JRF partner with Nuffield Health

Fitness instructor standing in front of a crowd participating in exercise

On Sunday the 9th June JRF kicked off a new partnership with health provider Nuffield Health with a community day of Sport and Wellbeing at Bridgestone Arena.

Over 200 local people participated from children, teenagers, to adults over sixty years old. They all had the chance to take part in a range of sport and fitness activities on offer with the opportunity to obtain health checks such as blood pressure, general health, and fitness assessments.

Over 100 people underwent the onsite health checks with the added incentive of receiving a week’s pass at Nuffield Health to experience the facilities and classes they offer.

The backdrop to all of these activities was the ‘Bridgestone Steppers’ ladies and over 50s Walking Football teams from India and Somalia who played in a Festival of Sport.

The partnership synergy is the mutual aim of both charities to bridge the gap between community and health.

Multi-site General Manager of Nuffield Health, Mo Bouamri said; “We’re a charity and our purpose is to build a healthier nation. By doing that we need to get into these communities with people who need us the most. I’ve been looking at JRF for a while and see that this is something they are doing as well. They’re making such a massive difference to the community here. Looking around today, there are a couple of hundred people here, and looking at the ages there are kids here from five years old up to adults aged seventy. That’s what it’s all about.”

CEO of JRF, Otis Roberts said; “We are looking forward to doing wonderful things that benefit the health of the community we serve and Nuffield Health are a great fit to some of the ongoing work we are delivering across all communities.”

Paul Merson returns to Harlesden

Paul Merson standing alongside mural of him in Harlesden

On the evening of Wednesday 22nd May Paul Merson returned to his roots to visit Harlesden library.

The library has seen many events hosted by JRF since the turn of the year after their Inspire to Achieve Heritage Exhibition was showcased at the community venue.

This time local legend Paul Merson shared his intriguing story with over 75 passionate sports lovers.

Paul was accompanied by his Mum who sat in the front row of the audience as Paul spoke openly about his career in football, management, and media, as well as subjects covering health, wellbeing, and family.

The interactive crowd posed many questions to the former England player who grew up a stone’s throw away from the iconic Wembley Stadium.

Before the event Paul strolled through the streets of Harlesden and saw some old faces as he popped into shops and picked up a cake donated by Cake Box in Harlesden to welcome him back to the area.

A mural of Paul, Thierry Henry, and Jason Roberts was also unveiled on the shutters of local business Eagles Tyres with Paul present, turning the heads of several passers-by.

JRF Launch Empower to Achieve Heritage Project

Jawahir 'JJ' Roble, MBE, Celeste Stevens, Connie Henry, MBE, and Lorna Falconer on stage

Monday 13th May 2024

On Monday evening the local Brent community came together at the Bridgestone Arena to celebrate the launch of JRF’s new ‘Empower to Achieve’ Heritage Project.

The project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, will trace the Ancestry of Women in Sport of Caribbean, Indian, and Somali Heritage.

Four of the Heritage women the project will focus on were in attendance, namely Lorna Falconer – Head of Football Operations at Brentford Football Club, Connie Henry, MBE – founder of charity Track Academy, creator of the Sports Give Back Awards, and former international triple jumper; Jawahir ‘JJ’ Roble, MBE – British Football Referee, and Celeste Stevens, Head of Safeguarding & Academy Player Welfare at Reading Football Club.

The four women who all work in different areas of the sports industry, took to the stage and spoke about their involvement in the exciting new project, which will offer local young people the chance to gain valuable skills, experience, and qualifications in an array of fields including presenting, photography, videography, film making, journalism, sports coaching and officiating, and curation.

Over sixty people attended from community organisations, local stakeholders, Brent Council’s Community Team, and professionals from a Media Agency, all of whom heard initial insights from the four women of Heritage on their career journey, families, and personal experiences.

With a series of ‘Memory Cafes’, activities, and events planned throughout the two-year project, there is plenty more to look forward to.

Otis Roberts, CEO of JRF said, “We are excited about this new Heritage project and are grateful to the commitment of the women involved, all relatable role models who will inspire and empower the next generation of young people. We will have a lot of fun working with the Brent community on this project.”

Keep up to date by following us on website / Twitter and community broadcast @JasonRobertsFdn

Real Talk with Jamie Lawrence

Jamie Lawrence on stage talking to an audience of young people

Sunday 21st April 2024

As part of JRF’s ongoing Legend Series – an ‘Inspire 2 Achieve’ Heritage Legacy initiative, Jamie Lawrence was the latest Premier League star to visit the borough of Brent on Sunday 21st April.

Jamie’s story is well documented on how he lost his way as teenager and ended up on the wrong side of the law before a prison governor took a chance on him and gave him the opportunity to pursue his dream whilst he was incarcerated.

Jamie dropped in to the Bridgestone Arena to share his experiences and candidly discussed the ups and downs he has experienced through life with local community members and young people.

The day kicked off with a fitness training session on the pitch followed by a tournament which was organised by a group of young footballers. Over refreshments over 80 young people participated in the interactive Q&A session with Jamie before resuming their continued professional development training with the Coach Development Team from the Football Association.

Photo credit © amanda rose

JRF host Health Think Tank

Woman addresses audience at Workshop

Thursday 18th April

The JRF Team were pleased to co-produce and host an African & Caribbean Think Tank Workshop at Bridgestone Arena, NW10 last Thursday evening.

The initiative was an opportunity for members of the Brent community to come together and share their own experiences and discuss ideas and strategies to address inequalities in the health service.

Over seventy residents attended the informative workshop, and local organisations presented ways and means for health services to be better represented, especially for those people who face inequality.

Brent children have an EGGciting Half Term

Easter Holiday Course Flyer

The JRF Team were EGGcited to again open their doors at Bridgestone Arena, NW10 to children and young people in Brent for the Easter Holiday Programme!

The half term holiday programme ran for two weeks starting on Tuesday 2nd April from 12:00 to 4:00pm daily and was well attended by children and young people aged 5 – 16-years-old who HOPPED over to the Bridgestone Arena, to join in the fun activities and games.

As always there was a packed schedule including multi-sports, indoor games, and crafts, with the ever-popular Cherrelle from Hillside Performing Arts getting people dancing on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 1:00 – 2:00pm.

Despite the changing weather conditions over the two weeks the JRF Team ensured there were plenty of activities to please everyone, including a bowling trip.

Look out for details of our next half term holiday programme via our social media channels @JasonRobertsFdn

A Celebration of Brent’s Heritage

Gary Waddock talking to school pupils in class

Last month Otis Roberts, CEO and Martene Carroll, Business Development Manager from JRF were among the guests at Kiln Theatre for an evening to celebrate Brent’s Heritage.

The event, which was hosted by the London & South Engagement Team

from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, was an opportunity to celebrate the amazing contributions to heritage achievements in the last five years in Brent and find out what’s next!

Guests included several individuals, groups, and organisations based in Brent who have received funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund over the last five years, thanks to National Lottery players, and who have delivered myriad projects to celebrate the rich cultural and sporting heritage of the London Borough.

JRF’s own Heritage project, ‘Inspire to Achieve’ uncovered the histories and untold stories of the Footballers who Paved the Way in the borough of Brent.

Visit JRF’s website dedicated to the project here:

During the evening a film was shown which gave a small snapshot of all the heritage activity that Brent organisations have delivered with Heritage Fund grants since 2019.

The film can be watched here

Notes to editors

About the Jason Roberts Foundation (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’.

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

As the largest dedicated funder of the UK’s heritage, The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s vision is for heritage to be valued, cared for and sustained for everyone, now and in the future as set out in our strategic plan, Heritage 2033. 

Over the next ten years, the Heritage Fund aims to invest £3.6billion raised for good causes by National Lottery players to bring about benefits for people, places, and the natural environment.  

The Heritage Fund helps protect, transform, and share the things from the past that people care about, from popular museums and historic places, our natural environment, and fragile species, to the languages and cultural traditions that celebrate who we are. 

The Heritage Fund is passionate about heritage and committed to driving innovation and collaboration to make a positive difference to people’s lives today, while leaving a lasting legacy for future generations to enjoy.  

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund

Further information

For more information contact JRF at

Andrew Cole Day with JRF

Andrew Cole talking to some budding coaches

Easter Sunday

On Sunday 31st March 2024 JRF hosted a special event to celebrate Andrew Cole.

The former Manchester United and England legend who represented a number of top-level clubs in the UK during his playing career was guest of honour at the JRF headquarters – Bridgestone Arena on the Stonebridge Recreation Ground.

The event which was attended by approximately 500 local people formed part of the ongoing Legacy Series, a new initiative which has seen former professional footballers including Emile Heskey and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink immersing themselves in the local Brent community, as well as visiting the recent Cyrille Regis book launch at Harlesden Library.

On the day, coaching sessions for 40 budding community coaches were delivered by Peter Augustine from the Football Association as part of the ongoing continued professional development for these young people, and Walking Football for men and women was at the forefront of the early activities.

The local community and football fans dropped in to meet the footballing legend, take the opportunity for photos, and to meet up with and socialise with old friends over music and refreshments during the all-day event.

Specially made Andrew Cole bibs which referenced all the Clubs he had represented looking at the history and heritage of the player, were a talking point during the session.

Following an hour-long talk where Andrew discussed health, wellbeing, family, and career there was a special presentation by local young people of roses and a Player’s Cap to commemorate the role Andrea plays in inspiring others.

In the afternoon Andrew also kicked off a Ramadan Cup game and met local Somali community leaders in Brent.

The all-day event included health checks being offered by the Clinical Team from Brent Health Matters and there was a Focus Group discussion on prostate Cancer to raise awareness amongst the local community.

There was certainly something for everyone during the special Easter Event which continued into the evening.

Cyrille Regis Book Launch a Success

Speakers on stage at Cyrille Regis Book Launch

On the evening of Thursday 14th March the JRF Team hosted the launch of a new book written by the late Cyrille Regis’s long-time friend and former West Brom photographer, Laurie Rampling at Harlesden Library.

The book entitled ‘Cyrille Regis; Working Class Hero’ has been keenly anticipated by friends, family, and football fans alike, and depicts the life and career of the footballing legend, in pictures and words.

The large audience had the pleasure of meeting Cyrille’s daughter, Michelle Regis who joined Laurie and JRF’s Michael Adams on the stage, as the journey of the sporting icon was relived.

Local residents, some of whom went to school with Cyrille recalled their childhood memories from school and growing up on the Stonebridge Estate, where the JRF Community Hub is situated.

Jason Roberts, Robert Regis, Cyrille’s son and his brother Dave Regis joined the many online guests who were present to share their own memories. 

The book recently went on sale and has already sold over 2000 copies. With the striking cover emblazoned with the number nine, Cyrille’s number when at West Brom, the book boasts over 70 unseen pictures of the great man, from his football career and his personal life. 

The book can be bought online through:

Emile Heskey supports Community Coaches

Emile Heskey with budding community coaches

On Sunday 11th February, the JRF Team were delighted to welcome special guest, Emile Heskey to Bridgestone Arena as part of their ongoing continued professional development (CPD) for Community Coaches initiative.

The former striker and English professional footballer who currently serves as head of football development in his hometown for Leicester City Women, was on hand to give expert advice about Learning Interactions and Strategies. The training sessions with FA Coach Development Officers enables budding coaches to gain vital CPD hours towards their qualification.

The packed weekend session, which was held at JRF’s community hub, gave young people in attendance the opportunity to gain valuable experience and advice from the England International

On the same day our Walking Football Caribbean Team were joined by Heskey in a training session before a special Awards Ceremony where the players aged 50+ and 60+ were presented with International Caps to celebrate their combined achievements in the Summer Walking Football World Cup of Nations Final and the Winter Nations Cup which was won by the Caribbean over 50s Team.

If you would like to know more about the Community Coaches CPD sessions and other Career development and training opportunities through JRF please contact