In North Hoxton, nr Islington, a group of creative youth workers have brought the online world to life to get young people active. Replicating the opening exercise to FIFA, the StreetSpace Youth Workers from Urban Hope Youth Project have put up elasticated targets to improve football skills amongst inner city young people. Twice a week this project draws a large crowd of young people into the local football cage to encourage them off their Games Consoles into real world sports.
Dylan, the StreetSpace Youth Worker, says, ‘it’s a really exciting project, getting alongside young people who face so many challenges often with very little support. This is a relational project, getting to know the young people through sport and then helping them to develop their full potential both individually and as a group’.
The group has a diverse make up. There are around 30-40 young people, from ages 9 to 19, and they all love football. They come from the surrounding estate that is in a borough where 37% of children are affected by poverty, and more than double the national average are eligible for free school meals. There is little else going on for young people, so StreetSpace has been very popular.
Urban Hope, in partnership with StreetSpace, started work in Hoxton in 2012 to make a positive difference to the neighbourhood and the young people that live there. StreetSpace is a national initiative that helps churches and community groups to reach out and support young people at risk. If you would like to try something similar on your doorstep, why not contact Dylan at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started?