Dame Kelly Holmes Trust are proud to be one of four national organisations to have teamed up with Dallaglio RugbyWorks for a new project which will enable 200 young people at risk of falling out of the education system to develop positive and productive futures. The three-year project will use the power of sport to engage young people in London who desperately need support to get through this challenging period with the skills to succeed in later life.

Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, SLQ Sports Leaders, The Rugby Football Union (RFU) and England Boxing have joined forces with RugbyWorks for the project which has been awarded funding of just over £280,000 from The Mercers’ Charitable Foundation.

This will see RugbyWorks deliver vital support to hundreds of young people across several schools in the capital, with the aim of successfully allowing young people to transition into further education, employment or training after mandatory education through the development of critical life skills and mentoring.

Using rugby and sport as a hook to engage the teenagers in positive activity, the project will help young people shape a pathway into a better future by developing their physical and mental wellbeing through a range of regular activities, as well as allowing participants to understand more about and engage within their local community.

The Trust will provide access to their mentoring expertise for the young people on this project. Using their experience of training and developing world class athletes to deliver personal, social and emotional development programmes for young people facing disadvantage, they will provide essential guidance for participants on this project.

Ben Hilton, CEO of Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, said: 

We are delighted our world class athletes will be supporting and mentoring young people in London through what will be a difficult time in the months and years ahead. We are excited to be working in partnership with such great organisations across the sporting and sport for development sectors and we are confident this programme will have a huge impact on the individual development as well as the physical and mental wellbeing of the young people involved.

Alongside the development of life skills and essential mentoring support, SLQ Sports Leaders will also allow the project to offer young people the opportunity to achieve a Level 1 qualification in Sports Leadership, which will enable participants to develop their leadership skills and stay physically active, enhancing their chances of forging a career pathway after school.

The RFU and England Boxing will also play a critical role by providing delivery assistance to the RugbyWorks team as well as creating community engagement opportunities for participants. Not only will this help the young people to develop a real sense of their community by interacting with local grassroots sports clubs, they will develop their physical and mental wellbeing by participating in a diverse range of sporting activity.

All partner organisations will help the young people involved with the project to increase their levels of sporting participation, obtain valuable coaching qualifications and raise aspirations through exposure to the high-quality community provisions.

Charlotte Nugent, Grants Programme Manager at the Mercers’ Company (Trustee of The Mercers’ Charitable Foundation), said: “We are thoroughly excited to begin a three-year partnership with Dallaglio RugbyWorks. The project helps young people successfully move from secondary education to the next stage of their lives, which aligns perfectly with the Transitions Special Initiative under our Young People & Education programme.”