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Project information

Youth Sport Empowerment

This project uses sport as a vehicle to provide disadvantaged young people with necessary employability and leadership skills. The young people involved are then given the opportunity to use their skills to organise and run a bespoke sports project for disadvantaged youth in their own communities.

September 2015 - September 2016

Charity information: Youth Sport Trust

Youth Sport Trust logo
  • Need


    The youth unemployment rate in the UK (16.6%) is nearly three times more than the adult unemployment rate. Nine out of ten businesses do not think school leavers are ready for employment, and more than 50% of employers said that “young people did not have even basic skills such as communication” (British Chambers of Commerce 2014).
    Youth in deprived areas are less physically active than affluent peers, resulting in higher obesity, lower levels of wellbeing and reduced life chances.


    Youth Sport Empowerment will address this through:
    • Equipping a group of disadvantaged young people (aged 14-19) with four core employability skills: creativity, aspirations, resilience and empathy
    • Empowering this group of young people – Young Activity Leaders – to continue developing these skills through designing and running bespoke sports projects for a group of their peers in their local community

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Equip 60 disadvantaged young people (Young Activity Leaders) through a 1 day training course.


    » Select 6 lead schools in 6 different disadvantaged communities. These schools/communities will be selected based on carefully pre-defined criteria.
    » Each school will select 10 Young Activity Leaders to attend the training day, which will be delivered by the Youth Sport Trust.

    What success will look like

    Young Activity Leaders and the young people taking part in the bespoke sports projects will complete evaluation questionnaires.

    Aim 2

    Young Activity Leaders use the skills learned during the training day to design and run a project.


    » With support from the Youth Sport Trust, Young Activity Leaders identify a group of disengaged or physically inactive young people to be involved.
    » Each school will run 2 sports projects, with 5 Young Activity Leaders running each project.
    » sports project will target 10-15 disengaged or physically inactive young people.

    What success will look like

    We will evaluate this aim using consultations with schools engaged in the project and case studies of young participants.

    Aim 3

    Increase the physical activity levels of disadvantaged young people (aged 7-16) in deprived areas.


    » Young Activity Leaders will work with the Youth Sport Empowerment Programme Manager during the training day to design their bespoke sports project.
    » 12 projects will run across all 6 communities, with 60 Young Activity Leaders in total coordinating, and 120-180 disadvantaged young participants.

    What success will look like

    This will be evaluated via a review of project monitoring data.

  • Impact


    • Improved skills: There is an increase in the proportion of Young Activity Leaders reporting improvements in key employability skills as a result of the project
    • Increased participation in physical activity: There is an increase in the proportion of young people who have increased the number of days they do a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity
    • Increased employment: Young people secure employment and cite their involvement in the project as an influencing factor


    The main risks are:
    • Schools recruited drop out of the project due to issues of capacity, competing demands or lack of interest. We will mitigate this by recruiting schools from the Youth Sport Trust’s strong school membership network of over 3,500 schools.
    • After the one year period supported by the Big Give, the project becomes unsustainable without regular funding. We will mitigate this through using our fundraising team to: apply general funds to the programme; secure corporate funding.


    Different types of stakeholders and partners will receive different publications with varying levels of detail and regularity. We will aim to ensure that all donors will be satisfied with their insights into and knowledge of the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £48,600

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      Amount Heading Description
      £9,000 Training sessions Resource packs, venue hire and refreshments
      £28,200 Local project delivery costs Coordination, local project delivery including engagement/consutlation; resources and equipment
      £7,200 Programme Management Communications; project management; data team
      £4,200 Comms and PR, Evaluation Branding, promotion, engagement with local media. Case study generation and data collection.

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    The Cadbury Foundation £35,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Youth Sport Empowerment will target six disadvantaged communities in the UK. We will identify the schools and communities based on evidence of need, including:
    • High levels of multiple deprivation as according to the IMD
    • High percentages of Black and Ethnic Minority communities, pupils with special educational needs and disabilities and health inequalities as according to data from the Youth Sport Trust’s school membership network


    • 60 disadvantaged young people (aged 14-19)
    • 120-180 disadvantaged young people (aged 7-16) who are participating in the Young Activity Leaders’ bespoke sports projects
    • 6 schools/communities in areas of deprivation in the UK

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Youth Sport Trust has twenty years’ experience in using the power of sport to develop young people’s employability and leadership skills. For example, an independent evaluation of the Youth Sport Trust’s Young Ambassadors programme found that:
    • 85% of young people involved reported improved self-confidence and communication skills
    • 91% of young people reported improvements in their team-working skills and said they had developed an achievement ethic
    • 84% report self-management improvement

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Lisa McHendry

    Development Director of the Youth Sport Trust, Lisa McHendry provides strategic oversight to ensure the smooth running of the project.

    Emily Reynolds

    Programme Manager for all of our Coaching and Volunteering projects. PM for Youth Sport empowerment; has delivered the training personally before.

    Sarah Jenkins

    Evaluation and Research Specialist. Develops pre and post intervention surveys to distribute to the young people and schools plus donors/stakeholders.