The community foundation of rugby league club Hull FC has unveiled two new projects aimed at tackling inequalities for young people in the city.
The ‘Positive Ambitions’ programme will help looked-after teenagers reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation, and earn qualifications, whilst ‘Change the Game’ is targetted at 16 to 24-year-olds who need support with building the skills required to obtain employment.
Positive Ambitions is a three-year programme funded by a grant from the British & Foreign School Society, which supports educational schemes around the world. Young people aged 13 to 16 can earn an accredited level two community sport leadership qualification, build communication skills and form new friendships by participating in teamwork-based activities – helping to improve confidence, self-esteem and mental resilience.
James Price, Head of the Hull FC Community Foundation, said: “Looked after children, especially those living within poor and disadvantaged communities, are at higher risk of education, employment, and health inequality.
“Hull is the fourth most deprived authority in England with over 800 looked-after children currently in the care system. These children are more likely to have poorer education outcomes, challenges with mental wellbeing and be socially isolated.”
James adds: “Our ‘Positive Ambitions’ project is the first project of its type in Hull to use sport in a contextual form to secure tangible educational outcomes for looked-after children.
“From a direct participant perspective, our aim is for the project to have a long-term impact on their lives in relation to their personal wellbeing and academic success.”
Change the Game has been made possible thanks to a grant of £5,000 from the Thomas Wall Trust. It has been developed in direct response to the emerging needs of young people affected by Covid-19, and in particular, those living in areas of high deprivation who were already facing disproportionate inequality.
Richard Tate, Head of Sport, Health & Wellbeing at the Foundation, said: “We have a passion for how the ‘power of sport’ can support those most disadvantaged.
“Therefore we will prioritise engaging those with offending backgrounds, behavioural concerns, low basic skills, or mental health challenges.
“From consultation, we know these young people perceive their past and current challenges as barriers to entering employment and that these thoughts are likely to be heightened post Covid-19.
“Our objective is to tackle these barriers through providing an engaging platform that supports individuality, learning, and connections to employers.”