With help from players of People's Postcode Lottery, Street League has changed a vast number of young people's lives for the better. Street League's vision is to see an end to youth unemployment in the UK, and last year alone they supported 1,281 16-24 year olds in finding jobs and training.
The funding from players, which so far totals £600,000, has helped fund the Street League award-winning Academy programmes in Leeds, Birmingham, Sheffield, Ayrshire, and Clyde West. The funding enables Street League to run their sport and employability programmes, which help young people gain the qualifications and skills needed for work.
They do this by using the power of sport to engage with hard-to-reach youngsters, who face significant barriers such as low self-esteem, obesity, mental health issues, welfare dependency, wage scarring, crime, and substance abuse. The charity believes in the power of sport to educate, build confidence, and change lives.
Through this work, Street League provides the support system, skills, and qualifications needed to progress onto work placements and ultimately into a job or further training such as apprenticeships.
One of the young people the charity helped last year is Dylan, from Leeds, who was previously depressed because he had never had a permanent full-time job.
While on the Academy, Street League staff helped Dylan to identify an interest in customer service and supported him in setting realistic goals to achieve a job in this area. Functional skills, Maths, and English (GCSE equivalent) lessons were delivered and Dylan acted as a buddy to participants who were working at a lower level in English. Employability skills sessions meant that Dylan's confidence grew more and more. Following this programme, Dylan secured a job. Six months later, Dylan has passed his probation period, attended an additional week-long training course in Tenerife and had been back to share his story with current Academy participants.
Dylan said, "Before I came to Street League, I did not believe in myself and I was depressed because I was out of work, but all the hard work I put in has paid off as I succeeded in my first ever interview.
"Street League really does give you a big push towards work but not only that, they do it in a way no one else does - they use the power of football to bring the best out in people."
Over 1,000 other success stories like this simply wouldn't be possible without the funding from the players of People's Postcode Lottery.