Jaime runs London Marathon to change young lives

On Sunday 23rd April 2017, our friend Jaime Ballesta Gonzalez completed the Virgin London Marathon running 26.2 miles through the streets of London in a magnificent time of 4 hours and 37 minutes. Jaime is an influential supporter of the charity, as not only has he run the London Marathon surpassing £1,000 sponsorship, he also took part in the Pedal for Podge 450 mile bike ride from Edinburgh to London back in September 2016 to raise money for The Change Foundation in memory of Graeme Porteous.

Jaime said “I really enjoyed the whole atmosphere and experience of the London Marathon, the community feel throughout with the spectacular costumes and the noise was incredible. I am so happy to have supported an amazing charity that changes the lives of so many young people from challenged backgrounds.”

The Change Foundation CEO, Andy Sellins said “We are incredibly proud and grateful to Jaime for his continued support with our life changing work with young people from marginalised and at-risk backgrounds.”

You can still donate to Jaime’s Just Giving page and help us to continue changing the lives of marginalised and at-risk young people.

Click here to visit Jaime’s official Just Giving sponsorship page

England and Arsenal Ladies Superstar Visits our Street Elite Girls Session

On Thursday 16th March 2017, England and Arsenal Ladies superstar Rachel Yankey came to visit our Street Elite girl’s session in Poplar, Tower Hamlets. Whilst the girls were aware Rachel was coming to the session, they did not know when and in between exercises, the girls kept on asking excitedly “when is she coming?”  During our game of cone rush, Rachel walked in through the studio doors and with a huge smile on her face and greeted the Street Elite girls.

Rachel sat down with the Street Elite girls and spoke openly and honestly about her football career as an England and Arsenal legend with 129 England international caps, the most capped player of all time. The girls asked Rachel a range of questions about what she was like at school, how she balanced her football career with her social life, as well as her greatest achievements and her greatest challenges both personally and professionally. The girls were surprised to learn the gender discrimination Rachel faced as a female footballer, especially the fact that she cut her hair off as a child so she could play for the boy’s football team because there were no girl’s teams! When she eventually joined a girls’ team, still rocking her short haircut, she was accused of being a boy because she was too good, alas she persisted and she said she wouldn’t change any of her experiences.

Rachel enthusiastically joined in during the activities with the girls, not surprisingly, being very competitive, her team won each round! She made the girls feel incredibly comfortable and her presence alone brought a great energy to the session. The girls left the session feeling inspired to persevere not only in fitness, but in their journey from NEET (not in education, employment or training) to EET (education, employment or training). Rachel said “Street Elite is an amazing programme and we should be proud of the work we are doing with the girls.”

Thank you to Rachel Yankey for the inspirational energy and honesty on behalf of Street Elite, The Berkeley Foundation and The Change Foundation.

To find out more about the Street Elite programme, please contact: siledwith@thechangefoundation.org.uk

The Change Foundation Women and Girls Exhibition – Monday 6th March 2017


Join us to celebrate International Women’s Day 2017

Date: Monday 6 March 2017

Time: 5.30-8.30pm (key note speech at 6.30pm)

Venue: StolenSpace Gallery, 17 Osborn Street, London, E1 6TD http://www.stolenspace.com/

At the pop up exhibition you can experience The Change Foundation’s unique women and girls sport and dance programmes targeting vulnerable girls and young women in our communities. Join us to celebrate their achievements and find out more about our programmes through the form of art, blogs, vlogs, dance, spoken word and self expression.

If you are able to attend please RSVP navjeetsira@thechangefoundation.org.uk

Refreshments and cloakroom will be available.

We look forward to seeing you there!

From The Change Foundation Women and Girls team; Nav, Hailey, Celestina, Tanya, Carol, Shedaine and Vicky


Please join us for a private screening of the film Desert Dancer in aid of Dance4Change

The Change Foundation logo_dance-4-change

Please join us for a private screening of the film Desert Dancer in aid of Dance4Change, part of The Change Foundation.

Venue Details: The Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, St James, London SW1Y 5AH

Date: Monday 6th February 2017

Time: 7pm-11pm

Desert Dancer (UK15) tells the inspirational, true story of Afshin Ghaffarian, who risks everything to set up a dance company in Iran, where public dancing is strictly forbidden. Directed by Richard Raymond, starring Freida Pinto and Reece Ritchie, and choreographed by Akram Khan, this film is testament to the power of dance and the resilience of human spirit.

We really hope you can support this fundraising event and join us for a drink before and after the screening to learn about the vital work that Dance4Change does to promote positive change in the lives of young women and girls at risk of social isolation, many of whom are transitioning from the care system.

Tickets for the evening are £40 and all net proceeds will go to support the work of Dance4Change. Please use the link below to make payment. NB: Please make payments on a desktop or laptop device.


If you are unable to join us, perhaps you could make a donation to support the Dance4Change programme. Please click on the link below to make a donation.


For more information, please email ryanjones@thechangefoundation.org.uk.




Job Alert! Research and Evaluation Paid Internship


The Change Foundation is a forward-thinking and fast paced London based sports charity looking to hire an intern for six months with strong knowledge and understanding of conducting research and evaluation, particularly in the sport for development field. The charity is currently developing its data collection methods and objectives and will soon implement new and innovative ways of monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of our programmes. The intern hired for this opportunity will need strong critical thinking skills in order to integrate into our vibrant and passionate team who are very excited to share their knowledge with an intern hoping to gain a great deal of experience in creative research and the sport for development sector.


 Implement a long term tracking system of young people graduating from the charities programmes
 Analyse data from ‘journey travelled tools’
 Contribute to the design of the annual report
 Support the Director of Design and Impact with impact communications


People applying for this internship must have strong analytical and organisational skills. Applicants should also have strong writing skills, as well as a good understanding of conducting research. You must have excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office.


 You will be paid at the rate of £7 per hour for up to 12 hours per week during your 6 months contract. You will also be entitled to the statutory annual leave entitlement.
 Travel expenses will be covered.
 First-hand experience of working in a dynamic global facing charity.
 Annual away trip to European destination.
 Creative and engaging tasks that help change the lives of disadvantaged young people.
 References following successful internship.


To apply please send you CV and a cover letter by Friday 3 February 2017 to: navjeetsira@thechangefoundation.org.uk
For more information about the work of The Change Foundation please visit our website, www.thechangefoundation.org.uk

Fundraiser Pays Fitting Tribute to Graeme “Podge” Porteous


At the end of September 2016, The Change Foundation had its largest and most successful fundraiser to date in memory of a great supporter of The Change Foundation, Graeme Porteous (known as Podge to friends and family) who sadly died in a skiing accident in February 2015. The fundraiser involved a tough bike ride from Edinburgh to London followed by a dinner on Saturday 1st October to celebrate Graeme’s 50th birthday with his friends and family.

The Pedal for Podge cycle ride was a 458 mile bike ride from Edinburgh to London over 5 days between Monday 26th and Friday the 30th September 2016. There were 22 riders who took on the full 5 day ride, with 39 one day riders who either took part in the first day of the ride between Edinburgh and Carlisle or the last day of the ride between Cambridge and London. There was an amazing buzz and great camaraderie around the group throughout the ride, which included a number of Graeme’s close friends from school, sport, family and work who joined together to raise funds for The Change Foundation and take on a challenge which Graeme hoped to do for his 50th birthday celebration. The bike ride raised an amazing amount of money through the cyclists Just Giving pages, raising an incredible £91,000. We would like to give a special mention to Allan MacLeod and Kevin Troup who raised over £25,000 between them.

The Party for Podge dinner and auction was held at the Hurlingham Club on Saturday 1st Octoer 2016 to celebrate Graeme’s 50th birthday with family and friends. The evening was attended by 268 guests with a 3 course meal, as well as a live and silent auction. The dinner was hosted superbly by a close friend of Graeme, Robert Lane and the auction was compered by former London Wasps and England International, Damian Hopley, who was absolutely excellent in maximising people’s bids using a mixture of guile and humour. The silent and live auction, along with some individual pledges raised an incredible £67,000, which highlights the generosity of Graeme’s friends and shows their faith in the charity that was so close to Graeme’s heart.

The money raised from the event will go towards The Change Foundation’s Rugby for Change programme, which uses rugby as a tool to do three things.

1. To work with young people on the edges of gangs and criminal activity to create a positive rather than negative path in their lives.

2. To work with young offenders serving prison sentences in young offenders institutions to develop the skills and attitudes to start their lives in a positive way on release.

3. To support newly released young offenders with networks of support and opportunities to succeed.

If you would like to be contacted about our future fundraising events or would like to host a fundraising event, please email andys@thechangefoundation.org.uk.

Lets Rise And Dance4Change #HAITI

Our Dance4Change programme young women and girls have been dancing until their hearts content for two hours every Monday at the Lyric theatre and Wednesday evening at the Islington Arts Factory. They move to have fun, be the best that they can be and to come together as #YoungWomenWhoRock.

During October and November, the participants in Dance4Change have dedicated their dance practice to Haiti, Haitians. At the beginning of October this year, there was a hurricane, known as Hurricane Matthew, which was the most powerful Caribbean storm in a decade. Over its history, Haiti has experienced a multitude of natural disasters. Despite being one of the richest countries in the world in terms of natural resources statistics state that 80% of Haitians live in Poverty.

Dance4Change have recognised this and are doing their part in helping the people move forwards. But like everything this is a two-way street, Haitians reistance, unity, courage and spirit has shaped the world we live in today. Let’s not forget The Haitian Revolution led by the great Toussaint Louverture.

We have chosen two Haitian born community organisations that you can donate to should you wish. Sakala Haiti & The Cite Soleil Peace Prize. We will leave you with some words from the founder of The Cite Soleil Peace Prize, Louino Robillard.

“I decided to take a stand and do what I could to support the incredible young men and women in my community. I launched the Cite Soleil Peace Prize, an annual initiative to honor ordinary young people that are doing extroadinary things to make life better for their neighborhoods in Cite Soleil. I want the world to recognise the potential in our community and I want our young people to recognise the potential in themselves.”

You see when we rise and Dance4Change we are highlighting that in fact we are all the same. ‘When we rise and move for other people they rise and move with us’.


Please email celestinabanjo@thechangefoundation.org.uk for more information about donating to:



Dance4Change is back on Monday 9th January 2017 at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith between 6:30pm-8:30pm and on Sunday 15th January 2017 at the Islington Arts Factory between 11:30am-1:30pm.

If you want to join Dance4Change or would like to recommend a young lady who would be awesome for the movement do drop an email to celestinabanjo@thechangefoundation.org.uk

Move with Dance4Change on the below social media platforms:

YouTube: Dance4Change#YoungWomenRock

Instagram: @YoungWomenRock

Twitter: @YoungWomenRock

Facebook: Dance4Change

Graduation success for Change Foundation Disability Sport Apprentices

At the end of October, The Change Foundation apprentices’ Lois Turner, Daniel Levey and Bradley Donovan celebrated their graduation having completed their Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Sports Development – Supporting, Teaching and Learning in Physical Education and School Sport. Lois, Daniel and Bradley have come through our Hit the Top (HTT) disability sports programme. Throughout their apprenticeship they have gained real, tangible experience from working alongside experienced Change Foundation coach mentors but also through assisting and leading on a wide range of Change Foundation programmes. They have also been completing online learning modules and have been attending regular personal development sessions with their Change Foundation assigned mentor.

Lois is visually impaired and is Captain of the UK’s first ever visually impaired female cricket team. She took part in the first ever cricket series for women with a visual impairment against Nepal in Kathmandu in 2014. Lois is currently studying at college to become a personal trainer. Lois said “I am actually setting my own goals in life and achieving them. I think that if I can continue to believe in myself and to start to put a lot of the skills that I have learnt into effect, I can keep achieving more. So my future aspirations are to just continue to be happy and keep helping to change other young people’s lives”.

Daniel has a learning disability and is a member of the England learning disability cricket team. Daniel is currently coaching on our Hit the Top disability sports porgramme and is assisting with our refugee cricket programme. Daniel said “I have a clear vision of the road I want to take, which is coaching and helping other young people realise their potential”.

Bradley has cerebral palsy (CP) and is now working with the Essex Cricket Board developing wheelchair cricket. Bradley said “I have achieved a lot in the apprenticeship programme; I have learnt new skills to help me in life, for example, learning to deal with situations efficiently. It has been a life changing year”.

We are incredibly proud of Lois, Daniel and Bradley and they continue not only to inspire hundreds of other young people but also our wider staffing team.

Our Hit the Top (HTT) disability sports programme empowers young people with a disability in the UK, India and Africa. HTT provides four stages of development for young people with a disability, offering long term support to help them achieve their full potential; HTT Active imbeds sport and physical activity as regular behaviour for children aged 5-10 with a disability. HTT Inspire delivers innovative youth clubs for disabled young people aged 11-18 that combine sport, mentoring and transferable skills. HTT Futures provides mentoring and coaching to disabled young people aged 18-25 in employability skills through sport and employment opportunities. HTT Heroes is a disability sports coaching programme that enables graduates of our HTT programme to become coaches, designing and delivering their own programmes. HTT is managed and delivered by graduates of the programme who are role models to the young people on the programme.

To find out more about the Hit the Top programme, please contact: Daniel Mynott: danielmynott@thechangefoundation.org.uk or James Wischhusen: jameswischhusen@thechangefoundation.org.uk