Street League supports unemployed 16 to 24 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds to fulfil their potential through employment and training. In the areas where the charity operates, an average of one in six young people are out of work, and the charity's vision is to see an end to youth unemployment.
With support from players of People's Postcode Lottery, Street League has been able to support 2,834 unemployed young people find work or training. Youth unemployment is not a new issue - finding a first job and starting a career has always been difficult, and charities like Street League are essential to support those who are most in need. Young people are three times more likely to be unemployed than the rest of the working population, and unfortunately are likely to suffer from the significant physical and mental health consequences of unemployment.
Working in 36 of the most deprived areas of the UK, the charity supports young people who face many personal challenges, including a lack of qualifications, long-term unemployment, mental health or learning difficulties, criminal records, alcohol and substance abuse, and caring dependencies. The charity uses sport as a hook to engage with young people who did not flourish in traditional education.
The eight-week sport for employment programmes Street League offers are fun, engaging, and teach valuable life and work skills such as communication, teamwork, and managing emotions. Staff also provide vital one-to-one support with goals, career planning, CV workshops, mock interviews, and job searching.
Brandon, from Birmingham, is one example of a young person helped by Street League. During his teenage years living in an inner city area of Birmingham, he struggled, growing up in an unstable home moving in and out of care. He then found himself living on the streets and getting caught up in criminal activity. He faced a very uncertain future with the very real possibility of imprisonment.
Brandon was referred to Street League in December 2016 by his support worker. Initially, he struggled with social interaction and was uncomfortable around unfamiliar people. However, the opportunity to play sport - especially football - made all the difference. Street League identified an employment opportunity at a local hotel for Brandon. They were extremely impressed with Brandon's attitude and enthusiasm throughout the interview, and offered him a full-time position as a Kitchen Assistant.
Since then, Brandon hasn't looked back and has gone from strength to strength. "I am now in a positive, happy place because I am employed full-time. Without the support and guidance from Street League, I wouldn't have been able to achieve this goal. I cannot thank them enough for turning my life around."