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Stars hail ‘life changing’ Street Elite programme for helping young London women find their voice and find a job

7th Jun 2017

Stars hail ‘life changing’ Street Elite programme

for helping young London women find their voice and find a job 

  • With one third of a million women across the UK economically inactive, efforts to get marginalised young people off the streets and into work are being ramped up.
  • A ground-breaking partnership between London’s biggest housebuilder and a pioneering youth charity is using sport to get vulnerable young adults into college or into work.
  • England and Arsenal football star Rachel Yankey has helped coach a group of young Muslim women and today heralds the programme as “amazing” and “life changing” for those involved.
  • TV presenter, Angelica Bell, is awarding graduation certificates to the young women who are taking part in the 21st Street Elite festival on 8th June.

8 June 2017 (London)

The latest group of young Londoners to benefit from a pioneering programme called Street Elite will graduate this month at three sports festivals taking place in Tower Hamlets, Ealing and Southwark.

Since 2011, London councils have had to cut more than a third of their youth services. In response, a training for work programme called Street Elite is using sport and mentoring to help these youngsters find their voice and find their feet in the employment market.

 This year’s programme has also had a strong focus on supporting young women. Research by the University of Bath and the Young Women’s Trust shows there are significantly more young women who are not in education, employment or training in the UK than men (432,000 vs. 376,000). Strikingly, 66% of these women are economically inactive, mostly due to caring duties, family expectations or illness.

Attia Mabud from Tower Hamlets, said: "As a young Muslim woman, you often feel judged when going to new places or meeting new people, but Street Elite has helped me to become more confident and happy in myself. I’ve been able to work out and be with a group of women in a safe and positive space. I am really looking forward to my work experience with Berkeley. It’s a new adventure for me - the next stage of my life."

Street Elite involves nine months of intensive coaching and mentoring for young people aged 18-25. Sport is used to teach the participants about communication, team work and conflict resolution. It is specifically designed to help young adults move away from crime, gangs and isolation and get professional work experience.

Since it was launched in 2012, 402 young adults have graduated from Street Elite with almost 80% going on to further education, training or employment.

Stuart Cowen, Chief Executive of the Berkeley Foundation, said:

“The graduates of Street Elite have real talent and promising careers ahead of them. It’s inspirational to see 15 of them now working for the Berkeley Group. They become genuine assets to companies and communities across London.”

Arsenal and England footballer, Rachel Yankey OBE, who has helped coach this year’s female group, said:

“It was great to spend time with the girls from the Street Elite programme this year, talking about hopes and fears, and ways that sport can change your life. Street Elite is an amazing programme and we should be very proud of these young women.”


Find out more about our Street Elite team and our accomplishments for 2019 so far!