Awards & Grants

JRF – Reaching Communities thanks to NCIL

Older lady and young boy playing dominoes

The Jason Roberts Foundation has been awarded a grant by Brent Council to support their Reaching Communities Project, as part of the Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL).

Reaching Communities is an intergenerational project that supports the whole community by encompassing Youth Engagement, Community Cohesion, Health and Wellbeing – increasing intergenerational engagement in arts, sport, wellbeing, technology, and media activities, while celebrating the culture and heritage of the local community.

Otis Roberts, CEO of the Foundation said, “Our Reaching Communities project resonates with JRF’s ethos of Community First. We want to see more people accessing the facilities and activities on offer through our Community hub at Bridgestone Arena. Thanks to this grant from Brent Council as part of the NCIL fund, we hope to see increased numbers of residents feeling fitter, healthier, and more connected to their community.”

The council collects money from new eligible developments in the Borough through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). CIL is a charge used to help local authorities to deliver the infrastructure needed to support development.

Up to 15 % (or up to 25% where there is a neighbourhood plan in place) of the CIL money collected is available to fund infrastructure, which, among other criteria, is aligned with priorities expressed by local communities, called Neighbourhood Priorities. This proportion of the CIL money is the Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL) and is applied for by residents and organisations who would like to see more localised, community led, projects being delivered.

Kate Lambert, Grants Manager at Brent Council said; “It is great to see projects like the JRF Reaching Communities Project being delivered by local organisations, supporting, and empowering our communities in Brent. NCIL ‘s purpose is to build infrastructure supporting local development and it will be great to see how this project does exactly that. Look forward to seeing the difference JRF makes to their local community!”

For more information visit the NCIL webpage.

To find out more about Reaching Communities follow JRF @jasonrobertsfdn on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

JRF supports Stonebridge to Restart

New handshake. Two footballers bumping elbows

Funding from the Government’s Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund, has enabled the Jason Roberts Foundation to launch their Stonebridge Restart project.

As one of the hardest hit boroughs in the country in the first wave of the pandemic, the community centred project delivered from Bridgestone Arena in the heart of the Stonebridge Estate, the ‘home’ of JRF since the charity’s launch in 2007, will address some of the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

Stonebridge Restart aims to rebuild social networks by bringing the local community together, and in partnership with other statutory and voluntary organisations, provide services to support their physical and emotional health and wellbeing, helping people to become stronger and more resilient.

Jo Tongue, a Trustee of JRF said, “We’ve seen the negative impact the COVID-19 crisis has had on our community, and we want to support them to overcome some of the challenges they have, and continue to, face. Thanks to the Government, this grant will help Stonebridge residents restart sport, fitness, social networks, and support them with training, and employment.”

The Coronavirus Community Support Fund makes available £200m in Government funding that will be aimed primarily at small to medium organisations in England. The Fund has two key objectives:

To increase community support to vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 crisis, through the work of civil society organisations.

To reduce temporary closures of essential charities and social enterprises, ensuring services for vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19 have the financial resources to operate, and so reduce the burden on public services.

London Community Response Fund Awards COVID-19 Grant

Jason Roberts Foundation

The Jason Roberts Foundation (JRF) has been awarded a grant of £5000 from the London Community Response Fund, administered by City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, towards the costs of providing on-line services for young people and their families during the Covid-19 crisis.


Roberts played for Bristol Rovers, West Brom, Wigan and Blackburn among others. He was capped 12 times by Grenada and is now director of development at Concacaf.

In response to the current crisis the Foundation explored new and safe ways to reach and engage with the children and young people they usually support through the programmes they deliver, and to provide them with useful information and content that was educational and might create opportunities.

Learning disabilities

One of these ideas was a podcast series entitled You Are Not Alone for children and young people with physical and learning disabilities, to support families during lockdown who were suddenly having to do what the schools and support services had done, with no respite. The podcast gave them the platform to talk to the teachers and organisations who were happy to share intervention strategies and point to physical resources.

Otis Roberts, CEO of JRF said: “We knew we had to find new ways to engage with and support our young participants (during lockdown), to let them know they are not alone, to give them a platform and a voice, and importantly, a means for them to reach us.

“We were delighted to be awarded this grant to enable us to develop our digital services and support more people.”

London’s funders are working together to provide coordinated funding to support groups responding to the needs of communities in the capital affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over £22m in funding has been distributed through the London Community Response (LCR) to support the capital’s civil society organisations since opening for applications four days after lockdown started.

The LCR is an unprecedented funder collaboration – over 60 funders have come together from across sectors, recognising that it was vital to distribute grants quickly based on shared intelligence and processes.


Stewart Goshawk, Chief Executive Officer of Wembley National Stadium Trust “WNST is pleased to have supported the work of the Jason Roberts Foundation for a number of years now.

“Recently, the Trust has been able to make a small number of grants as part of the London Community Response Fund, including one to JRF, which is helping it to run on-line sessions supporting local people through coronavirus crisis.

“We know how valuable this work will be for residents living in difficult circumstances, looking for help and guidance in these challenging times. We wish JRF every success with this important initiative.”

National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund

The Jason Roberts Foundation in Brent has been awarded £4836 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund towards retaining freelance staff and core operational costs during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

The outbreak of the virus and the consequent shutdown of businesses as of March 23 has left the sport and physical activity sector facing a period of uncertainty.

In response, on March 31 Sport England announced a £195m package to help the sport and physical activity sector through covid-19. Within the package is a £20m Community Emergency Fund, of National Lottery money to deliver immediate funding to those who have a role in supporting the nation to be active but are experiencing short-term financial hardship or the ceasing of operations due to the impact of coronavirus.

The grant will allow the Jason Roberts Foundation to maintain some freelance staff who are involved in initiatives to enable them to stay in touch with their participants during the current closure period via Podcasts and Vodcasts.  The grant will also cover some core operational costs including phones, utilities, insurance for the coming months.

Otis Roberts, Jason Roberts Foundation’s Chief Executive, said:

 “This grant from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund has been a vital lifeline during this crisis which has enabled us to proactively find new ways to reach out and safely engage with our beneficiaries and their families. Without securing this funding we would not have been able to retain our core freelance staff to continue virtual engagement and to secure future funding for when we are able to resume our operations.”

Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s Chief Executive, said: 

“As the body responsible for the growth of sport and physical activity participation, we want the vital grassroots organisations that make sport and physical activity happen in this country to not just to come through this crisis but to be in a position to thrive again in the future. The £20m Community Emergency fund, made possible by National Lottery players is part of a multimillion pound package of support we are providing to ease the pressure on a huge number of the organisations who are central to the nation’s health and wellbeing.

“We are proud to be able to provide vital funding to the Jason Roberts Foundation to help it through these extremely challenging times.”

Jason Roberts Receives Honourary Doctor of Humane Letters

Jason has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the provision of sporting events for disabled children in both Grenada and the UK.

The award is also in recognition of the partnership between the Jason Roberts Foundation, WINDREF and St. George’s University, which has involved many of their students in the philanthropic activities. The Honorary Degree will be presented to Jason at the School of Graduate Studies/School of Arts and Sciences Commencement Ceremony, where Jason will be the Commencement Speaker.

The Jason Roberts Foundation was formed in 2007, and in 2008 the Foundation expanded their work from not only providing able bodies with sports sessions, but also delivering sports sessions for people with disabilities. The disability programme extended to Grenada in 2010, and the Foundation started to partner with St. George’s University.

The aim of this partnership is to provide skill-sharing, support and long-term assistance to the teachers, staff and students of the three Special Educational Needs schools in Grenada that the Foundation has worked with over the last five years. Since 2012, they have in partnership hosted eight ‘Festival of Sports’ Days for children aged from 5-18 with a range of disabilities including; autism, Cerebral palsy, Downs Syndrome and other complex needs.

Jason Roberts MBE, Founder and Trustee of the Jason Roberts Foundation, said:

“I am extremely honoured to receive this Honorary Doctor on behalf of the work my Foundation has done in Grenada and the UK. Sport has a unique ability to transcend cultural and ethnic backgrounds, to motivate and to inspire.

“It gives me such pride to accept this award on behalf of all of the individuals and supporters who have given their time, resources and efforts to make other people’s lives a little bit better and I humbly accept this honourable doctorate in debt to them and my family who have supported me so much during this journey.”

Chancellor Charles R. Modica, said:

“This degree is being awarded to Mr. Jason Robert by the University in recognition of his outstanding contributions in empowering young people through sports”

Kevin Moulton, Jason Roberts Foundation’s Ambassador, Grenada, said;

“Through my almost 2 years in Grenada I have worked directly and indirectly with the organization to provide a structured Physical education structure for special needs children and several schools in Grenada.

“The work and structure that the Jason Roberts Foundation provides for the children truly took me by surprise when I first started volunteering. I was introduced to the organization when they came to Grenada and I was volunteering at the School for Special Needs in St Georges, Grenada.

“After my first experience I stayed in contact with the organization and every time that Jason and Otis came to Grenada I was eager to help out. Through personal hands on education with children and overall structure of programs, paired with the Ambassador program, the foundation provides an amazing experience for the children, volunteers and instructors alike.

“The personal education that the experience has provided for me as well as the children that this foundation impacts directly is immense. My experience through the organization will last with me forever and has provided myself with lifelong friends and a lifelong ally of the organization.”

Disabled people are known as ‘the world’s largest minority’. And it’s not by chance, the cost of living with a disability can increase household poverty, which means disability is not an issue limited to individuals. Exclusion and stigma, low incomes, and high costs of rehabilitation and care, all create a vicious circle that holds back not only individuals with impairments, but their families and children too.

There are several barriers that prevent disadvantaged young people from accessing positive sport related activities; these can range from lack of accessibility, lack of resources, discrimination and stigmatisation, a limit for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

By integrating inclusive sports sessions within our mainstream delivery, we aim to break down some of the barriers and ensure that all young people get the opportunity to participate.