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Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink visits I2A Legacy Exhibition

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink being interviewed by JRF volunteers

Saturday 24th February 2024

Following the successful launch of JRF’s Inspire to Achieve Heritage Legacy Exhibition on Saturday 10th February, the weekend of the 24th February saw the iconic striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink come to Harlesden High Street Library.

The former Chelsea and Holland striker who originally hails from Suriname, has visited the JRF at Bridgestone Arena several times inspiring young people in the local area and the team were thrilled to have him back to visit the Exhibition.

The audience, made up of children and adults from the local community, heard from Jimmy about his career in the football industry and the importance of preserving stories, photographs and mementos for future generations. Jimmy was interviewed by JRF Media Lead, Michael Adams, and youth volunteers Marley and Eyaad who ably interviewed Paul Merson at BOXPARK Wembley as part of the I2A Heritage Project.

Jimmy is part of Gareth Southgate’s current coaching team and visited the Inspire to Achieve Legacy Exhibition, which is part funded by the Professional Footballers Association, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery Players, and Brent Council.

The launch event which was attended by the Mayor of Brent, Cllr Orleen Hylton and was covered by The Voice Online https://www.voice-online.co.uk/news/community/2024/02/20/local-charity-launches-sports-heritage-exhibition-northwest-london/ welcomed several footballing heroes who hailed from Brent including the Stein brothers, and Dave Regis.

The exhibition runs until the end of June 2024.

For more information visit www.inspire2achieve.co.uk   

Children & Parents enjoy Celebration Event

Children cutting celebration cake with the Mayor of Brent

17th January 2024

On Wednesday evening the JRF Team including staff, coaches, and volunteers were joined at Bridgestone Arena by children and parents to mark the end of the ‘Inclusive Communities’ project – a sport for all programme for children with physical and learning disabilities (SEND) funded by the Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL) and You Decide.

The excited crowd were joined by the Mayor of Brent, Cllr Orleen Hylton, and Senior Grants Officer from NCIL and Brent Council, Danielle Grant-Vest both of whom presented the children with framed certificates and shields to celebrate their individual achievements and progress on the programme.

Before presentations were awarded the crowd enjoyed a film which provided an overview of the activities, excursions, and events that have taken place during the term of the project. They heard from JRF’s CEO Otis Roberts and Media Lead Michael Adams who led on the ‘Find your Voice’ media workshops via the onsite Cultural Media Centre.

Whilst the guests enjoyed refreshments, they heard from other parents who took to the stage to give their feedback on the project and the impact it has had on their child. Many commented on how their child’s confidence and happiness has grown since coming to the sessions, and the strong relationship with the JRF staff and youth volunteers.

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 offered some mid-term sports provision to support PE lessons and hosted an inter-school Sports Day during the summer, bringing children together from different schools.

Half term and summer holiday sessions were integrated alongside mainstream delivery and incorporating a Buddy System, creating an ethos where everyone can take part equally.

Throughout the project there were 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. Young people heading into secondary school were supported with the transition, and those aged 14+ were supported with progression pathways to Apprenticeships, training, and work experience to enhance life skills and opportunities.

Parents and carers were supported to form a Parents Active Group to offer respite, create a support network, meet socially, share ideas and information, and it wasn’t long before they had formed a dance group as well as joining in on other JRF activities including sport and fitness, and gardening to green up the local area.

Young volunteers Marley and Eyaad spoke to the audience on the evening about their experience of working on this project. They both said how much they had enjoyed working with the children and seeing them develop and their confidence grow.

Otis Roberts, CEO of the Foundation said; “We understand how vital it is for groups and organisations like us, to break down barriers to participation to sport for children with SEND, to maximise their activity levels, enhance their confidence and self-belief, and enhance their social inclusion. We are hugely grateful to NCIL and the local community for their belief in our ability to deliver this programme. We are now seeking further funding to enable us to continue providing an inclusive programme for our SEND community.”

NOTE

If you are interested in funding or sponsoring JRF to continue delivering the Inclusive Communities programme please contact Business Development Manager, Martene Carroll on martene@jasonrobertsfoundation.org

JRF’s I2A Heritage Exhibition at Harlesden Library

12 former professional footballers from Harlesden

Next week sees the launch of the Jason Roberts Foundation’s (JRF) Inspire to Achieve (I2A) legacy exhibition programme at Harlesden Library, supported by the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) and Brent Council.

The Exhibition will launch on Saturday 10th February from 12:00 – 4:00 pm and will continue to be showcased until the June 2024, and will celebrate the rich footballing heritage of Harlesden focusing on a dozen former professional footballers who grew up in Harlesden playing in local parks, attending local schools, and who graced stadiums Nationally and Internationally.

The launch day will welcome special guests including the Stein brothers and former striker Dave Regis who all took part in JRF’s Inspire to Achieve Heritage project, and assistant coach to the England National Team Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. There will also be a ‘Match of the Day’ performance by a local dance company, Hillside Performing Arts.

The Exhibition is a legacy of JRF’s I2A project which was funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players, and will give local schools an opportunity to educate students on homegrown sporting heritage which is bound to appeal to budding footballers and keen fans.

The JRF Team are grateful to and hope to develop a closer relationship with Harlesden Library, working with Manager Noman Ali and Brent Museum and Archives working with Heritage Collections and Exhibitions Manager Colin Chester, Heritage Service Officer Rebecca Thompson, and Learning Officer Jana Cameron, to encourage young people who don’t currently use the library, to access their services and resources.

Otis Roberts, CEO of JRF said; “We are delighted to have the chance to extend the I2A Heritage project by showcasing our Exhibition at Harlesden Library. The public venue will provide an ideal opportunity for the local community to learn more about the dozen footballing icons who grew up as their neighbours, and who continue to have a positive impact on the community. We look forward to working with Harlesden Library and Brent Museums and Archives on this and other cultural and heritage projects.”

About Harlesden Library:

Harlesden Library is situated at 49A Craven Park Rd, London NW10 8SE and is open from 10:30 – 6:00 pm weekdays, 10:30 – 5:00 pm on Saturdays, and 12:00 – 5:00 pm on Sundays. Local residents can access the library to borrow books, search the e-library, book a computer and study space, or enjoy a range of activities for all ages. For more information about local Libraries in Brent visit https://www.brent.gov.uk/libraries-arts-and-heritage/libraries

Young People have their say

A small group of young people receiving mentoring

The JRF Team are pleased to announce a new programme for young people in Brent; ‘Your Say’ to give them a platform to discuss issues that affect them, and to help tackle violence affecting youth and the community.

Working in partnership with Young Brent Foundation, the programme is funded by One Flow One Brent in their bid to provide opportunities and services that not just engage young people, but also educate them on how to live safely in their environments.

The programme will run through to the end of March and will encompass a Youth Steering Group, alongside positive activities including Sports coaching, mentoring to improve wellbeing as well as for professional development, workshops through the Met Police and the Safer Neighbourhood Team, and ‘Have your Say’ Media sessions.

Young Brent Foundation identified a need for services that focus on improving the mental health of the young people in three specific estates; Chalkhill, Church End, and Stonebridge, and through this grant funding they have formed partnerships with several local organisations who work with young people.

Otis Roberts, CEO of JRF said; “The objectives of this programme are clear, and strongly resonate with us. Our aim is for young people to have a platform for open discussion on a range of issues including drugs, violence, and gangs. We want to support them and help educate them, so they are more confident to resist being drawn into dangerous pathways and empower them to make positive decisions and friendship choices.”

JRF support people living with Dementia

The FA Logo

Thanks to funding through the FA Just Play Grants programme, the Jason Roberts Foundation are pleased to announce a new initiative for people in Brent living with Dementia.

‘Forget-me-Not’ is a weekly programme for men and women offering a range of activities including sport, exercise, and music to encourage everyone in the community to stay fit, active, and connected.

The sessions are delivered each Wednesday from 11:30am – 1:00pm at Bridgestone Arena (formerly the Pavilion) at Stonebridge Recreation Ground, NW10 8LW and are led by qualified coaches who offer activities including football, dance, and walking.

The activities have been designed to be light-hearted, stimulating, and fun with the aim of ensuring everyone feels able to join in. There is also a relaxed space for people to chat over light refreshments before and after the sessions.

Participants can turn up and play, or they can register to attend sessions via the FA Events Platform here Events – Booking Landing Page (thefa.com)  or by contacting martene@jasonrobertsfoundation.org

Half Term Holiday Fun at the JRF

Children playing with large soft play blocks outside

Despite the cold, wet weather, children and young people in Brent enjoyed a Half Term Holiday Programme of activities at the Jason Roberts Foundation (JRF).

In partnership with Young Brent Foundation’s One Flow One Brent (OFOB), Brent Council’s Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL) through JRF’s Inclusive Communities Programme, and the Hyde Foundation through the JRF in the Community Programme, young Brent residents were offered a range of activities to ensure they kept active, fit, healthy, safe, and occupied in a structured environment during the week break from school.

Indoor games such as table hockey, table football, table tennis, boxing, arts and crafts were a necessity due to the weather conditions, as well as outdoor sports including football, basketball, golf, tennis. American football, and rugby, and media sessions through the Cultural Media Centre.

Some of the girls enjoyed a trip to Eartha Ponds’ Girls Allowed programme through her ESP Foundation, whilst others were treated to a Tennis trip and Dance trip with Cherrelle Amo from Hillside Performing Arts.

For some JRF Youth Ambassadors there were volunteer opportunities to support staff, sports coaches, and youth coaches with the activities to build on their personal development plans.

The JRF team worked hard to ensure there was something for everyone, and during the half term holiday the young people of Brent were kept active, engaged, and connected.

JRF join Ball Library Network

Alive & Kicking and Postcode Society Trust Logos

The Jason Roberts Foundation (JRF) have again been approached by Alive and Kicking (https://aliveandkicking.org/) to become a Ball Library Hub in Brent.

Thanks to support from the Postcode Society Trust, Alive and Kicking secured more funding to donate sports balls across London. The last time JRF were a Ball Library Hub, they were given footballs to loan out. This time they have received a range of sports balls – 4x Footballs, 3x Basketballs, 3x Netballs for use by children and young people living in Brent who have easy access to Bridgestone Arena, NW10 8LW where the Foundation is based.

Alive and Kicking is the world’s only not-for-profit ball manufacturer. Using the lifecycle of a ball to grow happier, healthier, more empowered communities – creating access to jobs, play and vital health education. Their footballs are created to have a positive social impact in the way they are manufactured, sold, and used.

The Postcode Society Ball Library Network is creating a safe platform for play, giving young people access to ethically made sports balls, within walking distance of their home in London. This provides ball library users with complete control of when, where, and how they play, enabling them to increase the amount of time they exercise and play sport each week. Balls will be available from 96 community ball library hubs including sport NGOs, community centres, food banks, and libraries with host organisations embedding the service into their existing community offering.

Martene Carroll, Business Development Manager for JRF said; “We are very happy for JRF to again be a Ball Library Hub thanks to Alive and Kicking and the Postcode Society Ball Library Network. This is a great opportunity for children and young people who might not have access to sports equipment to be able to borrow a football, basketball, or netball and enjoy playing the sport they love.”

Walking on Sunshine

A group of women and men who are part of the Nine Run Club

The Nine Run Club which is supported by the Jason Roberts Foundation and was born from the fitness and wellbeing drive from the local Brent community continues to flourish.

Every Tuesday evening at Bridgestone Arena, NW10, popular coach Nine Forbes puts families through their paces with a range of fitness activities suitable for all ages and abilities, and lately the numbers have been growing rapidly.

The group are tested with warm-ups, dance, yoga, and walks around local green spaces, with some of them advancing to running. In addition podcasts that give the group a platform to share their views on fitness issues and opportunities in the Borough, as well as Walking trips to places of interest, has injected a sense of fun, reward, and teamwork for this group.

Many newcomers have joined from further afield as the keen fitness troupe continues to support one another under the stewardship of their coach Nine.

Local resident Nine says ; “These ladies and gentlemen come out each week with the same level of passion, regardless of the weather. They show resilience and enthusiasm, and with the numbers increasing week-on-week, there is a real buzz in Stonebridge each Tuesday evening.”

For more information contact: info@jasonrobertsfoundation.org with subject header ‘Run Club’

Brent Refugee Football with JRF

A group of men playing football

Off the back of JRF’s successful NCIL funded projects; Reaching Communities and Building Communities the JRF Team have been very active in providing a safe space for refugees to participate in football, in the Borough.

Every Wednesday Football coach Wilbert delivers coaching sessions in Wembley for several men at King Edwards Park, providing the group with structured sports activities that support their physical health and mental wellbeing, as well as offering social interaction.

The initiative that was created by the Public Health & Community Wellbeing Team at Brent Council, has seen the group attending regular games at Bridgestone Arena, the home of JRF, and pitting their wits against other local community footballs teams, which has helped to build friendships and relationships, driving community cohesion forward.

Coach Wilbert said; “These young men are a joy to work with. Despite difficult circumstances they have massive hearts and enthusiasm and have integrated well into the local community. It’s a pleasure to be able to help.”

Walking Football World Cup Finals Update

Walking Football Caribbean Team

The partnership with the Walking Football Caribbean and the Jason Roberts Foundation continues to flourish as the over 50s and 60s team continue their preparations for the first Caribbean entry in such a tournament.

After the initial trials the selected Caribbean team have undertaken numerous training sessions, practice games, and attended health awareness events as the final preparations for the upcoming 2023 Walking Football World Cup of Nations Finals next week.

The previous weekend at Bridgestone Arena ended with a mini football tournament, some final health checks, and a photo shoot of the team.

At a recent community event Albion legend Cyrille Regis’s daughter Michelle Regis sent a good luck message to the boys. 

The Health and wellbeing benefits of participating in Walking Football – a sport for everyone, regardless of your age or ability, is apparent as the Caribbean team head to St George’s park next Wednesday.

Tickets can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk

For more information see: https://walkingfootballcaribbean.org/

There will be more updates to follow next week.