It marks a decade since the Club’s award-winning charitable body, the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, was officially launched and focuses on 10 extraordinary projects currently being delivered and the compelling stories of 10 local people who have benefitted from the ground-breaking work.
Charitable status was granted at No.10 Downing Street in January 2007 as a reward for years of community work successfully delivered by the Club throughout its local area.
Over the past 10 years, more than 2.75 million opportunities have been created through innovative projects focused on driving employability, improving the educational attainment of local young people, promoting community development within some of North London’s most deprived communities, encouraging healthier lifestyles and providing access to sport for people of all abilities.
- The Club uses its White Hart Lane stadium as a venue for careers fairs where local people can access employment opportunities, often linked to its ongoing stadium development project. Colin, from Edmonton, attended a construction jobs fair in December, and said: “I was unemployed for four months – the last thing I expected was to attend a Careers Fair at White Hart Lane and end up with a job on the stadium construction site, but that’s exactly what happened.”
- The Club runs employability programmes for people with disabilities. Josh benefitted from the Pathways to Employment scheme, saying: “My autism made applying for a job tough, but Spurs gave me the skills and belief to succeed in a new role at Whipps Cross Hospital.”
- The Club delivers a wide range of work, such as the To Care Is To Do programme, to improve the educational aspirations of children in care through one-to-one mentoring. Wisdom, 16, said: “Going into care was tough but Spurs supported me along my journey. I’m now in the Sixth Form and hoping to go to University.”
- A mentoring scheme is also extended to young people serving prison sentences, such as Myton, who said: “When I went to prison I was isolated and lost confidence, while my hopes of finding a career faded – Spurs stuck by me and now I’m working for a railway maintenance firm.”
- Peter, from Tottenham, had been diagnosed with diabetes and was a heavy smoker before visiting the ‘Spurs Nurse’ – who delivers Health Checks at venues such as libraries and shopping centres within the community, using the appeal of the Tottenham Hotspur brand to engage middle-aged men in particular that are reluctant to visit their GP. Peter said: “If it wasn’t for the Spurs Nurse getting me to stop smoking, I’d have lost my leg.”
- Joseph, aged 70, has benefitted from the After Cancer Exercise (ACE) programme that runs group sessions at leisure centres to help survivors of the illness increase their levels of physical activity during remission. He said: “I lost the confidence to exercise after going through Prostate Cancer – thanks to ACE, I’m now in the gym every week and have my independence back.”
- PHASE sees the Club deliver exercise sessions at local care homes for the elderly to increase social interaction and reduce the onset of illnesses such as dementia. Participant Sheila said: “The seated exercise classes Spurs run at my care home have helped me improve my mobility and make friends - I look forward to every session.”
- The Club runs a Disability Centre of Excellence at Barnet and Southgate College to give local young people with a range of disabilities access to sports and life skills training in first-class bespoke facilities that include a sensory room and training kitchens. Nikita, a teacher at Oakleigh Special School in Barnet, has seen the impact it has had on one of her students, saying: “Daryl suffers with severe autism which affects his attention and ability to interact with others – the unique sessions at the Disability Centre have helped him immensely.”
- Tottenham Hotspur was the first professional Football Club to deliver a Foundation Degree programme, being able to set its tuition fees lower than the national average to give young people from low economic backgrounds the chance to go to University. Reza said: “I had limited opportunities to develop my education in the Seychelles – coming to England, Spurs’ unique Degree course has given me the platform to achieve my dreams of working within the sports industry.”
The latest unique scheme officially launching this week is Your Futures, a programme that sees a Club mentor based within the A&E department at Whittington Hospital to offer advice and guidance to young people who have been involved in violence.
It has already had an effect on Andrew, aged 9, according to his mother, Kirsten: “My son would lose his temper and ended up in hospital after an altercation at school. Nobody could get through to him – apart from his Spurs mentor.”
Daniel Levy, Chairman, Tottenham Hotspur, said: “Ten years ago, we set about upon a vision of truly making a difference for people living within our local community.
“Over the years, the Tottenham area has faced many challenges – high levels of economic and social deprivation, unemployment, lower than average life expectancy and a sense of disenfranchisement.
“As a Club with such deep roots within this community, having been here for over 130 years, and such a recognisable brand throughout the world, we knew we had a platform and a responsibility to address some of these key social issues.
“The fact that our Foundation has engaged with over 2.75 million people during this time – not just in our local community but also globally through its work with organisations such as Special Olympics – is something everybody at the Club is extremely proud of.
“The work is far from done. These are exciting times for Tottenham as our stadium development and the ongoing sport-led regeneration of the area gathers pace, and our work will help ensure that this project directly benefits those that are living on our doorstep.
“Once complete, we aim to have delivered over 3,500 jobs as a result of the stadium development, with the Foundation using its unique position at the heart of our community to signpost those in need of employment towards the opportunities that exist.”
By the end of 2017, the Club’s Foundation will have a new home at the heart of the changing face of Tottenham – within the historic Percy House building on Tottenham High Road.
Owned by the Club, Percy House is currently undergoing a major restoration into a thriving community venue with grant funding of £1.6m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), along with match funding from the Foundation and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
Once the restoration is complete, Percy House will be the new permanent home of the Foundation and become a hub for education, enterprise, skills and training, creating sustainable, long-term education and employment opportunities for local people as part of the Club’s commitment to the development and regeneration of North Tottenham.
The Rt Hon. David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, said: “The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation has been at the heart of our local community since its launch ten years ago: from inspiring young care leavers, to running job fairs to providing rehabilitation to cancer sufferers, the role it has played has been groundbreaking and invaluable.
“I look forward to continuing to work together over the next 10 years which will see the Club which I have supported since I was boy renew its commitment to Tottenham with a new stadium that will inspire a new generation.”
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