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Martene Carroll

talkSPORT takeover at JRF community hub

talkSPORT panel with Cllr Butt

As England were preparing to host Scotland at Wembley Stadium for the Euros, just a stone’s throw away, the JRF were preparing for a big event themselves. The Foundation were delighted to welcome the mighty talkSPORT to the Bridgestone Arena, for a sporting community showcase that demonstrated the power of sport and how it can harness community spirit.

Natalie Sawyer, Perry Groves and Andros Townsend hosted the Outside Broadcast for talkSPORT as they prepared for the evenings big game between England and Scotland. The event was generously supported by several key organisations including Eversleigh, Ackroyd Lowrie, Londonewcastle, Higgins Partnership, Avanton, and Brent Council.

A host of developers, housing providers, and sports delivery partners including Brent Bulls, Jacksonville Jaguars, the Golf Trust, and Teqball came face to face with the local community, and all contributed to an extremely successful afternoon of sport including teqball, golf, tennis, and basketball.

Former Scotland International, Gordon Strachan was also in attendance and learnt more about some of the diverse activities the JRF offer the local community, including flower arranging. Although with the broadcasting schedule there wasn’t an opportunity for him or the rest of the talkSPORT panel to participate in a football exhibition, in which local partners demonstrated their footballing prowess.

Otis Roberts, CEO of the Jason Roberts Foundation said. ‘It’s been an honour to welcome talkSPORT and so many community partners to Bridgestone today. Community work and the impact it can have is incredibly powerful and I am delighted that we have been able to showcase that to such good effect. This has been a perfect way to build up for tonight’s game and I hope people have enjoyed it, as much as me and the rest of the JRF team have.’

The event which ran from 1 until 4pm, was not going to be spoiled by the typically unpredictable British weather and children from Jason Robert’s former school, Our Lady of Lourdes, as well as some other local young people, were invited to try different sports, including golf, teqball, and American Football.

The JRF Team extend their gratitude to the host of partners, supporters, and community members who helped to ensure the talkSPORT panel and guests received a warm welcome, and for making the event so successful.

To keep up to date on all Jason Roberts Foundation events and activities, please follow the foundations social media channels which can be found @jasonrobertsfdn

JRF Community Hub gets makeover

Community hub being decorated

Bridgestone Arena, the home of the Jason Roberts Foundation since the charity’s launch in 2007, is receiving a makeover thanks to Engie, partners of Hyde Housing who own the community hub.

The services and materials required to refresh the building have been generously donated by Engie as part of their social value agreement, and they are also providing fully subsidised work experience opportunities as part of the project.

So far 200 litres of paint have been donated to refresh the building as well as a mobile tower for the duration of the project. Engie are working closely with the Foundation to ensure the building gets the exact makeover it needs.

Read the full article on the Hyde website here:

JE3 Foundation Donates Defibrillator to the JRF

Otis Roberts awarded defibrillator by JE3 Foundation

The Jason Roberts Foundation are the latest welcome recipients of the JE3 Defibrillator Donation Scheme. The Justin Edinburgh 3 Foundation selected JRF as ‘the perfect recipient for a life-saving defibrillator’ due to JRF’s work to supports thousands of people, young and old from their permanent community hub at Bridgestone Arena in London.

The Justin Edinburgh 3 Foundation which was founded in 2019 and propelled by the life and legacy of Justin Edinburgh, pursues one goal: Increased survival following cardiac arrest. The JE3 Foundation campaigns for legislative change on the installation of Automated External Defibrillators within health and sports facilities, while raising awareness of cardiac arrest and delivering CPR training.

The JRF is extremely grateful to receive this life-saving equipment. In the UK, more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur each year. Survival rates are just 1 in 10. Early intervention through CPR and defibrillators can double the chances of survival.

Charlie Edinburgh, CEO of the JE3 Foundation and trustee, Jobi McAnuff presented CEO of the JRF, Otis Roberts with the defibrillator. Otis welcomed the donation saying, ‘The Jason Roberts Foundation is a community hub for learning, building new connections, developing life skills, and creating opportunity. We’re also a safe space for our participants. Today’s donation from the JE3 Foundation takes us one step further in safeguarding the many members of our community who walk through our doors.’

To find out more about the vital work of the JE3 Foundation visit

Half Term Week is a Huge Hit!

Children playing tag rugby

Children and young people from Brent were treated to an exciting holiday programme during the recent Half Term break, with a wide range of sports on offer including Tennis, Football, Boxing, Dance, Golf and Teqball to name a few. It was all possible thanks to the dedication of several community organisations including the Jason Roberts Foundation, Brent Bulls, Connect Stars, and Hillside Performing Arts, thanks to funding from the Hyde Group. After the restrictions that have been imposed over the last year or so due to Covid-19 it was important the children were given a half term to remember.

Throughout the week the children had the opportunity to try out new sports or continue with their old favourite ones including football and basketball. Coaching staff varied the sessions and the style of delivery to continually challenge the young people, whilst keeping them engaged and enthusiastic about sport. Some parents couldn’t resist getting involved in the action too!

Some children were given the opportunity for away-day trips for crazy golf and a museum visit to learn more about London culture.

Otis Roberts CEO at the Foundation said: ‘The Foundation is always happy to welcome the young people of Brent to the centre during the school holidays’, so they have the chance to take part in a range of sports and activities in a safe and structured environment. Sport can be a great tool for engagement and it’s good for children to have a variety of activities to try out, whilst interacting and making friends. We are very thankful to Hyde Housing, Connect Stars and Brent Bulls for their continued support, and we look forward to working with them on future initiatives.’

Be sure to follow the Jason Roberts Foundation social media channels @JasonRobertsFdn to keep up to date with all the news, ongoing activities, and new initiatives being delivered.

Football & Fasting – The Ramadan Experience

The Ramadan Experience digital flyer

The Jason Roberts Foundation were delighted to host The Ramadan Experience in collaboration with the Zesh Rehman Foundation on Wednesday 21st April. The event, which aimed to give viewers a greater understanding into the correlation and transition from playing football and observing Ramadan, provided some great insight from former player Nathan Ellington, as well as current Chorley FC coach Irfan Kawri.

Online viewers were treated to the next generation of players attending as well, including, Zidane Iqbal (Manchester United), Harun Hamid (QPR), Yasin Arai (Stevenage), and Cheick Diabate (Exeter City). These additional guests spoke of their personal experience as players and how each of their clubs support them during Ramadan.

Irfan Kawri said: ‘I think it’s really important that we, as people from Muslim backgrounds act as good ambassadors, and we should be proud of our faith. There is a lot of talk around inclusivity, diversity and celebrating differences and we should all be proud of that and it gives people the opportunity to learn more about different faiths’

JRF is currently hosting the Ramadan Cup for those observing Ramadan, with the Zesh Rehman Foundation supporting people with training to better understand the experience of observing Ramadan, whilst playing sport.

The online discussion can be viewed via the following link

From Foster Care to Footballer – Mark Bright

Mark Bright Digital Flyer

On Wednesday 24th March, the Jason Roberts Foundation were delighted to welcome former, Leicester, Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday forward, Mark Bright to our ‘The Player, The Man’ series. The evening had a specific focus on not only Mark’s career as a professional footballer but also his time in foster care.

It proved to provide some intriguing discussion points around personal challenges, adaptations, and mindset around day to day and game by game experiences. The evening had an added twist, as Mark and the Foundation were also joined by Paul Egunjobi, who was also brought up in foster care and has just completed his training to become a fully qualified solicitor.

Paul relayed his own experiences of the challenges he has faced on his inspiring journey so far, but also sought greater insight from Mark, around not only his playing career but just as importantly his experiences within foster care.

The event also provided a good opportunity to highlight Mark’s book, in which Mark added; ‘Everyone, quite rightly has a story to tell and I just hope that people will feel uplifted by reading my story. Challenges are there for everybody, but I am happy to tell mine and I hope people will enjoy it.’

‘The Player, The Man’ series has previously featured guests including Michael Thomas, Andrew Cole, and Emile Heskey, all who have recounted their own personal experiences and been asked questions by an invited audience.

Adam Lea, a sports consultant who supports the Foundation with marketing and social media said; ‘If you haven’t seen any of these interviews yet, I really recommend you do so. The diversity of career, experiences and successes demonstrate what a different path we all can tread. Mark’s session was a fascinating insight into someone who has so much to say, but who also really wants to listen. It really is inspiring stuff.’

To watch the interviews back, please click the following link

You Are Not Alone – SEND Conference

SEND conference digital flyer

Tuesday 23rd March 2021

During what has proven to be a challenging and difficult 12+ months, the Jason Roberts Foundation (JRF) has worked hard to ensure our most vulnerable children and young people continue to be engaged in physical activities, games, and sport, and to say to their families – You are not alone.

Thanks to our Funders including WNST, Baily Thomas Charitable Fund, Sport England through the Young Brent Foundation, CAF Resilience Fund, and City Bridge Trust, the Foundation have loaned families items of equipment such as small trampolines and sensory games, and over the last few months we have invited families to the centre on a 1-2-1 basis to take part in outside sports and games together, as a family.

JRF, in collaboration with the Cultural Media Centre, were pleased to host an online SEND conference for parents, carers, siblings, SEN schools and organisations, local Councillors, and our Funders as part of the You Are Not Alone series.



The Player, the Man – Jamie Lawrence

Jamie Lawrence digital flyer

Thursday 4th March 2021

The Jason Roberts Foundation were delighted to be working with former Leicester and Bradford City player Jamie Lawrence once again as the hugely popular figure fielded questions from a special online audience about current topics, including, Youth Violence, Health, Resilience, and the Pandemic.

The evening was extremely well attended and included questions from leader of Brent Council Cllr Muhammed Butt and the Mayor of Brent. Jason Roberts was also on hand to pay homage to Jamie and the fantastic work that he has continued to do after his playing career and most notably during the pandemic itself.

Throughout the evening, Jamie’s humility shone through notably when he said, “A lot of people have lost their lives, but we have to be grateful that we are here now and present. When we went into lockdown, I wanted to come out of it in a positive vein and come out stronger and fitter. I’ve tried to make the most of my time and any young person or adult in this time, needs to make the most of what they are going through, you can’t sit around and feel sorry for yourself, we will come out of it, and we need to ensure that we continue to engage.”

The event was part of the successful ongoing series ‘The Player, The Man’ hosted by the Foundation, in which former guests have included Emile Heskey, Michael Thomas and Andrew Cole. Jamie’s appearance like previous guests before him was so popular that the event overran and demonstrated the influence that these former players have and continue to have.

Otis Roberts, CEO of the Foundation added, ‘It is always a pleasure to have so many different people attending our online discussions and events. We hope that the range of topics the players have so openly discussed have benefited the local and wider community, through these challenging times.”

If you missed out on the event, it can be accessed via the following link


Working together for a brighter future

The Mayor of Brent at his desk

The Mayor of Brent, Cllr Ezeajughi is supporting the work of the Jason Roberts Foundation and the Sickle Cell Society during his term in office (2019/21).

Both organisations work to support the health and wellbeing of the Brent community.

If you would like to donate to one of the Mayor’s chosen charities, please click on the Mayor of Brent’s Page:

About the two chosen charities:

The Sickle Cell Society is the only national charity in the UK that supports and represents people affected by a sickle cell disorder to improve their overall quality of life. First set up as a registered charity in Brent in 1979, the Sickle Cell Society is celebrating 40 years of working alongside health care professionals, parents, and people living with sickle cell to raise awareness of the disorder. The Society’s aim is to support those living with sickle cell, empowering them to achieve their full potential.

The Jason Roberts Foundation has been working in Brent for over 13- years and is a registered sport for development charity engaging with hundreds of children and young people from the Brent area. They deliver a programme of wrap-around support including mentoring, life skills, education, and training, within the multi-sports activities that provide opportunities to young people, including those at risk of offending, those excluded from school or struggling in the school curriculum, and promote exercise and team games for children and young people, including those with physical and learning disabilities.

FREE Female Football Referee Taster Session

Jawahir JJ Roble Female Referee

The JRF are delighted to announce one of the latest initiatives being delivered from the community organisation, a FREE Female Football Referee Taster Session.

The Session which is taking place on Saturday 20th March at 3pm (UK Time) is offering participants the opportunity to gain a greater insight into refereeing and the methods used in the game, which includes best practise examples, as well as understanding the referee pathway.

This course is not just for aspiring referees, it is also for those people who are players, that possibly want a greater understanding of decision making within the game. or even supporters that are keen to gain insight into the matchday procedures and actions being taken by match officials.

The Female Referee Taster Session is the first of its kind and the Foundation are delighted to support Jawahir Roble on this initiative as she leads the session, demonstrating her passion and experience, as well as having special guests to help field questions from the participants on the course.

The event which is free for all females to attend can be accessed via the link below and can be viewed on either YouTube or Facebook Live.

The Jason Roberts Foundation and Jawahir Roble hope to see you there and enjoy the experience of expanding your knowledge on the game.