Street League uses the power of football to attract and engage unemployed, young people from some of the most challenging backgrounds, with the ultimate aim of moving them into employment, education or training.
Street League was originally set up in 2001 by Dr Damian Hatton. When working in an A&E department of a London hospital he saw the same homeless people coming in week after week and wanted to set up a constructive activity for them to engage in. He set up weekly street football sessions and developed a league where different homeless hostels could play against each other.
Initially operating in London and Glasgow, Street League established a base for its North East ‘Progressions Academy’ in Middlesbrough in 2009 focusing on 16-24 year olds. The Progressions Academy runs various sessions focused on helping the young people into employment. Alongside the group sessions, young people receive one-to-one support to help them set realistic employment goals.
The Foundation awarded Street League a grant of £34,815 which will enable them to continue their Progressions Academy in Middlesbrough and help young people like Danny* into employment.
Danny joined the Progressions Academy in 2016 as he was struggling to find work. Recent bereavements had affected his mental well-being and confidence and he was struggling to see a way forward. Danny is a referee and had ambitions to reach the top level of refereeing, so he wanted a job that would offer the flexibility he needed to follow his goals.
The Academy has given Danny the confidence he needed to secure employment. Danny participated in regular sport which helped to clear his mind and boost his confidence. Danny was offered a work experience placement at a local restaurant. He was so pleased to be given the chance he worked hard to impress, covering extra hours when required. His positive attitude shone through and the restaurant were so impressed by his work ethic they created a position for him as a hospitality apprentice. This opportunity allows Danny to maintain a reliable income while giving him the flexibility to pursue his dreams of becoming a high level referee.
*Names have been changed to protect the individual concerned.