VCSA has been delivering health and sports provisions for residents of Tower Hamlets since its inception in 1997. It is a well-known and highly respected sports and physical activities provider within the borough. On an annual basis over 2000 people benefit from our provisions. They have been providing a programme of weekly sports and physical activities for those with learning disabilities since 2009. During those 10 years, just over 900 people with learning disabilities have benefited from their provisions. Prior to the Covid-19 crisis, on average 80 young people and 120 adults were participating regularly in the provisions. VCSA are committed to high quality of delivery and have recently been successful in achieving the FA Charter Standard Development Club quality mark for its services and activities.
They are proud of the involvement of local people in building and shaping their organisation. Their services are principally led and run by volunteers, who give their time to provide for the needs of others. This model, along with partnership working, has enabled them to keep their costs down and ensure the vast majority of their resources directly benefit their service users. They are also proud of their recent achievement (January 2019) of being the only organisation in Tower Hamlets to be awarded the FA Charter Standard Development Club. This means they represent the very best in grassroots football, demonstrating that VCSA is a place where everyone can enjoy football. The work they have done to date with those with learning disabilities is also a source of pride.
"Most of the young people we work with have been a part of the organisation since they were very young. They have grown up relying on us to provide activities for them."
Junel Uddin, Project Manager
"I want to come to the project every day to help Fr33dom
look after the horses. I love it here."
The community we work in is one of the most diverse in the UK, uniting people of different backgrounds, faith and cultures, in one of the poorest in the UK. So much hard work and innovation by the local community has strengthened it and also inspired us an organisation.
Young people in our community have such potential and innovation. They need a voice and a strong platform: their mindset and heart-set can inspire youngsters around the country. With such energy, ideas and passion for a bright future, in these uncertain and unprecedented times, they have been a shining light of optimism and inspiration.
They love horses and everything to do with the equestrian world. They've given their all, showing a great work ethic and learning all they can about horses and their care. They have a genuine love for these beautiful creatures. Our work unites young people from every faith and culture and makes such a positive impact on these young people and their communities.
Durham Area Youth’s main focus is to provide provision for young people aged 8-18, across five villages (West Rainton, Pittington, Sherburn Hill, Sherburn Village and Shadforth.) They offer a diverse range of activities such as football, dodgeball, dance, arts and crafts and cooking. They also offer opportunities for young people to gain qualifications such as ASDAN* award and D of E (Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme), all of which is young person led and in their chosen area of interest. All sessions are delivered in a safe and friendly environment to support further personal and social development of young people. All their staff are fully qualified in youth work, sports instructing, and employment and training support.
The communities they work in are ex-mining rural villages that have suffered from the economic decline since the start of deindustrialisation in the 1980s resulting in poverty, low aspiration and lack of social activities. These communities are built on different sub cultures for example; Traveller community.
They work with young people aged 8-18 to offer social and emotional skills and support to enable them to move from adolescence to adulthood and to make positive informed choices that will define their future.
The mental health and physical wellbeing of their young people has been impacted the most as they have adjusted to government laws and restrictions throughout the pandemic.
*ASDAN is a curriculum development and awarding organisation. They provide flexible and engaging programmes and qualifications that help young people develop skills for learning, work and life.
“We have a young lady, 13 years old. We’ve helped build up a relationship; now every session she wants to be involved and volunteering. Her confidence has grown so much. She says if it wasn’t for the youth workers, I wouldn’t be here.”
Stephen Davison, Senior Youth Worker
Rawthorpe Amateur Boxing Club’s mission is to make their members champions, not just in the ring, but in their own community as well.
Rawthorpe Amateur Boxing Club (RABC), in Huddersfield, Yorkshire & Humber, was formed on 31st October 1998. The club promotes health, fitness, and personal development by delivering sessions to the community, and they have members ageing from 3 to 78 years old. There is a core group of amateur boxers but 80% of the training is in non-contact boxing, including an over 15s boxercise class.
RABC is situated in a part of Huddersfield which is in the top 10 most deprived areas in the country; this brings its own pressures to the community which they try to support.
The club believes that boxing is a great way to channel young people’s energy into something positive, help keep them physically fit, and create a support network to dissuade drug-use, crime, and anti-social behaviour.
Unfortunately, a temporary closure during COVID-19 greatly impacted the club. There were still bills to pay without any revenue and their young members were mentally affected, with some scared to return to the club even as lockdown restrictions eased.
However, RABC is like a big family and most young people are enjoying attending sessions again, along with some parents who come along to support.