Persimmon Homes

South East help make changes through sport

08 April 2024

Sports 4 Change receiving PH cheque

Persimmon South East is backing a new partnership in the south east designed to help young people build confidence, essential life skills and gain experience for future careers.

Sports 4 Change works with young people across south London and Kent, helping them develop key skills such as communication, problem solving, teamwork, self-management and leadership through volunteering opportunities.

Armed with these skills that are all highly sought after by employers, the young people are supported in finding a further role, either voluntary or paid, across a network of partners.

The organisation has volunteers working with Strike Force FC in Faversham, which has a wait list of more than 200 children waiting to join training sessions.

Sports 4 Change successfully applied for a Community Champions grant from Persimmon Homes South East, based in Kent, to enable them to strengthen the partnership and enhance their impact.

The successful club has more than 700 players and is run by an army of 161 volunteers, with everyone from coaches to the safeguarding team giving their time for free. With even more volunteers they could grow further and offer more youngsters the chance to play our national sport.

Sports 4 Change aims to support young people aged 14-18 to join the club as volunteers which will enable the club to continue to expand.

By giving their time to the club, the young people are also able to grow – with the support of Sports 4 Change they can undertake training workshops, gain qualifications and receive bespoke support relevant to their career aspirations.

Lee Sutter, Club Development Officer for Strike Force, said: “The club is invaluable for young people in the town and something we are all passionate about. We currently have 42 playing teams and we could have 50. This partnership will help us take a step towards reaching that goal while also giving young volunteers an opportunity to develop those soft skills that employers want in their future workforce.”

Dan Dodge, Founder of Sports 4 Change, said: “Through Sport we are able to engage and have a positive, wide reaching impact. Volunteering is the first stepping stone for those going onto employment and we can sport can give young people key transferable skills to do that, by combining sport and employability we get engagement from young people which is the first hurdle, this process can also broaden the perspectives of the individuals. Persimmon’s support will enable us to work with even more young people and help them take that step, and in turn contributing to reducing youth unemployment.”

Natasha Stevens, Sales Director for Persimmon Homes South East, said: “The club works hard to promote girls’ football with teams at most levels and they are working hard to bring more female volunteers into the sport. They are creating a real legacy here in Faversham and it is pleasure to be able to support Strike Force and Sports 4 Change as they work together on this innovative programme.”

Cllr Josh Rowlands, Deputy Mayor of Faversham, joined a training session at The Abbey School in the town as Persimmon handed over the cheque for £4,000.

He said: "The role both Strike Force and Sports 4 Change play in the lives of many young people in Faversham is invaluable, I hope this grant from Persimmon allows a well-used Faversham organisation to push on and continue to help as many young people develop a multitude of skills as possible.”

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