Jason Roberts, MBE awarded Honorary Fellowship by UCFB

Jason Roberts receiving Honorary Fellowship from UCFB

15th December 2022

In December 2022 Jason Roberts, MBE was in London to receive an Honorary Fellowship by UCFB at the Class of 2022 Graduation. Jason, who is Director of Development at Concacaf, and a Member of the University’s Global Institute of Sport (GIS) Advisory Board, was awarded the Honorary Fellowship for his contribution to the Sports University in the UK and the US, and with the Jason Roberts Foundation (JRF) in the UK.

Sharona Friedman, President and co-founder of GIS handed the award to Jason who was recognised for “being instrumental in the expansion (of GIS) into North America and the Caribbean. He generously donates his time and support offering his services as a guest speaker for talks in Wembley and Miami. He also ensured visits to UCFB took place to show the benefits of higher education, with many of our students benefitting from the Jason Roberts Foundation Scholarships.”

JRF has worked with UCFB on several other initiatives including Careers Fairs and offering work placements for students.

This was the first year UCFB & GIS have introduced a new award to its annual Graduation ceremonies to recognise individuals who have contributed to the world of sport and education and/or have supported the development and growth of UCFB & GIS. Those who were bestowed the honour, are considered by the University to be “outstanding interesting people, who act as role models for our students, ambassadors for the institution and provide inspiration to those who are graduating.”

Jason was joined by Sean Dyche, Rachel Brown-Finnis, Gary Mellor, and Mike Phelan, all of whom have been recognised by UCFB & GIS for their outstanding contribution to the work and development of UCFB & GIS or have achieved exceptional distinction in a field or activity relevant to the work of UCFB & GIS.

Jason commented, “It was an honour to accept an Honorary Fellowship UCFB Global Institute of Sport Where I enjoyed meeting faculty, staff, students and graduates and I look forward to playing a role in continuing to educate our future sporting leaders. Congratulations to all.”

For more information please visit:

JRF Founder visits Wates’ Church Road Development

Jason Roberts at Wates' Church Road Development

December 2022

In late December Founder of the JRF and former professional footballer and pundit, Jason Roberts, MBE, visited the new development at Church Road, part of Wates Residential and Brent Council’s commitment to building new council homes.

The Leader of Brent Council, Cllr Muhammed Butt was joined by Sarah Diane Robbins, Senior Community Engagement Officer-Housing, with Wates Project Manager, Paul Smith, and Social Value Manager, Ria Morris.

Jason visited the development site as part of JRF’s onoing commitment over the next 2-years to work with various local stakeholders on Heritage, Climate, Health, and Employment initiatives for the local community.

In March 2022 leading developer, Wates Residential, was appointed by Brent Council to create 99 new council homes in Church Road, Church End, which is set to help transform the area.

As part of this regeneration scheme, there will be a new market square and a range of shops at the site where a car park once stood.

Part of Wates Group, one of the UK’s leading construction, property services and residential development companies, Wates Residential started construction last year, with the homes due for completion by 2025.

The £30m project is part of the council’s Masterplan for Church End. By 2041, the area will boast 1,300 new homes along with hundreds of new employment and training opportunities and improved infrastructure. This particular project in Church End will enable Wates and Brent Council to invest in the local community through the generation of 16 apprenticeships and a minimum of 20 objective-based work placements for local people.

For more information visit:

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’.

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.

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.”

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

Summer of Fun for Brent young people

Golf Lessons at Bridgestone

As the school gates close for the long summer holidays, the gates at Bridgestone Arena are opened as the Jason Roberts Foundation (JRF) kicks off their annual Summer Programme for the children and young people of Brent.

This year the action-packed agenda of sports, games, and activities started on Monday 25th July and will run until the 26th of August 2022.

With a range of sporting activities on the menu including basketball, tennis, badminton, golf, table tennis, boxing, football, cricket, and dance, as well as creative arts, and media training through the Cultural Media Centre, there is something for everyone.

Thanks to funding from Young Brent Foundation – One Flow One Brent, Hyde, Brent Council, and Karakusevic-Carson Architects, young people will also enjoy some away-days to try their hand at rowing and kayaking, amongst other excursions.

To keep young people active and engaged throughout their summer holidays there will be activities for different age groups and abilities.

From Monday to Thursday 12:00 – 4:00 pm children aged 5 – 16 years can enjoy all of the activities on offer and on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 5:00 – 9:30pm 16 – 25-year-olds are welcome to enjoy a range of sports. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday’s from 12:00 – 2:00 pm children and young people with physical and learning disabilities will have dedicated coaches delivering some fun activities and games.

Otis Roberts, CEO at JRF said: “We are so grateful for the support these organisations and businesses provide to enable us to deliver these programmes for our children and young people. It ensures they have a safe place to go during the long summer holidays, where they can take part in sports and fun, affordable activities. Keeping fit, active, and healthy whilst having the opportunity to socialise with their friends and make new ones, and enjoy new experiences through our excursions is our aim for these children. Our summer is always extremely busy, but equally very rewarding for our staff, coaches, and volunteers to see how much the children enjoy themselves.”

JRF offer an open access programme of activities to ensure everyone can take part and no-one is excluded.

For more information regarding the summer programme email the JRF Team at

Minibus Donation for Foundation


The JRF Team were over the moon to receive a donation from a generous benefactor to purchase a minibus to support their work for the benefit of the local community.

The 14-seater minibus is a long-sought after attribute for the Foundation to aid the community outreach they do across Brent and will enable coaches and volunteers to be driven to different wards, parks, and green spaces across the borough to deliver sports sessions and community events.

The vehicle will complement some of the Foundation’s work and will enable participants of the JRF funded projects to be transported to Bridgestone Arena, the home of the Foundation since the launch in 2007, or to other venues for away-days, trips, and tournaments so they can experience other activities.

The London-based Architecture Practice (that has chosen to remain anonymous), was introduced to the Foundation and was impressed by the work they do in the local community. They supported some youth delivery over the summer with a donation, and subsequently chose to offer a larger donation to sponsor the purchase of the minibus.

Otis Roberts, CEO of the Foundation said; “The addition of this minibus will make a huge difference to our offer. It is something we have aspired to for several years but there are rarely funding opportunities available to purchase a capital asset of this value. We are very grateful to our sponsor for their kind and magnanimous support.”

JRF Launch Cultural Media Centre Website

Cultural Media Centre Logo

Following the official launch in January 2021 of JRF’s new ‘Cultural Media Centre’ (CMC) situated at Bridgestone Arena, the home of the Foundation since its launch in 2007, JRF are thrilled to announce the launch of the CMC Website.

The newly created CMC website can be accessed directly or via the JRF website through the Media Centre at the top of the page.

The CMC was borne, in part, as a response to the ongoing pandemic and the need of the Foundation team to find creative ways to stay in contact with and continue to support their local community.

Equipment to resource the studio was funded through grants awarded to JRF from the London Community Response Fund and Trustees of Wembley National Stadium Trust, and the Edward Harvist Trust Fund, as well as donations and refurbishment by local firm C&C Builders Ltd.

The new CMC website will house all media output including podcasts, videos, events, and CMC Radio, and will cover areas including Careers, Education Environment, Health, Heritage, JRF Projects, Sport, The Arts, and Youth Voices.

The CMC provides a platform where “everyone has a voice” and offers a vital connection in these disconnected times, and the CMC website will enable those voices to be shared to a wider audience.