The FromCare2Work Quality Mark, managed by Catch22's National Care Advisory Service, recognises local authorities and employers who are committed to improving the employability opportunities offered to care leavers and to develop their experience of the world of work.
Tottenham Hotspur Foundation has a proud history of work in this area, most recently through Jermain Defoe’s E18HTEEN project.
E18HTEEN sees the striker act as an ambassador and positive role model to 16-19 year olds in care or care leavers identified by the local authorities of Barnet, Enfield, Haringey and Waltham Forest.
Jermain was present to accept the Quality Mark on behalf of the Foundation alongside two E18HTEEN participants, Charlotte and Finnean, who have both achieved qualifications and employment through the project.
Speaking at the event, Jermain said: “The hard work that has been put in over the past year is paying off. E18HTEEN is something that is close to my heart, giving something back and helping young people by trying to get them to do something constructive with their lives. It’s something I have enjoyed doing and today was special.
“The whole team behind the project have worked extremely hard and the participants themselves have given their all. Charlotte and Finn were here today and just seeing how happy they are is fantastic because they have a goal in life now and know exactly what they want to achieve. It’s so important.”
Tim Loughton said: “I congratulate Tottenham Hotspur Football Foundation on gaining the Quality Mark for their outstanding work with children leaving care in Barnet, Enfield, Haringey and Waltham Forest.
“Leaving a foster placement or children’s home and stepping out into the adult world is understandably daunting for many young people. It’s vital they get help to gain the skills and training they need to find a job and make their way in the world.”
Young people leaving care face significantly harder challenges in securing training and work opportunities. They are less likely to achieve good GCSEs at school and may need extra help to gain the skills they need to do well.
The most recent statistics show that 13.9 per cent of looked after children achieve good GCSEs (A*-C) in English and mathematics, compared with a national average of 58.6 per cent.
E18HTEEN addresses this by offering an individually tailored learning and development programme with free access to 18 separate training and life skills workshops and 18 different sports.
Tottenham Hotspur Foundation becomes only the third organisation to receive the From Care2Work Quality Mark, alongside York Marriott Hotel and the National Housing Federation.