We’ve had the best year we’ve ever had in the history of Street League – our outcomes are up 42% (from 903 last year to 1281) while expenditure only rose 15%. We managed to add £216k to our reserves, meaning we now have 2 months reserves cover in the bank, and we’ve also had some very high profile visitors during the 12 months.

This year, however, we want to do things differently. We want to also tell you what we didn’t get right, as well as what we did. We are doing this because we believe in transparency. We believe in honest, accurate reporting.

We are working with young people who face multiple barriers to getting a job. Young people who live in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the UK and don’t have the qualifications or the networks to walk into a job. Our staff are committed and very effective, but it is difficult work and we don’t always get it right. We think it is important to highlight the 109 young people we weren’t able to help.

So, on pages 8 and 9 of our annual report you can read about everything we didn’t get right. We are also discounting from our impact statistics an additional 48 outcomes that we did achieve, but we just couldn’t prove it. The outcomes did not pass our strict four stage internal audit test and were therefore not included within the 1,281 total this year despite these young people achieving a job or training place.

Therefore, when we say we achieved 1,281 outcomes last year, we are confident that we can back up every single one with evidence that would pass an external audit.

Highlights

On the positive side, 2015/16 was by far the most successful year Street League has ever had. We helped 1,281 young people progress into work, education and training across England and Scotland with the vast majority (804-63%) going into jobs. That’s up from 903 outcomes last year – a 42% growth (1,281/903).

Our most important measure of success is a sustained six-month job outcome (the number of young people still in a job at six months). This is the best indicator of success, as helping a young person get a job is one thing, but making sure they keep it is the hardest part. Our six-month sustained job outcome rate was 55% (387/710) against an internal target of 40%.

We are very keen as a charity to ensure we work with young people living in the most disadvantaged communities. This year 81% (1760/2177) of our participants lived in a top 40% deprived postcode (measured by the Indices of Multiple Deprivation). While 75% (1257/1685) came to Street League with one or more socio-economic barriers and 84% (1421/1685) had no qualifications higher than GCSE level or equivalent.

Our turnover continued to grow over the past 12 months from £4.6m (FYE 2015) to £5.5m (FYE 2016) and at the end of the year we banked a surplus of £216k into reserves, pushing our reserves up to the two months mark for the first time in Street League’s history. Over the next three years we will continue to grow the turnover of the organisation but also seek to increase our reserves to 2.5 months’ cover.

We also had the best year ever in terms of publicity with visits from HRH Prince Harry and Jose Mourinho, plus
 an award presented by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in Edinburgh and lots of press coverage through a partnership with Trinity Mirror in Scotland.

Challenges during 2015/16

Like many charities we also had our share of challenges. Continuing to ensure the highest quality of provision meant a lot of change for our frontline staff. We spent the past 12 months implementing the findings from the two Theory of Change workshops we undertook with Impetus-PEF back in January and March 2015. This has led to significant changes in the way we work on the frontline in England and the subsequent re-training of our staff.

Over the past four years, changes in Further Education (FE) funding in England has had a significant impact on
the Street League delivery model. We used to deliver employability skills with funding from the Adult Skills Budget with many hundreds of young people each year in England, successfully helping many get jobs. Unfortunately, this budget has been cut significantly over recent years and as a result we’ve been forced to find alternative funding sources like Traineeships. Intensive courses like the Traineeship do not always suit the young people we work with and as a result we’ve had to scale back the number of young people we are able to help in England.

We have also found that financial pressures felt by some of our corporate partners has led to them reducing their funding commitment to Street League which has put additional pressure on our fundraising team to find money from other sources. This makes the achievement of growing our impact by 42% and adding £216k to reserves even more of an achievement this year. This is mainly down to the growth in Scottish operations and an increase in fundraising.

Values and new brand

We spent the past 12 months working with a specialist brand consultant on a pro-bono basis through Impetus-PEF to formulate our new brand and a plan for implementation. The new brand brings together our existing Street League football offer with the new dance-fit social enterprise ‘Street Step’ into one new Street League brand.

The future

Street League is the UK’s leading Sport for Employment charity. We believe that sport is the most powerful tool for helping young people get jobs or go back into education and training, and we intend to add more sports to our portfolio as time goes on to reach as wide a range of young people as possible. We are absolutely committed to helping as many young people as we can until we see an end to youth unemployment in the UK.