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Street Elite sporting programme celebrates success

The Mayor of London’s Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) and the Berkeley Foundation have hosted a graduation ceremony for local young men living in estates in Brent, Ealing and Hammersmith & Fulham taking part in the Street Elite Programme.

The programme, which is delivered by The Change Foundation, aims to support young people who have been impacted by violence, crime and inequality and provide them with education, employment or training opportunities.

Over the past 12 years, the Street Elite programme has worked with 800 people and in 2022, it achieved an 80% success rate of getting participants into employment or further education.

The graduation ceremony took place at the Grand Union, a new housing development from St George in Alperton and graduates were presented with certificates and congratulated by leader of Brent Council, Councillor Mohammed Butt.

OPDC’s employment and skills service, The Forge, partnered with the Berkeley Foundation to provide £46,000 to fund the Street Elite programme in West London.

The 15 young men were aged between 17-25 and they attended a 14-week academy combining sports activities, training and skills geared towards gaining work.

Participants learned how to plan and manage sports events, attending the London Sports Trust, a coaching hub which delivers sports and coaching qualifications. Last month, on 29 June 2023, the group delivered a sports festival for school students across Ealing, held at The Green Quarter in Southall.

Mohamed, a 17-year-old Street Elite graduate said: I went to Street Elite and I loved it, I had so much fun and met other people which helped me make more friends. I have started to become less antisocial and started going out more often. Street Elite has given me so many opportunities to learn and build my self-confidence.

David Lunts, CEO of OPDC said: “By supporting this exceptional Street Elite programme, we’re delighted to help the next generation of talented West Londoners to prepare for the world of work. Many have applied for careers in the sports industry and beyond. Through our employment and skills hub, the Forge and working with the Berkeley Foundation, we’re providing sustainable support for these graduates and other local young people to seize career and training opportunities and fulfil their potential.”

Cllr Mohammed Butt, leader of Brent Council said: “The Forge and the Berkeley Group are doing fantastic work in our community and across West London. In just a few months, the Street Elite programme has helped 15 young people unlock their true potential, setting them up on the path to a brighter future.”

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