Improving the life chances of young people living in disadvantaged areas, Greenhouse Sports runs intensive sports coaching and mentoring sessions.
With support from our players, the charity places coaches in secondary schools, so they can inspire young people and develop their life skills.
Last year, their coaches delivered over 10,000 hours of intensive one-to-one sport and mentoring sessions, working with more than 8,000 schoolchildren. This has given young people the individual attention required to develop their sporting ability and confidence.
Last year, the charity opened their Greenhouse Centre in Westminster, where coaches offer the same intensive approach to a range of people, including primary-aged children and vulnerable adults. The medium of sport is proven to:
- build life skills including teamwork, communication, leadership, self-discipline and resilience,
- improve physical health and wellbeing,
- combat mental health issues, and
- promote inclusion and mutual respect.
Players of People's Postcode Lottery have helped Greenhouse Sports offer access to sport to young people in need. The charity works with young people from low economic backgrounds, because they:
- have less opportunities to participate in sport and are far more likely to lead inactive lifestyles,
- have poorer educational outcomes including higher rates of absenteeism and exclusion,
- have fewer opportunities to develop their social, emotional and cognitive skills, and
- are at greater risk of suffering from mental health issues.
One member of the programme, Jenny, lives in an area of London with a strong gang presence. When Jenny started school in Year seven, she got into trouble and continually ended up on report for bad behaviour. Yet, after joining the Greenhouse Sports programme, Jenny began to turn her behaviour around.
"In my area there are a lot of gangs and I used to chill with people who weren't a good influence. Now, because I have training, I don't hang with those people. I used to be naughty, but this year I've changed - I'm not on report any more. My coach told me to cut my bad behaviour down and if I didn't improve, I couldn't come to volleyball."
Soon, Jenny began training before, during and after school, and participating in school championships. This gave her the opportunity to develop her skills and travel outside London, meeting players from all over the country. This year, Jenny was part of the team that won the regional school volleyball championships.
"Volleyball helped me get a lot more confident, be more patient, and become a team player."
Because of her increased confidence and improved behaviour, her coach nominated her to be a member on the Greenhouse Sports Youth Council, and she was successfully elected by her peers. On the Youth Council, Jenny helps other young people get their voices heard.
To date, players of People's Postcode Lottery have raised over £1 Million for Greenhouse Sports, effecting long-term change in the lives of many young people like Jenny.