As our summer school draws to a close it marks the end of the 2017/18 academic year for us at Football Beyond Borders. It is always an important threshold; an opportunity to pause for reflection and consider what have been its main hallmarks and areas to improve going forward.
There is no denying that it has been one of considerable growth, delivering 24 programmes with partner schools by the end of the year. With all but one of our partner schools asking us to extend our work with them for the 2018/19 year and renewed interest from a number of other schools, we will be delivering 32 FBB Schools programmes by the start of September. This represents a 68% rise in the number of schools programmes that we were working with 12 months previously. Our footprint across London and the South East is growing, stretching from Orpington in the South to Totteridge in the North and from Hounslow in the West to Basildon in the East.
A core feature of achieving this has been the passion and consistency of our dedicated team members. Although small in number, our team members have delivered over 1500 hours of football-themed learning and exceptional rewards to the young people we work with. They have managed to deliver these sessions while maintaining an exceptionally high standard and a genuine commitment to the welfare of our young people throughout the year. In supporting our young people there have been lots of early starts and willingness shown to go beyond, often working on evenings and weekends.
The year has also seen us develop new products, including our 1-to-1 Football Therapy Pilot for students struggling with core social and emotional competencies such as self-awareness, regulation and trusting others, as well as the delivery of our football-themed social action programmes in partnerships with Sport England and The Challenge – Head Start.
This year has also seen us offer our young people more rewards and opportunities than ever before, through partnerships with the Football Association, Football Radar, Nike, City Hall, FourFourTwo, Pass a Ball, London Business School and Mishcon de Reya. Developing these relationships has allowed us to make our football-themed educational curriculum more inspiring than ever before.
Away from the classrooms and football pitches, we have secured a new headquarters on the Angell Town Estate. Having run a hugely successful fundraising campaign, which eclipsed our target by over 25%, we are in the process of making the space a fully equipped youth centre from which we can run more of our additional offsite and summer programmes. The regeneration of this space will allow us to reach more disadvantaged young people and provide those in the local community with a safe space for learning.
Achieving these remarkable results has been a collective effort that could not have been achieved without the support and hard-work of our team-members, school partners including the hard working teachers, volunteers, community and external partners, parents and most importantly our young people themselves.
One area we wish to improve in 2018 is our pathways for participants as they come to end of the 2 year programme with us. If you are able to offer any support for them as a mentor, work experience or paid work opportunities do get in touch.
We would like to extend a warm thank you to everyone involved in helping us reach this milestone.