People’s Postcode Lottery players provide vital support to local youth

Street League is proud to be one of the beneficiaries of People’s Postcode Lottery. Thanks to their crucial funding – made possible thanks to the players of the lottery – Street League supports underprivileged communities across Great Britain to tackle the youth unemployment crisis.

What is the crisis? The UK youth unemployment crisis continues to be a critical societal issue which requires immediate action and support. 498,000 young people aged 16-24 were unemployed in June-August 2021 - that's a 12.2% average compared to the UK wide average of 4.5%. But these figures do not mean that young people are unmotivated to work. They highlight that young people have not received the right opportunities to thrive. School closures, mass redundancies, and an overall lack of opportunities have made it harder for young people to access employment and education and feel confident about their prospects.

"The COVID19 pandemic and lockdown has seen more and more young people leave school without key skills and qualifications, report higher instances of mental health issues, and feel exceedingly isolated from their friends and community. The work of Street League has never been more vital to improving young people’s lives and empowering them to create a brighter future for themselves, we are part of the solution.” - Dougie Stevenson, CEO of Street League

Street League runs free programmes for young people interested in daily sports sessions, skills building, qualifications, and career guidance in a fun, safe environment. Street League is currently helping young people across Scotland in Ayrshire, Dundee and Angus, Edinburgh and the Lothians, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, and Renfrewshire and Inverclyde. Here’s two stories from young people currently engaged in the programme:

Name: Jaieden

Age: 17

Region: Renfrewshire and Inverclyde

Jaieden has found life difficult throughout the pandemic. He was in school at the time of the first lockdown and found the disruption to his education tough. He quickly found himself falling months behind on his work due to finding online learning challenging and overwhelming. When Jaieden was in school he received extra help from a support teacher, but when his studies moved online, he no longer had access to this resource.

Jaieden left school in the summer of 2021 at the age of 17 and felt he was stuck at home with nothing to do and no prospects. That’s when he was directed to Street League by his family and friends. When Jaieden heard about Street League, he felt it was something he would find interesting and knew that help building his CV would be useful. Since joining Street League, Jaieden feels a lot more confident about himself and his future, and he has enjoyed being able to socialise and be active while building up his employability.

With support from Street League, Jaieden has moved into employment as a maintenance worker at the Goals venue where his Street League programme is located, and he has secured a place at West of Glasgow College studying Pre-Apprenticeship Plumbing. Jaieden is grateful that Street League provided him with a plan on how to move forward, and he now hopes to complete his course and one day start up his own plumbing company.

“Street League helped me get ready to apply to jobs and get ready for adulthood. I found it a lot more enjoyable being active than sitting about the house.” – Street League participant Jaieden

Name: Callum

Age: 16

Region: Ayrshire

Callum left school in May 2021 and was not able to finish his exams due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He decided to go to college to do a level 5 Performing Engineering Operations course, however, he didn’t enjoy the online work and made the decision to leave. He realised that he preferred learning in face-to-face classes and decided he would look for other opportunities that would better suit his learning style. Aside from education, Callum felt the impact of the pandemic in his personal life as he missed his family in England who he was unable to see, making him feel isolated.

Callum joined Street League as he felt he needed some extra support to find his next step. Callum enjoys the opportunity to play sports, in particular the football element that Street League provides, and he also enjoys the quizzes and activities that the programme run. Callum thinks the environment at Street League is welcoming, and he is pleased that he has met new people and created solid friendships that he otherwise wouldn’t have. The group all keep in touch outside of the programme and Callum now travels to the programme with a new friend he has made.

Callum feels a lot more confident moving forward and he hopes to re-apply to college now that the learning is back to being in person. In particular, Callum is now hoping to join a sports and fitness college course as he has realised his long-term goal is to become a Personal Trainer.

“I joined Street League because I thought it was a good opportunity to build confidence, create a CV and apply for college. It has helped me build my confidence, I’m not as shy as I was. It has made me actually want to get out of my bed. I also enjoy the sport every day. I hope to go to college and do some sort of Sports & Fitness. I definitely feel more confident going forward.” - Street League participant Callum

Street League continues to be committed to minimising the detrimental and long-term impact of the pandemic on young people who are just leaving school, looking for work, and in the very first stages of their career. This work is made possible thanks to support from key funders such as People’s Postcode Lottery and their players.

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