The London Evening Standard has launched London United to harness football’s power as an agent for social change by funding the training of football coaches in the community. 18 grassroots charities that use football as a hook to tackle social change have been chosen to participate in the scheme. They were invited by the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund to put forward young people aged 16 to 30 from challenging backgrounds – including homeless, former gang members and refugees - to train as coaches. The cohort contains males and females and may also include long-term unemployed people over 30. Coaching will be delivered by the FA and, once qualified, the coaches will work with disadvantaged young people in grassroots charities and impoverished estates across London.
The training for the new coaches is fully funded and not only will they be improving their employment prospects, but they will be benefitting the lives of disadvantaged children they coach. The young people will learn discipline, time-keeping, teamwork and leadership in addition to football skills.
The application process was carried out by The London Community Foundation, which manages the Dispossessed Fund and the full list of charities supported can be found below:
African Physical Training Organisation (APTO)
Barbara Melunsky Refugee Youth Agency
Bangladesh Football Association
BMETVFM Charitable Foundation
Camden and Regent’s Park Youth League
City West Leisure
Dalmain Athletic Girls Football Club
Football Beyond Borders
Gangs Unite CIC
Godwin Lawson Foundation
Gospel Oak Action Link (GOAL)
Kensington Dragons Football Club
Lion Heart in the Community
St John’s Church Southall
For more information on London United please follow this link to go to the London Evening Standard's London United page.
You can also read about some young people who are already benefiting from the power of football by clicking here.