London Youth has become the latest organisation to join the #21by21 campaign.
The campaign, led by the Sport for Development Coalition and key partners, is aimed at encouraging 21,000 sports coaches and volunteers to become trained in mental health awareness by the year 2021.
London Youth join 11 other organisations that have already signed up, including Mind, StreetGames, Youth Sport Trust, Sport Wales, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, Training in Mind, West Midlands Combined Authority, Mental Health First Aid England, York St John University and Edge Hill University.
John Jones, Sports Development Manager at London Youth, told ConnectSport: "On behalf of the 450-plus community youth organisations we work with and support across London, we are delighted to join the #21by21 campaign.
"Young people need opportunities outside school to have fun with their friends, to learn new skills, to make a positive change in their communities and to shape the city they live in. Youth work, delivered through organisations embedded in their community improves the physical, mental and social wellbeing of young people. It equips them for the journey into adulthood and gives them the confidence, the relationships and the resilience to succeed.
"With local authority funding greatly reduced and activities for young people being lost as a direct result, it is more important than ever to invest in community youth organisations and properly support the committed, passionate and highly-skilled workforce within them. Our 'Getting Active' and 'Champion Girls' programmes are clear examples of this. It offers fun, inclusive sport and physical activity for young people and equipping the youth workers, volunteers and emerging young leaders with the necessary technical and broader skills required.
"Through the #21by21 campaign, we look forward to showcasing how a confident and capable youth workforce best support thousands of young Londoners realise and achieve their potential."
The campaign's target is to ensure sports coaches and volunteers have the three core skills needed to protect the people they work with: first aid, safeguarding and mental health awareness.
ConnectSport has developed, and is managing a web portal to support the campaign, which can be accessed at www.21by21.info.
The portal shares news on sport and mental health from across the sector, and features a running total of sign-ups to the #21by21 campaign. It also showcases a number of providers for mental health awareness training schemes, so organisations can upskill their coaches and volunteers.
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