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Martene Carroll

New Year Honour’s for Women at JRF

Jawahir Roble and Jo Tongue at Wembley Stadium

The JRF Team were overjoyed to hear that their very own Trustee Jo Tongue, and resident coach of girl’s football Jawahir Roble – affectionately known as JJ at the Foundation, have both been recognised in the New Year Honours list 2023.

Trustee Jo Tongue, and director of Women in Football, has received an MBE in recognition of her services to football and gender equality. Jo is the CEO of Tongue-Tied Management, a Sports Agency specialising in Talent Management and Production. With nearly 20 years in the Industry Jo has experience across the board in sport, media, and commercial opportunities. Starting out at the BBC as a sports reporter she moved into online, radio and TV before joining independent agency Somethin’ Else and editing the flagship football show 606 for 10 years. An FA registered agent she is passionate about securing fair contracts for all clients be they male or female. Jo is also a Trustee for the Michael Carrick Foundation.

Jawahir ‘JJ’ Roble, who grew up in war-torn Mogadishu, Somalia and is the first Muslim woman to referee in the UK, has been given an MBE for her services to football and in recognition of the volunteer work she does with the charity Football Beyond Borders. JJ has worked with the Foundation for a few years, coaching and refereeing predominantly women’s and girls’ football, and has inspired some of JRF’s female participants and youth volunteers to follow in her footsteps.

About JRF

JRF is a sport for development charity delivering a programme of wrap-around support – mentoring, life skills, education, and training, within our multi-sports activities providing opportunities and promoting exercise and team games to young people, including those at risk, and those with physical and learning disabilities. There is also a focus on health and wellbeing family interventions, and intergenerational community projects and events. We collaborate with local voluntary, public, and private sector organisations, and funding bodies to achieve our objective of ‘community first’.

Health Matters to JRF

Adults playing table tennis

On Sunday 29th January from 12:00 – 5:00 pm the JRF Team are hosting a community Health & Wellbeing Day to celebrate and promote the launch of their ‘Our Time Zone’ project, a multi-sport, social, and health club for adults, funded by You Decide Brent Health Matters.

The free to attend event being held at Bridgestone Arena, NW10 8PL, the home of the Foundation over the last 15-years, will give attendees the opportunity to speak with a range of professionals and experts in their field about health-related issues that can affect our everyday lives.

When the Foundation first launched in 2007 the focus was very much on sport for development for children and young people. However, over the years JRF’s work has evolved to encompass all generations, concentrating on health and wellbeing family interventions, and intergenerational community projects and events, collaborating with local voluntary, public, and private sector organisations, and funding bodies to achieve their objective of ‘community first’.

The ‘Our Time Zone’ project was supported by members of the local community when they were asked to vote for their favourite projects under Brent Council’s new You Decide community grants programme initiative.

The Club will offer adults a range of sports, games, and activities to suit all ages and abilities on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings including a Walking Club, Walking Football, Table Tennis, Boxing/Sparring, Badminton, Golf, Pool, Chair exercises, Yoga, Book Club, board games, and refreshments.

On Sundays there will be ‘Let’s Talk Health’ information sessions through local health and support services including Diabetes, Prostrate & Breast Cancer Awareness, Heart Health, NHS Cessation services, Mental Health & Bereavement, Vaccination (including Covid-19) and Screening Services, Nutrition Advice, and signposting to other local services. Throughout the project there will also be community events and Walking Football Tournaments held on Sundays.

‘Meet your Local GP’ sessions will give participants not already registered with a GP surgery the opportunity to do so as well as benefit from On-Site Health Checks including Blood Pressure, cholesterol, weight/BMI, and skin checks.

The ‘Our Time Zone’ club will give adults the opportunity to come together socially in a community setting and enjoy a range of activities.

Otis Roberts, CEO of the Foundation said, “We have been hoping to provide this type of service to adults in the community, and the funding through You Decide Brent Health Matters has given us the opportunity to deliver the ‘Our Time Zone’ project. After the curbs put on our social interaction due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we know how important it is for children, young people, and adults alike to have the chance to come together socially, and enjoy activities to enhance their health, fitness, and general wellbeing.”

For more information regarding this and other JRF projects please contact

What is Brent Health Matters?

The goal of the Brent Health Matters Programme is to reduce health inequalities in Brent.

Health inequalities are avoidable, unfair and systematic differences in health between different groups of people.

Our shared programme will be looking to engage with the community on a number of wide-ranging issues to reduce the health inequalities experienced in Brent.

In the 2022-2023 Grants round Brent Council launched the You Decide initiative where shortlisted applications from registered organisations eligible to apply, were put to the public vote.

JRF Launch Inclusive Communities Project

Coach and SEN child balancing on balls

The Jason Roberts Foundation are excited to announce the launch of their new ‘Inclusive Communities’ project – a sport for all programme for children with physical and learning disabilities (SEND) thanks to funding from Brent Council You Decide Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL).

The project which will be delivered by trained coaches and staff at weekends and during school holidays will offer a range of sports, activities, and games at Bridgestone Arena, NW10 8PL a fully inclusive and accessible sports and community centre which offers suitable facilities, games, and equipment, helping to break down barriers to participation for these children.

The Inclusive Communities Project received overwhelming support from the local community when they were asked to vote for their favourite projects under Brent Council’s new You Decide community grants programme initiative.

Working with local SEND schools the Foundation plan to offer some mid-term sports provision to support PE lessons and will host 3 Sports Days during the summer, bringing children together from different schools.

The half term and summer holiday sessions will be integrated alongside mainstream delivery and incorporate a Buddy System, creating an ethos where everyone can take part equally, helping the children to feel less marginalised and excluded.

There will be mentors on hand to instil confidence and self-belief in the children to take part in and try new sports, helping them to overcome barriers, as well as helping them to ‘find their voice’ through media workshops via our Cultural Media Centre. For young people aged 14+ there are plans to support them on progression pathways to Apprenticeships, training, and work experience to enhance life skills and opportunities.

Parents, Carers, and family members are welcome to accompany their children to the Sunday sessions and the Foundation will support them to form a Parents Active Group to offer respite, create a support network, meet socially, share ideas and information.

Otis Roberts, CEO of the Foundation said, “We are delighted to receive funding from Brent Council, and You Decide NCIL to deliver our ‘Inclusive Communities’ programme. We know that sports participation for children with SEND is significantly lower that the overall population and this project will bridge that gap and maximise sports participation for these children.”

Cllr Fleur Donnelly-Jackson, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement, Equalities and Culture said: “It’s wonderful to see projects like this, funded by regeneration in the borough, come to life. I have no doubt that the programme will make a positive difference for  local children.”

The Sunday afternoon sessions will run from 12:00 – 2:00 pm. For more information and to register your child please contact

About NCIL

The NCIL Fund provides grants for community projects that support the regeneration of the borough. At least 15 per cent of all the money Brent Council collect from new, eligible, developments in the borough must be spent on priorities that are agreed in consultation with the local community.

Brent is divided into five ‘CIL Neighbourhoods’, Harlesden, Kilburn and Kensal, Kingsbury and Kenton, Wembley, and Willesden.  Grants can be used for Physical improvements anything from painting and refurbishing a community centre, updating play areas or installing public water fountains, or Social infrastructure projects such as educational courses (an after-school homework club), support schemes (to support residents with the costs of living) or projects that bring the community together (a coffee morning promoting health opportunities).

In the 2022-2023 Grants round Brent Council launched the You Decide initiative where shortlisted applications from registered organisations eligible to apply, were put to the public vote.

Pride of Brent Youth Awards 2022

Young people on stage interviewing Ed Stein

On Monday 5 December Inspirational young people took centre stage at the third Pride of Brent Youth Awards, held at Brent Civic Centre.

The Pride of Brent Youth Awards recognises and celebrates the outstanding achievements of the brilliant young people in Brent who have gone above and beyond to help their local community.

Joining more than 65 young people, aged between 11 and 24, who were nominated by their friends, neighbours, teachers or local youth group and voluntary organisation leaders, were four young Heritage champions from the Jason Roberts Foundation. They took to the stage to interview Ed Stein – former professional footballer and coach, about his family’s journey from Cape Town to Brent, and his inspirational journey to become a footballer alongside his brothers Brian and Mark.

The interview at the Awards Ceremony forms part of the young people’s Heritage training, capturing the oral histories of Brent’s footballing heroes.

For more information regarding this year’s Pride of Brent Youth Awards please visit,to%20help%20their%20local%20community.

Back to Movement for Brent Youth

Children playing golf

The young people of Brent continue to enjoy urban Golf and a sports and social Youth Zone club delivered by JRF thanks to funding from Track Academy’s Back to Movement in partnership with Sport England.

Track Academy launched an exciting new initiative called Back to Movement, aimed at helping the diverse community of Brent recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Created in partnership with Sport England, Back to Movement has been designed to increase the activity levels of residents of all ages through free sessions held across the borough. It will also provide opportunities for people to reconnect with each other and build hope for the future. For more information visit

JRF came up with two initiatives to appeal to the young people of Brent, helping them to reconnect with their peers and recover from the impact that Covid-19 restrictions may have had on them.

The JRF Golf project was developed as it is a social sport which helps boost self-esteem, social skills, and overall mental wellbeing. However, it is traditionally known as an elite sport.

Through Back to Movement, the Foundation can break down barriers for many to access the sport and positively impact the community.

By offering free golf sessions twice a week, training local coaches and creating pathways for participants to progress to nearby golf clubs, the sport is being made more accessible.

Through the Youth Zone project, the Foundation has created a safe haven where social interaction and inclusion can thrive, young people can feel connected to the community, and where they can improve their physical and mental fitness.

The programme offers a range of activities all year round such as dance, football, cricket, table tennis, basketball and many more.

Follow the Jason Roberts Foundation on Twitter #JasonRobertsFdn

Real Talk – Passport to Success

Learning camera skills from a professional

On Friday 25th November the JRF Team opened the doors at Bridgestone Arena for the third networking session of their new Real Talk – Passport to Success Programme, delivered in partnership with Young Brent Foundation, and One Flow One Brent.

Young people who are considering GCSE and A Level options and career pathways, are invited to attend the monthly employment pathways and networking sessions.

The latest session offered young people attending, the chance to hear from guest speakers, and meet representatives from a host of industries including HydeMetropolitan Thames Valley, Transport for London, Wates, and the Shaw Trust. There was a focus on Media with professionals within the industry sharing their knowledge, skills, and expertise with those interested in pursuing a career within Media and other creative industries.

The Real Talk and Networking sessions offer young people in Brent an opportunity to hone their skills and open their minds to future employment and career pathways.

The events are free to attend to all young people who might be considering their future career prospects.

If you are interested in attending a future session, please contact the Foundation at with the subject header: Passport to Success.

JRF’s Heritage Project Inspires Enfield Council

JRF Staff giving a presentation

On Thursday 24th November JRF were asked to attend an Inspiration Session at Fore Street Library, to give a presentation on the Inspire to Achieve Heritage project to the Cultural Heritage Team at Enfield Council.

Otis Roberts, CEO of the Foundation, and Michael Adams who has delivered the “Find your Voice” Heritage sessions with children from local SEND schools, attended the event, along with guest speakers from other groups who are delivering heritage projects.

The Cultural Heritage Team approached the Foundation regarding their Inspire to Achieve Heritage project as they were aware of the positive impact the project has had on the local Brent community. As the team are currently developing a two-year programme, Untold Edmonton, to put the rich heritage of Edmonton on the map, they wanted to hear about cultural heritage projects that have demonstrated good practice, to inspire their community steering committee who will be overseeing the Untold Edmonton programme.

The Cultural Heritage Team were inspired by the work JRF has done with young people, documenting the unknown stories of African-Caribbean footballers in Brent.

The presentation by Otis and Michael, shared ideas with the community steering committee on delivering a Heritage project, and ways to involve the local community.

The talk highlighted the challenges as well as the successes, the evolvement of the project, and the impact it has had on the wider community.

Otis Roberts, CEO of JRF said; “The Foundation were delighted to be part of the consultation, and we have benefitted from being involved in such an inspiring project.”

JRF Celebrate Local Community

Women receiving awards

On Wednesday the 23rd of November local people from the Brent Community came together for an evening of celebration, to mark the end of the Reaching and Building Communities Projects, which were funded by Brent Council’s Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL).

The event, which was sponsored by Eversleigh LLP, and attended by Mayor of Brent Cllr Abdi Aden, was an opportunity for the JRF Team to recognise the achievements of participants of the two Projects, as well as JRF Youth Volunteers and Staff.

Reaching Communities – a 1-year inter-generational pilot project that supports the whole community through youth engagement, community cohesion, and health and wellbeing was launched in October 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite social distancing restrictions and lockdowns, the JRF were successful in delivering all the planned events and activities, whether in person or online.

In April 2021 JRF launched the Building Communities project – a community engagement and activity programme that addresses inequality and social exclusion, saw teams of staff, volunteers, sports coaches, and mentors, engage with marginalised and isolated individuals and groups across the borough through outreach initiatives. People of all ages were encouraged to participate in community sports, activities, and events delivered by JRF at Bridgestone Arena and were signposted to other voluntary and support services in Brent.

The End of Programme celebration of “Culture, Empathy, and shared Prosperity” saw children, young people, and adults receiving certificates and trophies in recognition and celebration of their participation, achievement, and leadership. Our Youth Volunteers who supported the successful delivery of both programmes were rewarded for their dedication and time, with certificates and vouchers.

Martene Carroll, Business Development Manager of the Foundation said; “The Awards Ceremony epitomised the purpose and spirit of both the Reaching Communities and Building Communities projects, which brought our wonderfully diverse community together. It was a joy to see key participants, volunteers, and staff being recognised in this way. The evening really was a celebration of their individual and combined accomplishments.”

Photo © Amanda Rose

Go Green League – It Starts with Us

Go Green League winning team

On Sunday 20th October the first phase of the Winter Go Green League came to a close, with teams competing at Bridgestone Arena for the winner’s trophy.

The Go Green League which was supported through funding from Wembley ParkQuintain’s 85-acre development in north-west London, consisted of 12 local teams who played in the tournament over a 7-week period.

The League was an idea borne by a group of local young men with the idea of bringing other young men together to compete in the football tournament whilst tackling mental health, environmental, and climate issues.

On the cold October evening bragging rights started at the press conference and after a hard-fought tournament, the Ziyad FC came out eventual winners.

The highlight of the tournament was the commitment of the participants and residents to tackling climate Issues. Old friends and the local community came together to support the initiative, with the day starting with a community clean-up in the Stonebridge ward. Within a relatively short space of time the social action group had collected a considerable amount of rubbish from local streets and green spaces, which highlighted the need for schemes like this.

An interactive workshop arranged by Ilaria Esposito from Start Easy was delivered with a mixture of age groups taking part and it was agreed that the community will look to do this on a weekly basis to keep their local neighbourhood cleaner and greener.

The Go Green League will continue, and further plans are in the pipeline to develop a similar League for the younger generation and women.

UCFB Student interviews Jason Roberts MBE

Jason Roberts with UCFB students

The JRF Inspire to Achieve Heritage project was supported, during the summer, by students from local Sports & Football Business University, UCFB based at the iconic Wembley Stadium.

The group of students, led by Jack Bibb an aspiring Sports Journalist, joined the founder of the JRF, Jason Roberts MBE, when he attended Capital City Academy last term for a Memory Café session, as part of JRF’s Heritage project.

Former West Brom, Wigan, and Blackburn striker Jason Roberts was interviewed by Jack, and spoke about his journey, his inspirations, and the obstacles he faced, as he forged a successful career as one of Brent’s Football pioneers.

The Inspire to Achieve Project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to Lottery players, gave the UCFB students an opportunity to gain much needed experience as part of their Degree coursework, and be part of creating local stories of sporting heritage for current and future generations.

As well as interviewing Jason directly, they also fielded questions from the audience of students, teachers, and local stakeholders at Capital City Academy, who were all eager to hear from the local sporting personality about his roots, and the changes he has seen in Brent over the years, on his recent return.

Jack Bibb said “I’m a Multimedia Sports Journalism student at UCFB’s Wembley Campus. The opportunity to work with Jason on behalf of the JRF Heritage Project was one that was too good to turn down and it was an insightful experience helping Jason tell the story of his Brent heritage to students from the local community.

UCFB provides lots of great opportunities, such as this one, and I thank the Foundation for being so welcoming also.”

Watch the video here

Note: Jack is pictured to the right of Jason in the photo