GreaterSport have been working with new partners including Barnardo’s, Salford Foyer and Greater Manchester Bridges Outcome Partnership and Wigan Athletics Community Trust on a project, funded by the The London Marathon Charitable Trust, to improve the health and wellbeing of young homeless people across Greater Manchester through access to physical activity and mentoring.
They took a different approach to this programme and went where young people already were, as opposed to supporting an organisation to recruit participants. They contacted a number of organisations across Greater Manchester who they knew were working with young homeless people who would benefit from this project. Once the organisation was on board with the programme they then consulted with the young people to find out what sport or activity they would like to do.
To date they have engaged 40 young people across Manchester, Bury, Salford and Wigan in a variety of projects and activities including yoga, football and walking.
One of these participant is H: a 17-year-old male who has recently faced disadvantage and inequality due to leading what he himself described as ‘a chaotic and crazy lifestyle.’ H was used to staying at friends' houses and sofa-surfing after falling out with his parent/s. H lived at Salford Foyer. We approached Salford Foyer to be part of this programme. The organisation agreed, so we put them in contact with Foundation 92 who started regular football sessions for the residents of Salford Foyer.
H had a real interest in football and previously played for a grassroots team. However, he dropped out of football due to his lifestyle, so attended the sessions. The sessions were split 75% activity / 25% life skills and leadership. Given H’s interest in football and the requirement that he must live independently from the age of 18, he decided that he wanted to play again. He always wanted to learn more about how to budget and take the first steps to gain his own accommodation with the support of these sessions.
Despite H’s previous disengagement from activity, he has demonstrated commitment to improving his ability to lead a positive lifestyle, which has been achieved through specialist mentoring and the advice, guidance and support provided through this programme.
He is now taking positive steps towards developing a more positive and sustained lifestyle and reports that he now feels happier and more in control of his future.
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