deliver washroom and facility services, and has already proved a hit with facilities management companies.

Anurah won the prize after completing 9 months of intensive mentoring on ‘training for work’ programme, ‘Street Elite’. Street Elite, which is delivered by Cricket for Change and housebuilder The Berkeley Group, offers intensive support to those often living on the edge of gangs and criminality, helping them to gain the confidence, qualifications and self-esteem needed to get into education or work.

The 24 year old, who is now enrolled in the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy at Westminster Kingsway College, attributes his success to the help he was given by the programme:

“The engaging support that was shown to me through Street Elite was very empowering for me at that particular time in my life. I can say that it was time well spent and you really get back from Street Elite what you put into it.”

Perry Sophocleous, Street Elite coach who mentored Anurah said:

“Anurah has incredible passion and work ethic, he just needed support to channel his energy, and that was where Street Elite was able to help.”

In the future Anurrah sees himself identifying more business ventures and investing in new innovations. But what words of advice would he give to young people who are facing similar situations to the one he did before he joined Street Elite?

“I would be saying to people, that if they would like to achieve anything then just try and fail and try again but always seek help and advice along the way because there are always people willing to help like Street Elite. You just have to be willing to help your-self first.”

 

Creating long term change with AQA Success

Cricket for Change is delighted to announce its official registration as an accredited ‘AQA’ Centre. With this official recognition C4C can continue to support young people who are experiencing challenging life situations into developing their skills and knowledge and helping them to achieve the reality of their aspirations.

With AQA qualifications our young people can add to their list of personal development achievements. An AQA will also equip them towards succeeding in the next stage of their lives as AQA’s are highly valued by employers and further education establishments. Just like C4C, AQA wants to help young people realise and unlock their potential.

Navjeet Sira, C4C’s Impact Manager says,

“C4C’s philosophy has always been the development of long term engagement programmes with the young people in their communities and schools. The AQA registration has come at an appropriate time for the charity as we have now shifted that focus into a more intensive way of working by combining the delivery of life & sport skills engaging with stronger personal and educational development that ensures improved employability for every young person we engage with”.

Navjeet continues by saying,

“AQA allows us to accredit our existing work but also provide specific dedicated AQA units that can be tailored to young people’s needs”.

Each AQA unit that C4C staff will be teaching will be carefully assigned to the aim of every programme that the charity runs. For example, The Chris Gayle Academy & Refugee Cricket Project programmes, will aim to deliver AQA units such as Personal Development, Community Action, Leadership Skills, Employability, Numeracy and Literacy Skills, Understanding Citizenship, Rights and Responsibilities skills. Both programmes seek to unlock the potential of young people to become role models in their communities by equipping them with units that will help show they are dealing with some of the issues that they face but also provide them with skills they may not otherwise have gained.

AQA is a leading provider of qualifications and support for teachers and students. It offers a broad range of academic qualifications for 14-19 year olds including GCSEs, IGCSEs, A-levels, the Extended Project Qualification and the AQA Baccalaureate.

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