Footballing Legend Andrew Cole talks to JRF

Andrew Cole Autobiography Fast Forward

On Wednesday night JRF hosted an audience with former professional footballer Andrew Cole, to talk about his autobiography – Fast Forward: The hard road to football success.

The exciting initiative welcomed the Manchester Utd legend to talk with a special audience, including founder of the Foundation and fellow former professional footballer, Jason Roberts, about his career highs, and some of the challenges he has faced during his life.

A true community man and inspiration, Andrew has been an influential supporter of JRF for more than a decade. In 2010 he launched the Floodlights Programme in Grenada, he frequently visits JRF youth programmes and schools in Brent, and he helped to raise funds for the Foundation in December 2019 when he agreed to be the focus of a special tribute evening.

The select audience at the evenings’ event which was held via Zoom, was made up of Councillors from Brent, JRF Youth Ambassadors and Trustees, as well as some football devotees. They were rewarded by hearing insights into the prolific goal scorer’s career and life, and had the opportunity to ask their own questions.

Cole spent six years with Manchester Utd and won eight major trophies, including the Treble of the Premier League, FA Cup, and UEFA Champions League in 1999, and was capped 15 times for the England National Team.

A synopsis by Waterstones of his autobiography: Fast Forward states; “Much misunderstood, the powerhouse striker sets the record straight about a successful yet complex career.”

The book, which is published by Hodder & Stoughton and features a Foreword written by Sir Alex Ferguson is described as “a thought-provoking and gripping autobiography about Andrew Cole’s determination to succeed against all the odds.”

JRF host very first Virtual Careers Fair

Flyer advertising Digital Careers Fair

The Jason Roberts Foundation (JRF) were delighted to host their first ‘Virtual Career Fair’ at the end of the November. The initiative, which is not the first Careers Fair the foundation has hosted, was certainly a different approach to the normal format of face-to-face interaction that visitors are accustomed to. Although this virtual offering was something born from circumstance rather than choice, it proved to be a big success.

The format and execution were simple, as the charity listened to five key-note speakers from local and national organisations who informed viewers on the opportunities for training, employment, and development within their sector and specifically the company they represent.

The Royal Air Force, St George Property Developers, University Campus of Football Business (UCFB), Network Rail, and Brent Works, were all given a short time slot to deliver their presentation, expertly facilitated by Jo Tongue from Tongue Tied Management and Trustee of JRF.

The 90-minute live broadcast gave viewers the opportunity, to remotely interact and ask questions of the presenters, enabling them to discover more about the opportunities available to them, and to obtain valuable key contacts and careers advice.

Otis Roberts, CEO for JRF said: “The success of our previous Careers Fairs has meant they have become a mainstay in our operational calendar. However, the impact of COVID-19 on peoples’ livelihoods and future employment prospects meant it was more important than ever to deliver a Careers event. We had to think innovatively to be able to overcome the restrictions and to find a way to deliver this. I’m pleased that, despite the hurdles, we were able to deliver this, thanks to the involvement of the organisations that generously gave their time and expertise. We will certainly look to deliver more online Careers Fairs in the future.’

If you missed the live event, a Highlights reel is available providing the information needed to take your next step in your career journey.

For more information, please contact

Dawn Butler MP highlights work of JRF

MP Dawn Butler with Mayor of Brent

JRF were thrilled to be approached by the Office of Dawn Butler MP for Brent Central, to feature on a virtual Christmas advent calendar.

Rather than delivering a calendar constituency wide, Dawn wanted to create a virtual calendar to promote the work of charities, schools, and community groups in Brent, to cover “the great, and often unsung, work being delivered to those that desperately need it.”

JRF was chosen as one of the charities to highlight in the advent calendar because, they said “Your work has been invaluable during this time and Dawn would love to share your stories about all that you are doing!”

Dawn Butler is a British Labour Party politician who is Member of Parliament for Brent Central since 2015. Butler served as Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities in Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet from 2017 to 2020 and MP for Brent South from 2005 to 2010.

JRF feature on Door 9 which can be seen via the following link:

Brent Builders C&C support Foundation

Directors of C&C Builders and JRF CEO

In football they say that you are only as good as the team around you which is certainly the case for the Jason Roberts Foundation (JRF). When they were approached by Brent-based C&C Builders, with a proposal from them to make a regular donation to the charity, the team at JRF were delighted.

Established in 2004, with many years of experience in the construction industry, C&C Builders aim is to provide the highest quality for its clients. Their work includes disabled adaptations, home building and renovations for Local Authorities, Commercial Businesses, and private Individuals. The professionalism of the firm and their workmanship is evident from the redecoration work they carried out earlier this year at Bridgestone Arena, JRF’s hub in the heart of Stonebridge.

Martene Carroll, Business Development Manager for JRF said; “The generosity of spirit C&C Builders has shown should be applauded. During this last year that has proven particularly challenging for businesses, charities, and individuals, it is heartening that the Directors of this local firm are thinking of their community by supporting a charity that puts community first.”

The building firm also regularly highlights the work of JRF through their own media platforms and have had their vehicles wrapped with JRF branding. Community really is at the forefront of their thinking as they promote their association with the foundation while they work in residential homes and businesses across Brent, Ealing, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington, and Southwark.

A representative from C&C Builders commented; “We are extremely proud to be associated with JRF and to support the outstanding work and dedication they provide to the people of Brent. We really feel that JRF make a huge difference within the communities they reach out to.

We look to maintain our long-term working relationship with the JRF and are proud to continue to support the foundation to enable them to continue to meet their ambitions and goals.”

For more information on C&C Builders please visit or call 0203 667 2563.

JRF receives donation from Capital City Academy

Capital City Academy Building

The JRF team were thrilled to  receive a donation from Capital City Academy, for funds raised as part of the school’s Black History Month event.

JRF is well-known to the teaching staff and many of the students of Capital City Academy, who regularly attend the sports and fitness sessions delivered by JRF at Bridgestone Arena.

Jason Roberts, MBE, founder of the charity, took the time to record a special video thanking everyone at the school for their contribution in raising funds, and for thinking of the Foundation to receive the donation.

The video will be shown in the different tutor groups over the course of this week.

In the video Jason said, “I feel very fortunate to have had an upbringing in the Brent, Harlesden community, that looks after each other so well.”

He talked about the importance of community and retaining links with where you were brought up, saying “Brent is a community that is so proud of it’s heritage and somewhere that has produced some amazing people, who have used the opportunities afforded to them by the community.”

Jason thanked Capital City Academy saying, “It means a lot for you to think of us (JRF) and I’m very proud that you consider our work valuable enough to invest in and fundraise for.”

A representative from Capital City Academy said “As an academy with a history embedded in sports, it was only right that we chose the Jason Roberts Foundation as our charity to make this donation. The JRF are part of our local community and the tireless work that they continue to provide towards the development and wellbeing of our youth, is strongly aligned with our core values as an educational institution. Capital City Academy looks forward to collaborative projects with the JRF in the near future!”

Follow the work of JRF via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @JasonRobertsFdn

Jason Roberts Foundation unveils new look

On Wednesday, 7th October, the Jason Roberts Foundation launched its new branding, following three months of work in partnership with creative agency, Fresh Lemon, and social purpose agency, 3GLOBE.

The update, which includes a new logo, identity, and website, was first revealed to select participants in a socially distanced preview at Stonebridge Arena, the Foundation’s hub in North London. Featuring an improved user journey and a bespoke media centre, the website was officially made live by the participants’ very own, Malik.

New Brand, Same Focus

The response thus far has been emphatically positive. Introducing the changes, Jason Roberts said:

“Our growth as an organisation, since the launch of the Foundation in 2007, is seen in both the scale and scope of our projects and partners — it was time that our brand and website reflected this. 

The new website brings intuitive navigation and makes it easier than ever before for supporters to get involved, while the brand refresh continues to focus on our most valuable asset – our community. 

Amy O’Brien, Founder & CEO of 3GLOBE — a newly formed agency powering professional athletes in social purpose, said of the project:

“We wanted to elevate the exterior look of the organisation, while embracing the versatility and on-the-ground approach that has fuelled the Foundation’s success for more than a decade. 

Together with Fresh Lemon, we wrote and designed for real people who will relate to the family-centric approach of the organisation. These new tools will support the Jason Roberts Foundation in engaging stakeholders across the charitable and commercial sectors with one consistent message: community first.”

Craig Heath, Creative Director at Fresh Lemon commented:

“From our earliest conversations with Otis and Jason, it was clear that ‘family’ and ‘community’ were key factors that the foundation were driven by. As such, we created a new identity that has these two central pillars at the heart of the logo with the roundel embracing them to form a tight and flexible icon.

Complemented by a vibrant new colour and clearer messaging we feel the Jason Roberts Foundation is now equipped as a forward-thinking brand empowering people to get involved and to do even greater things in the future.”

Cllr Ernest Ezeajughi re-elected as Mayor of Brent

Cllr Ernest Ezeajughi, was re-elected Mayor of Brent for a second term, due to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cllr Ezeajughi who represents Stonebridge ward, was re-elected unanimously, and will have the opportunity to carry on in his role until May 2021.

“It has been a difficult year for everyone with the Covid-19 pandemic and I will continue to raise awareness and support families and communities affected by this,” the mayor said.

“We live in uncertain times – our lives changed in March 2020. Many of us have seen the suffering this pandemic has caused; some of you have lost friends and family to this dreadful disease.

“At times like this, we show what an amazing borough we are. The coming weeks and months will be challenging. We must stand together and support each other – the pandemic is not over.

“Please, look after your families, look after your friends, look after your loved ones, and look after each other.”

Born in Anambra state, Nigeria, Cllr Ezeajughi has served as a councillor since 2014.

The Jason Roberts Foundation, a community charity for young people set up by former footballer and Brent native Jason Roberts, and the Sickle Cell Society, which supports and represents people affected by sickle cell disorder, will continue as his chosen charities.

“Because of the issues and the problems that we face with the pandemic it would only be right for you to be nominated to continue until May next year,” Cllr Muhammed Butt said. He was seconded by deputy leader Cllr Mclennan.

Otis Roberts, CEO of the Foundation said; “We were very happy to hear the news that Cllr Ernest Ezeajughi has been re-elected for a second term, and will have the opportunity to continue his work in the Borough as well as maintaining his support of the Foundation into next year. We wish him well in his second term.”

Global Institute of Sport to launch new scholarship

UCFB’s Global Institute of Sport (GIS) is delighted to announce a new scholarship that will be backed by former Premier League striker Jason Roberts.

The Jason Roberts Foundation Scholarship is on offer to GIS students at UCFB Wembley – which has the iconic Wembley Stadium at its heart – who can show they have the vision to be leaders and promote inclusion, respect, equality and diversity. The £1500 scholarship is open for applications ahead of the 2020/21 academic year which begins in September, and joins a growing list of scholarship opportunities for GIS’ sports Master’s degree students.

GIS is the new destination for Master’s degrees and executive education, utilising a global network of industry leaders and elite stadium venues. Jason is well acquainted with GIS and its commitment to upskilling the next generation of sports professionals, while at the same time ensuring the industry is inclusive and diverse, having delivered guest speaker sessions to students in recent months. He also sits on the illustrious GIS Industry Advisory Board, which is made up of some of the most influential and respected names in world sport in order to influence and shape the education provision of GIS to enable the next generation of sports professionals to become leaders in their field.

Since retiring from a playing career which included successful spells at Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers, Jason is now Director of Development at CONCACAF and set up his Foundation in 2007 to support youngsters in London and Grenada.

Commenting on his scholarship, Jason said: “I’m delighted to be able to collaborate with GIS and offer this award to Master’s students at UCFB Wembley. Our Foundation is about giving a platform to those in the community I grew up in and offering equal opportunities to aspirational individuals, regardless of their background or circumstances, and I look forward to welcoming award winners into the Foundation very soon.”

GIS’ President, Sharona Friedman, commented: “We’re thrilled that Jason has agreed to continue to back our students and the future leaders of the sports industry with this award. GIS is determined to ensure that football and sport is an inclusive and diverse industry to work in and be a part of, something Jason has demonstrated throughout his careers in the game. Jason is inspirational.”

For more information on the Jason Roberts Foundation scholarship and to apply, please visit

Foundation’s referee becomes UK’s first female Muslim official

The UK’s first female, Muslim referee, who has her sights set on officiating in the Premier League, has told Sky Sports News she feels like she is entering a man’s world and is showing them who is boss.

Jawahir Roble, otherwise known as JJ, certainly takes no prisoners on the pitch.

From the sidelines, as she officiates a game, Roble can be heard offering a mixture of encouragement and warnings to the players.

“No pulling, no pulling”, she shouts, as a scuffle breaks out just outside the box. Roble, who referees wearing a hijab, can certainly handle herself in what she calls a man’s world.

She told Sky Sports News: “Everyone says it’s a man’s game, football is a man’s game. I feel like I’m coming to their territory and I’m showing them who’s boss.

“Showing them how it’s done and encouraging more and more girls to come and take over, because this is anyone’s game.”

Roble arrived in the UK as a refugee from Somalia when she was just 10 years old. Her family decided to make a new life in Wembley, after fleeing war in their home country.

Growing up, JJ played football with the boys, which her parents were not always on board with.

“My parents, where do I start with them”, she said.

“At the beginning it was like me against them. Them telling me, don’t play football anymore because it is a man’s game.

“Don’t play football because you’re a woman. Stop playing football because you’re never going to fit in. People will discriminate, people will be rude.

“I get where they’re coming from. I told them: ‘Guys, support me in refereeing. Clearly I’m not going to stop loving football. I’m going to find my own way’. I’m so glad I found refereeing.”

Although Roble dreamt of playing for the Lionesses, she started refereeing purely by chance. When someone did not turn up for a game, she was asked to step in. She now has FA qualifications and a degree in coaching.

JJ often referees for youngsters at the Jason Roberts foundation, a charity set up near where she grew up in Wembley, which offers mentoring, sports and life skills to disadvantaged youngsters.

Roble is certainly a character. She is the type of person that puts a smile on people’s faces. She is cheeky, confident and takes no nonsense if she is ever given any abuse on the pitch.

Standing below the Wembley Arch, she sings: “It’s coming home, it’s coming home, it’s coming, football’s coming home”, not fazed one bit by those watching on. It is evident how much the area means to her.

She told Sky Sports News: “Wembley has welcomed my family. Growing up, we had all my family playing football in the back yard.

“You could hear all the noise, all the fans.

“We would see fans walking around our area and it’s such a nice vibe. In England football is so organised, so I was in the right place at the right time I guess.”

She Has Game Launch

She Has Game is a borough-wide campaign by Jason Roberts Foundation to get young females engaged and registered in local sports clubs and organisations regardless of ability, background and circumstances.

In the last few months, the Foundation in partnership with academies, schools, clubs and community organisations have carried out extensive research and consultation exploring why there is less amount of girls playing sports compared to boys in Brent.

We decided to focus on providing the platform where young girls in their mass numbers could come together to engage and explore different sports activities such as Golf, Boxing, Volleyball, Football, Athletics, Basketball and Rugby in a safe and fun environment without the fear of being judged or coerced.

She Has Game campaign aims to inspire girls to be more active in sports and take up the opportunities available through local sports clubs and organisation. To help with this we held a celebration event on Wednesday 13thof July 2016 at Ark Academy in partnership with Track Academy, The Golf Trust, Kinja FC and Willesden Volleyball Club. The event saw 75 young girls from 11 to 14 years old get stuck in four different sports activities and register for the opportunity to do more during and after the summer.

Ark Academy student Luana, who has attended all three celebration events and now is a regular rugby player for Kilburn Cosmos RFC, shared her thoughts on the day and the girls in sports, “I think sports is something really important to have part of your life because it can help you make friends and help you improve your fitness”.

The Jason Roberts Foundation would like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to Ark Academy and Big Lottery Fund, whose support makes all this possible.