Thursday 15 March 2012
Players and dignitaries from the world of football attended a reception hosted by the HRH The Prince of Wales this week to mark 15 years of the Prince’s Trust Football Initiative.
The partnership with the Premier League and Professional Footballers’ Association has helped more than 20,000 young people through football since 1997.
Community leaders from Premier League clubs explain why the scheme is important to them.
"We work every day with young people who are very hard to reach and hard to help. The Prince's Trust is one scheme that enables us to do that.
A lot of these young people need support for self-esteem, motivation, being able to get some direction and focus to be able to understand and work with people who can interpret for them what their future could hold.
We are very fortunate and very privileged to have the power and support of such a wonderful brand as the Premier League and Everton Football Club.
The stand-out case studies will always be the young people who come back and develop opportunities for their own futures and offer support for children coming through the same systems that they have been in."
"The Prince's Trust brings credibility to your programme and football adds value to the Prince's Trust, so it’s a win-win in terms of benefit.
The draw that football has is huge for young people. It's not political. People don't associate it with authority or establishment.
"The results we are getting in the first six months are absolutely phenomenal"
- Grant Cornwall MBE
Of our current workforce at the Foundation, 48% have come through one of our programmes. That's huge. We are giving unique opportunities and enhancing young people's lives.
I can't underestimate the value that our organisation and the clubs in the Premier League and Football League give. It's immeasurable.
We have one project running with Jermain Defoe's support. He has put in financial backing for a project that works with people who have been in care. The results we are getting in the first six months are absolutely phenomenal."
"It's really nice that we can give people an opportunity and it can be just the start of them reaching their full potential.
Young people can come through from the scheme to being a volunteer on our Kickz Programme and then part-time coach and we have couple of people are now who have come that route and are full-time community coaches with us.
Football can be the interest and then we can encourage. Sometimes it's your mum, dad or another family member but for some children in these positions it's somebody else who can encourage and show them where they could go.
The projects that have had the most effect are the ones with unemployed youngsters who then we put into employment and they get a lot of satisfaction out of their job and helping back - they often bring through others."