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Young people light up Poplar with sports festival

8th Jun 2018

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, has praised the efforts of 12 young men as they helped host a major sports festival with more than 200 local school kids.

This impressive group, all from housing estates around Poplar,  have taken part in a pioneering training for work scheme called Street Elite. This helps young adults aged 16 to 24 get their lives on track and find a job or a place in college.

Mayor Biggs joined the group at Poplar Union yesterday (Thursday) to hear how this intensive nine month programme has built their self-belief and taught them the core skills needed to succeed in the world of work.

It all culminates in yesterday’s Street Elite festival – which sees the young men help to run a major sports event for in their own community.

Mayor Biggs said: “These young men put on a fantastic event. They should be immensely proud.  It was a pleasure to hear about the changes they have made to their lives and to their community. The council and our partners are working hard to tackle all the challenges facing young people today and interventions like Street Elite have an important role to play.”

Chris, aged 22, is one of the young men taking part in Street Elite. He said: “Street Elite really helped me work with other people and develop my timekeeping and communication skills. The festival was a really good for me because it helped with working with younger people and shows me that there are a lot opportunities out there.”

Mayor Biggs presented the Street Elite graduates with a completion certificate and encouraged them to help other young people in their community make a positive difference to the borough.

Street Elite is delivered by youth charity The Change Foundation, with support from Tower Hamlet Council, Poplar HARCA and the Berkeley Foundation.

Each Street Elite graduate has now been offered a work placement with the Berkeley Group. Bruno, for example, has been working with the Berkeley Homes marketing team at Goodman’s Fields in Aldgate.

On average 79 per cent of all Street Elite graduates go on to employment, education or training. The programme’s central aims are to create confident, motivated young adults who are ready to work and who feel in control of their lives.

Find out more about Street Elite at


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