Street League has been praised for its impact by the leading venture philanthropy organisation, Impetus-PEF.

Impetus, the Private Equity Foundation, has been supporting Street League since 2008 as part of its remit to help 11 to 24-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds. Venture philanthropy organisations like Impetus-PEF provide financial and non-financial support to the Third Sector.

In its recent report entitled ‘Ready for Work’, Impetus-PEF outlined essential capabilities that young people are expected to demonstrate to be ready for the workplace.

Impetus-PEF portfolio director Julia Grant said: “We’ve watched Street League steadily increase their turnover, steadily develop their management resources and most importantly, expand to cities across the UK, and really develop the reach and the impact of their Academy programme.” 

SUSTAINABLE

The report revealed that support for unemployed young people to get into work is based on ‘fashions’ in practice, rather than evidence of the methods leading young people to sustainable employment, particularly young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

 Impetus-PEF has helped Street League refine its delivery model and supported the roll-  out of its award-winning Academy programme on a national scale. Whereas other  organisations may focus on the number of people participating in a programme, Street  League measures how many Academy graduates move into employment, education or  training.

 Street League CEO Matt Stevenson-Dodd said: “Part of the exercise when we joined the  Impetus-PEF portfolio was to look at the real point of Street League, what should we  really be doing. We used to measure the numbers of people taking part in football but  now we measure the impact on people’s lives, and that’s what really matters.”

 One young person to benefit from the programme is Mark, a 17-year-old, from London  who, like hundreds of thousands of young people in the UK, was not in employment,  education or training. He had struggled to find work since leaving school without any  qualifications

 CONFIDENCE

 He said: “I hung around the streets and my estate with other young people who couldn’t  find work either. We were upset that there was no place for us. Many had given up and  turned to drinking or ended up dealing drugs.”

 Mark jumped at the chance to join the 10-week Street League Academy, which mixes  education with football to develop a range of skills from teamwork to CV-writing and  interview techniques. He gradually grew in confidence and worked hard to achieve the  skills and qualifications which would help him get on the career ladder.

 Street League Progressions Coordinator Jim Harper said: “The greatest challenge in my  experience is a lack of belief. Mark was despondent, he didn’t speak to people. Young  people come to us often with very little idea of where their skills lie or what qualities they  have. They don’t feel like they have achieved much and that obviously holds them back.

 “Having completed the course, he’s gained qualifications and he’s got a job. The changes  he’s made have really been phenomenal. Because of the support of Impetus-PEF, we can do what we do with thousands, instead of dozens, of young people.”