Street League has been on an upward trajectory since its inception in 2003, changing the lives of thousands of young people across the UK.

Over the past year, the national sport for employability charity has continued to progress further, reaching a number of milestones along the way. Some of them are highlighted below.

A record year for outcomes and employment outcomes

Street League closed the financial year with their biggest outcome return in history. At the end of the financial year, Street League reached 1281 positive outcomes, the highest ever, which is a huge 42% increase on last year’s 903. Alongside that, 55% (387/710) of those young people who moved into employment were still working after six months.

Matrix accreditation

Street League’s team of dedicated staff from all over the UK passed the Matrix assessment. As stated on The Matrix Standard’s website, the assessment is ‘a unique quality standard to assist and measure advice and support services, which supports individuals in their choice of career, learning, work and life goals’.

The assessment reviewed Street League’s practices and enabled the organisation to gain some valuable feedback and see how we fared in relation to achieving the Matrix Standard, which we subsequently did. The four elements of the standards are: Leadership and Management, Resource, Service Delivery and Continued Quality Improvement.

Street League Dance-Fit launched

In 2015, with support from founding partner Barclays, Street League launched a new employability programme that uses dance fitness to support young people into sustainable employment, education and training outcomes. Launched as ‘Street Step’ and later re-branded as ‘Street League Dance-Fit’, this programme set out to engage and support more young females.

In 2014, 93% of our Academy participants were male. Young females comprise about 50% of the UK’s youth unemployment figures and many face different barriers to employment than their male counterparts. Street League recognised that we needed to transform our award-winning programme, review our outreach strategy, and develop partnerships that met the needs of female participants.

It was important for us that setting up this new programme was not a matter of making it about ‘dance for the girls and football for the boys’. It was an opportunity to pro-actively evaluate our data, review relevant research, try new things, learn, and implement what we found out across the whole organisation. Street League’s Dance-Fit programme was launched in London, Glasgow and Birmingham and in 2016/17 will begin operating in Manchester and Liverpool as well. We saw 73% female participation across the three launch cities (94 of 129) as well as a greater number of young people whose parents were not currently employed.

Innovations in operations

Street League has introduced a new rolling programme for both its Dance-Fit and Football Academies, a new model which aims to give more support for young people when the time is right for them.

An increase of 20% in turnover (£5.5/4.6million)

Street League’s turnover continued to grow over the past 12 months from £4.6 million (FYE 2015) to £5.5 million (FYE 2016). This increased turnover of 20% helped the charity deliver the 42% (1281/901) increase in outcomes.

Increased reserves to two months

At the end of the year, Street League banked a surplus of £216k into reserves, pushing reserves up to the two months mark for the first time in Street League’s history.

Household names support Street League

  

Prince Harry visited Street League’s Dance-Fitness Academy in Islington to see how the new offering is helping young people get #movingintowork and show his support for Street League’s mission in tackling youth unemployment.

Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party, had high praise for the organisation after presenting a cheque of £200,000 to Street League CEO Matt Stevenson-Dodd at the People’s Postcode Lottery’s charity gala dinner.

She said: “Street League is making a difference to young people across Scotland and the rest of the UK. Using sport as a route to provide young people with the skills to turn their lives around is a fantastic venture. Everyone at Street League works so hard to give thousands of people a helping hand to improve their life.”

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho paid Street League North London’s Football Academy a visit before warming the managerial throne at Old Trafford. The Portuguese says he is “proud” of how football can make a difference to the lives of young people, and that “it’s great to see how Street League are using football to change the lives of young people and help them into jobs.”

All of the above, and more, is highlighted in Street League’s annual report here