Youth Development Award

Welcome to the Community Sport and Recreation Awards 2022: Youth Development Award

A staple of the Community Sport and Recreation Awards, the Youth Development Award celebrates clubs/programmes/schools that are engaging and significantly improving the lives of children and young people through sport, recreation or physical activity. This celebrates work that’s getting previously inactive children active on a regular basis.

Entries for the Youth Development Award are now closed. The finalists for the 2022 Youth Development Award are:

Nottingham Forest Community Trust

The official charity of Nottingham Forest Football Club – the Nottingham Forest Community Trust – aims to help young people in Nottingham who engage with them because of the power of the club in the community.

During the school summer holidays, they delivered the Free Fun and Food programme working alongside Nottingham City Council and other voluntary sector organisations. It primarily targeted children eligible for Free School Meals and those who may be at risk while not at school, aged between six and 16. They also used their Easter programme as a template for a bigger summer scheme that could reach as many young people from the city as possible. This scheme eventually delivered over 1792 hours of sporting and creative arts activities, many of which were new sports that they otherwise wouldn’t have accessed. 

As well as this, their normal provision includes the Premier League Kicks programme, which involves four free sessions a week, giving young people access to sports such as football and cricket, as well as education activities and workshops.

Bloomsbury Football Foundation

Bloomsbury Football Foundation is a registered charity which utilises the power of football to change children's lives for the better.

They use academy-standard sporting services as a means to improve their young participants’ physical health, mental wellbeing, career prospects and soft skills. Working in Camden, Islington and Westminster, all with child poverty rates above 30%, means that the organisation can reach vulnerable children from the ages of three and 16, 55% of who are from ethnic minority backgrounds. All of their open sessions are free-to-access, as are most of their school sessions, so economic disadvantage does not affect children’s abilities to access opportunity. There is also an extensive bursary scheme for the programmes that cost money, which 55% of children benefit from.

Other initiatives they have run include a disabled football programme, primarily with autistic children, which has had a special focus on communication with teammates while playing. In total, they offered 150 hours of open sessions, as well as over 800 hours in schools, with some participants from these sessions going into the more regular ‘foundation’ and ‘academy’ schemes.

Open Doors

Open Doors is an initiative created by ukactive and Nike which aims to influence change and impact the lives of young people through sport and coaching.

The programme creates positive experiences for children during school holidays, engaging them at a time when they may not have access to safe spaces, using school sports centres as activity hubs. 16 schools were opened during the school holidays across the period it was delivered, with spoken word, cookery and mentoring skills also included alongside the focus on sport.

Engaging over 1000 children across the summer of 2021, the programme was delivered across four major cities – London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester – primarily focused on children who were eligible for free school meals and from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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