On Thursday 12th October, two youth charities successfully united politicians, sportsmen and leading businesses from the UK and France, including Minister of State, the French Ambassador, Arsenal footballers, and many leading CEO’s. The event, hosted at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London, successfully raised over £200,000 to enable Street League and Sport Dans La Ville to tackle the challenge of youth unemployment in both nations. 

Street League and Sport Dans La Ville share a vision to use the power of sport to engage and develop young people’s skills and have been collaborating on an exchange programme for seven years to support young people from disadvantaged communities. This year they have worked together again to help raise awareness and essential funds to tackle the issue of youth unemployment and to show that cross-channel collaboration will certainly continue in the years to come. Souhail, a recent beneficiary of Street League, shared his story with the room:

“When I came to the UK from Mauritius I could barely speak any English. Over the past six months, Street League have helped me to improve my English and my confidence, keep me fit by playing football, dance and fitness, and support me to get a training programme at college.”

The evening was hosted by Right Hon. Mark Field MP, Minister of State, at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London and was attended by 250 guests from leading corporations from both the UK and France, including Total, Societe Generale, Chanel, and L’Occitane. The gala event included a three-course dinner, and music and entertainment from the New London Children’s Choir, who welcomed the guests with a choral rendition of both countries’ national anthems.

In his introduction, the Minister of State, Mark Field MP shared:

“Thanks to these two awe-inspiring charities, hundreds and even thousands of young people have been supported into jobs, training, and education, setting them on a genuine path to independence and fulfilment. They are opening doors for those who are too often excluded”.

He added, Your work also serves another valuable purpose, and that is building links between Britain and France, which will be even more important in the years and decades to come”. The Minister continued, “I know there is a tendency to think that government holds the answer, but your work serves as an excellent reminder that this is not always the case and that charities and NGO’s carry out really transformative work”.

The French Ambassador, Jean Pierre Jouyet, also made a keynote speech in which he said;

“I want to tell all of the young people who are on these programmes that you are following the right path, the path of sport.”

He reassured the young people about their future careers, “If you want to succeed, talent is silver but hard work is gold.”

When asked about why he chooses to support Street League, Laurent Koscielny, said

“I don’t know how to create a job, but I do know sport and football. I know that football can teach respect, humility and hard work. You can rise very high but you can also come down very quickly. I believe we can give these values to the young people.” 

Matt Stevenson-Dodd, CEO Street League said: “This evening was a great example of how working together can help us to tackle the complex issues we are facing, such as youth unemployment. We are incredibly grateful to our sponsors and to everyone who donated their time and money to attend the event. These vital funds will enable us to continue our work to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds create a positive future for themselves and their communities.” 

We would like to thank all of our corporate partners for their support in hosting this Gala dinner:

  • 8 Advisory
  • 17 Capital
  • Accuracy
  • Ardian UK
  • Astorg
  • Biomerieux
  • Chanel
  • Club Med
  • Flexam Invest
  • Fondation Motul Corazón
  • GL events
  • Korn Ferry
  • L’Occitane
  • Mapi Research Trust
  • Reed Smith
  • Remy Cointreau
  • Rentokil Initial Plc
  • Sanofi
  • Societe Generale
  • Total