A TOTAL of 23 unemployed young people from Ealing borough are celebrating their graduation from an innovative youth intervention programme.

Street Elite uses the power of sport and mentoring to build self-belief and skills for work.
The graduates, all residents aged between 18 and 25, have successfully completed the nine-month programme run by The Change Foundation and Berkeley Foundation, with support from Ealing Council. 

It targets long-term unemployed young people who have stopped actively seeking work.

Over nine months, Street Elite uses sports and mentoring to enhance skills and discipline, and helps prepare people for work.

Uniquely, the programme is delivered by coaches who have either been through Street Elite themselves or have experienced the challenges facing young people.

This year’s graduates celebrated their achievement while helping to host a youth sports festival at The Green Quarter, Southall.

It gave close to 200 school children the chance to enjoy football (delivered by Southall FC), yoga, street dance, smoothie bikes, American football, golf, dodgeball and padel (delivered by Game4Padel), which has a new home at The Green Quarter.

Each graduate is now being offered work experience with the Berkeley Group, along with ongoing support to access education, training or work.

Yvette Santana, one of the Street Elite coaches, said: "We work with people who face real challenges in getting back into work or education.

"They may have caring responsibilities, struggle with mental health issues, had negative experiences at school or not have the funds to travel to job interviews.”

Alex Feldman is deputy head of Dairy Meadow School in Southall and his Year 4 pupils took park in the Green Quarter Festival.

He said: [It] opened our Year 4’s eyes to sports they may never have considered trying before.

“A 20-minute session of yoga may ignite a lifelong passion that can set a learner on a lifetime of discovery, meeting new people and possibly experiencing new cultures on the way.”