YOUNG people in Southall are being offered a second chance to take back control of their lives.

Street Elite, a ‘training for work' initiative, uses sport, mentoring and youth engagement to inspire and motivate them. 

Its programme, a partnership between housebuilders Berkeley Foundation and youth charity The Change Foundation, works specifically with young unemployed people impacted by crime, violence, inequality and barriers to work.

Hundreds of school children from Southall attended a Street Elite Festival at Berkeley’s The Green Quarter to try a range of sports and celebrate the graduation of young people from the programme.

They were joined by Virendra Sharma MP, the Mayor of Ealing, Lord Anthony Young of Norwood Green, councillors and other groups such as Southall Community Alliance and Southall FC.  

This year, 15 young people from the borough of Ealing have been through the pioneering programme.

Coaches from The Change Foundation work with them through personal training, mentoring and group activities to build confidence and prepare for the world of work.

Berkeley will be offering a one-week work placement at The Green Quarter to all who complete the programme, with permanent employment a possibility. 

Henry Glynn, Head of Programmes at The Change Foundation said: “These young people aren’t hanging around in Job Centres.

“We recruit them on estate walks, by engaging with youth workers or word-of-mouth referralss. Our team of dedicated and passionate coach mentors then work with them intensively over a nine-month period to help develop the skills and motivation to get into work or further education.”

Anton Gabriel, a graduate of the programme, found permanent work at The Green Quarter.

He said: “Street Elite taught me the skills for the working world. It shows you don’t have to be top of the class to achieve.”