Street Elite is a sport-for-development programme delivered in partnership with The Change Foundation, which provides coaching and mentoring for young people on the edge of gangs and crime.
Street Elite works with the hardest to reach 18-25 year olds, many of whom are profoundly disengaged from society and may not be in touch with any other agencies or support.
In the first five years, Street Elite has reached more than 300 young people, with over 78% re-engaging with employment, education or training after taking part in the programme. A five year longitudinal evaluation carried out in 2016 highlighted the importance of the relationships between participants and their coach mentors. On average, participants had 38 hours of contact with their coach mentors over a nine month period and the intensive nature of the relationships was deemed to add real value to the programme.
Everyone who completes Street Elite is offered a two week work placement. Sometimes these lead to a job. 15 Street Elite graduates are currently employed by the Berkeley Group.
In 2016 we renewed our partnership with The Change Foundation for a further three years. The team is now taking the best practice learned in the programme's first five years and applying this to a younger age group through a new programme called Street Elite Academies. This recognises that young teenagers and even children as young as nine are increasingly finding themselves involved in and on the edges of gang culture. Street Elite Academies will engage 60 at-risk 14-17 year olds per year, using sport and mentoring to encourage positive decision making. Alongside this, the core Street Elite programme will continue to be delivered to 45 18-25 year olds each year.