Street League closed the financial year with their biggest outcome return in history, highlighting the impact their sports for employability programme is having on young people throughout the UK.

Street League is the national sport for employability charity that uses sports to engage with unemployed young people, creating a very effective operating model to help move them into a sustainable “outcome” which is defined as having moved into either employment, education or training.

As their case studies demonstrate, Street League is making a difference in some of the most disadvantaged areas in England and Scotland, where young people face many barriers to employment, including lack of qualifications, low self-esteem, mental health issues, criminal activity and drug dependency, to name just a few.

At the end of the financial year, Street League has reached 1329 positive outcomes, the highest ever, which is a huge 47% increase on last year’s 903.

Street League chief executive Matt Stevenson-Dodd is optimistic for the future following another highly successful year in tackling youth unemployment for the charity. He said: “The fact we’ve achieved a record number of outcomes is further proof that sport really can help change the lives of young people. It is a testament to our unique sports for employability programme and the fantastic staff we have throughout the UK delivering it. We’re hoping to reach even more young people as we continue to grow as an organisation.”

Operating across the UK, including Middlesbrough, Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Lanarkshire, Clyde West and London, Street League’s programme uses football, and now other sports like dance-fitness, as the hook and from there helps to engage young people into employment, education or training.

Street League works with young men and women between the ages of 16 and 24, and our award-winning Academy programme enables them to acquire nationally recognised qualifications in English and Maths, as well as improve their interview techniques, gain work experience through Street League’s partners and work on their employability techniques. That, alongside the feeling of being part of something, working on social skills and improving their physical and mental health, means Street League can transform a young person’s life.

Nicholas, a graduate from Street League London, has turned over a new leaf and is now in employment with Madame Tussauds thanks to the Academy programme. He said: “Before Street League I was tired of applying for jobs and getting nowhere. Street League gave me confidence, a great CV and support with applications. One of my biggest fears was being in a job and not enjoying it. From the first time I visited Madame Tussauds at interview stage, I was made to feel welcome. I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed working there and didn’t want to leave when I finished my placement. When I got the job offer I was so happy. The best part about working for Madame Tussauds is being part of a fun and welcoming team; we all support each other.”

Dougie Stevenson, Managing Director of Street League Scotland, is delighted with the results that the charity has achieved. He said: “We wanted to do something that would mobilise the entire workforce behind one single goal. We won £2.3 million from Inspiring Scotland last year and part of the investment agreement was that we would build our service footprint to achieve over 1000 hard outcomes for participants within a 12 month period.”

Dougie added: “2016 marks the first time we achieved more than 1000 outcomes throughout the UK. This is simply excellent and, moreover, it provides a foundation for Street League to move forward and achieve greater social impact.”

Allan Garratt, Managing Director of Street League England, echoed Dougie’s sentiments, adding: “I think the achievement in exceeding over 1300 outcomes is significant and one that we should celebrate. It is a huge uplift on the previous year and is excellent news. To help so many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds is rewarding, with the vast majority moving into work. These jobs often provide them with their first opportunities and it enables them to improve their personal circumstances, financial standing and also supports their future aspirations.”

One of Street League’s organisational objectives is to lead the way with reporting on impact and transparency in the non-profit sector. Our annual report will be released in September 2016 with full reporting on how we have achieved these results last year, and our strategy for having an even bigger impact over the next 3 years. The next step in the journey for transparency and reporting is to be following up on 6-month sustainment results so we can prove that the outcomes for the young people are truly life-changing.

Sara McCraight, Head of Marketing, said: “Street League would like to say a special thank you to all of the staff who have enabled the organisation to achieve such a growth in social impact. We would also like to say thank you to our partners all over the UK who support the organisation, from providing funding for the Academies, to helping with CV workshops and interview practice, to offering work placements and job opportunities, as well as helping to raise awareness of our vision to bring an end to youth unemployment in the UK.”