Street Elite – a partnership between the Berkeley Group, Berkeley Foundation and The Change Foundation - has celebrated another successful year with a series of summer events across London and Birmingham.
Street Elite is a nine-month programme that uses sport and long-term mentoring to engage with 18-25-year olds who are impacted by violence, crime or inequality. Many are profoundly disengaged and may not be in touch with any other agencies or support.
The partnership has been running since 2012, and on average, 80% of the young people taking part in the programme successfully move into work, college or university; including within Berkeley Group and the wider supply chain.
To mark the end of the programme, participants help to deliver a local sports festival for school children. This gives young people an opportunity to demonstrate new skills and give something back to their communities.
This year’s events began in Birmingham, where 140 children from local schools came along to Nechells Leisure Centre. They spent the day trying sports such as boxing, street dance and tennis, and even made their own smoothies using a special smoothie bike.
Next up was Lambeth, where the festival was held in partnership with Henry Fawcett Primary School. Combining the festival with their traditional sports day proved a huge hit, and local MP Florence Eshalomi attended to congratulate the graduates in person.
Shedaine Henry, one of the coaches at The Change Foundation explains:
“This year the majority of the young women in the programme are mothers. We’ve provided them childcare and creche access to enable them to access exercise, employment and mentoring sessions via Street Elite. We want to empower them to take back their independence and realise that they can have a fulfilling job.”
The third festival took place at The Green Quarter, a Berkeley development in Ealing. Over 220 children from eight schools came along and had a brilliant day. They were joined by the Mayor of Ealing, Cllr Hitesh Tailor, and other local stakeholders who got stuck in with the activities.
Mohamed, Street Elite graduate said:
“I met Street Elite when Dean came up to me and some of my friends at my local corner. He spoke to us about playing some football and if we were interested in work. I went to Street Elite and I loved it, I had so much fun and met other people which helped me make more friends. Street Elite has given me so many opportunities to learn and build my self-confidence.
I have also built a connection with Dean who was my mentor and I look up to him like an older brother. Street Elite has offered me a lot of opportunities, skills and jobs which is hard to get at the age of 17.”
Our final festival was a graduation held in Brent where The Change Foundation has trialled a tri-borough approach in Brent, Hammersmith & Fulham and Ealing.
Dean Lamb, Senior Coach Mentor explains:
“Street Elite in Brent has helped to break down borders between boroughs, and has improved social cohesion. We’re looking forward to expanding the tri-borough approach to more areas next year and hopefully seeing the same great results.”
Street Elite Cup
The Street Elite Graduation Cup ended the summer series, with 80 participants from across the programme competing in a football tournament. The matches were accompanied by live commentary and a film set up where the players took on post-match interviews.
About Street Elite
- Since launching Street Elite, 561 young people have successfully moved into education, employment or training with the help of the programme. This gives an overall success rate for the programme of just under 80%.
- For every £1 invested, Street Elite generates over 10x times the amount in social value over three years, according to an independent study by Bean Research in 2019.
Find out more about Street Elite and other social impact programmes on the Berkeley Foundation website.