Unfortunately, the need for our services is increasing on a daily basis. Poverty and youth unemployment are going to rise with significant implications for young people, families, employers, communities and the economy. Street League has been working hard to plan for and respond to the challenges and changing situation that the COVID-19 pandemic presents.

What we’re doing right now

Our people

First and foremost, we are prioritising the health and wellbeing of staff with most of our central team members now working from home. To enable more flexible and agile working, we have worked over the past year to increase our digital capability, which alongside more recent contingency planning, will ensure we can maintain core functions – Finance, Data and Insight, HR, Fundraising and Contracts/Quality. At the start of 2019 we undertook a significant review and restructure of our core functions and these steps have also helped enable our response to COVID-19.

We are also seeking to reassure our team that we are committed to our workforce and their job security. Our talented and committed staff are exactly what will be needed throughout, and as we move beyond this situation. Particularly as we begin to see and understand the longer-term impact on young people and employers.

Our services for young people

We are planning and responding to the situation in relation to the government’s advice. Having consulted with our managers nationally, we remain committed to delivering our services to young people, although we are having to adjust some of our usual activities. While our schools programmes delivery has now stopped, our employability Academies are continuing to operate as normal with teams exploring contingency options as some venues close. In some areas we have experienced an increased demand for our support as other services are temporarily closed and young people look for a safe and supportive place to go.

Unfortunately, we are expecting to see poverty and youth unemployment increase in light of the current situation with significant implications for employers and the economy. With funders' continued support, Street League will be at the forefront of preventing and alleviating this in the areas that need it the most.

Our Aftercare Services (in-work support) are critical right now. We are proactively getting in touch with all our young people who we have supported into work. Working with their employers to reassure them that we will continue to support them and help them find a new opportunity if they find themselves being made redundant or having reduced hours. We are focusing on preventing the young people we have recently supported from falling out of their jobs/education courses and back into unemployment. Our Modern Apprenticeships team continues to work with employers, supporting and developing their staff to achieve their qualifications and develop their skills. We are all too aware of the negative effect that unemployment can have on anyone let alone the young people in the communities we support.

Our work with employers

We want to be part of the solution in our communities and help employers navigate this challenging time too. We are speaking with employers who require additional staff to start immediately as they increase their operations to support demand or have employees unable to work due to illness/self-isolation. Our aim is to support young people being made redundant or facing reduced hours to transition into these new opportunities – helping them, employers and the community.

We remain committed to honest and transparent social impact reporting.

We are making some temporary changes in how we record our outcomes. Street League has a commitment to auditable social impact and set ourselves a high bar for assuring the public and our partners of our impact and data. Our outcomes (i.e. a young person successfully moving into work, education or training) and our 6-month sustainment checks must meet our ‘gold standard’ for data, meaning we require external verification from an employer, education or training provider to report these results. If we don’t have this verification, we do not include these in our reported figures. We are temporarily removing that requirement to help reduce staff travel and in recognition of employers’ and education providers’ current priorities. We will make sure this is clearly communicated in reports to funders and our online impact dashboard.

We will still follow our ‘Three Golden Rules’. To ensure #3, we will still require all the other auditable documents we use to evidence our support and contribution of each young person’s journey.

We are also reviewing and updating our data collection and reporting to make sure we can rapidly understand and learn from the impact that COVID-19 has on young people and our services. This will help inform our conversations with partners, funders, staff and policy makers in the months ahead as we ensure the right support is given to help the young people who need it most.

What we’re ready for

Online support for young people

While we remain committed to delivering services, we are planning for a time when our entire workforce is required to work from home. We have already initiated pilots of e-learning, virtual fitness sessions, and online volunteering with our corporate partners’ employees. We will see this approach being rolled out nationally should venues close and government advice changes.

Championing the power of sport

We will focus on protecting the wellbeing of our young people, reducing their social isolation and continuing to develop their skills for the world of work. The power of sport and physical activity will remain central to the support we provide with advice for home fitness sessions and the benefits of remaining physically active to support their overall mental health.

We understand that this might be something that could be valuable to our partners’ employees as well who will largely be working from home. If online home fitness sessions, facilitated and led by our staff, are something you would be interested in exploring with Street League, please do get in contact.

Our finances

Like many charities, we will certainly experience a pressure on our cashflow and income in the months to come, particularly with regards to our ‘payment by results’ commissioned income (from Government) which is paid in arrears. We are immensely grateful to partners who have offered additional support and converted restricted funds to unrestricted grants – allowing us to invest in the resources we need.

Our social impact

We are not yet forecasting a national reduction in our social impact for 2019 or 2020 as we are still too early in the situation and our response plan to understand the full picture. We do know that it will impact our teams and regions differently and will continue to communicate proactively with partners where adjustments to KPIs and delivery plans are required.

We understand and are prepared for the work that Street League does to be increasingly important in the weeks and months ahead and we thank all of our volunteers, staff, partners, and young people for helping us navigate these challenging times.

How we can help you

We have young people ready to work!

We have young people across the country who have excellent references from employers who have unfortunately had to reduce their headcount or close their doors. If you have an urgent recruitment need, please contact [email protected] (see where our young people live on the last tab of our Impact Dashboard).

If you would like to support Street League or find out ways you can help us tackle poverty, please Email [email protected]