Ealing young adults celebrate graduation from mentoring programme with chart-topping musician
UK chart topping musician, Chip, joined a group of young men and over 200 local school children to celebrate their graduation from training for work programme Street Elite in Southall today.
The event, at Spikes Bridge Park, was the climax of a nine-month mentoring programme, which uses sport to engage unemployed young people and help them find a job or a place in college. Every young person that completes the courses secures a two-week work placement with organisations including FTSE 100 housebuilder the Berkeley Group.
Street Elite celebrates its 5th anniversary this year. So far, 173 young people from some of London's toughest neighbourhoods have successfully moved into work, education or training. The programme has worked in eight different boroughs since 2011.
Popular London-born musician Chip spent time with the participants at the festival, sharing his experiences of using music as a way to remain focused and career-driven.
"I grew up in North London and know what it's like having limited resources that help you stay focused and career driven. I was lucky enough to have music to help me find the path I'm on right now."
Street Elite is setting an example, both in terms of mentoring and the community events they organise. It keeps young people inspired and makes me want to help where I can.
I know the importance of helping the next generation have something that gives them encouragement and the belief they can achieve anything they set their mind to. It's something I greatly respect."
Rob Perrins, Managing Director of the Berkeley Group, said: "A hard core of seriously disengaged young men and women still live on the edge of gangs and crime in London. We need them back in the workforce.
"While it is true that the number of young people not in education, employment or training has come down fast, if your business has anything to do with communities, this remains a critical issue."
"Councils do not have the resource to respond. It has to be companies and charities working together to re-engage as many young people as we can."
Launched in 2011, Street Elite is a sports-based, training for work programme, run by youth charity The Change Foundation in partnership with the Berkeley Foundation.
The programme involves nine months of intensive coaching and mentoring, designed to help give young adults living on the edge of gangs and crime, the skills and confidence they need to get a job or go on to further and higher education.
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