Emulating Comic Relief’s iconic red nose, the plaque recognises the Foundation’s commitment to creating opportunities for young people with complex needs in Haringey through the innovative employability programme, Route One.
The Route One project, delivered in partnership with Charlton and Arsenal football clubs, supports young people aged 16-27 with mental health issues to re-integrate into the community through a series of positive and empowering life-skills programmes.
Focusing on routes in to employment including skills workshops and seminars, CV training and interview skills, the provision supports participants to develop their employability whilst gaining a Level Two Qualification in Customer Service, over an 18 month period.
Working with over 75 young people, Route One also creates opportunities for participants to develop transferable skills such as communication and teamwork through recreational activities, including orienteering day trips and a three day sailing residential in Cornwall.
Rosina, aged 23, has suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder since she was a child. Having been referred on to the project by her care worker, Rosina has taken steps to develop her future career prospects.
She said: “Before coming on to the Route One project I had some concerns about my mental health and was lacking in confidence because of these. Whilst I managed to get a first class honours degree at university, I didn’t have any faith in my ability and have struggled to find a way to highlight my positive qualities in job applications.
“A particular highlight for me on this programme has been the sessions around writing covering letters. The coaches on the project have helped me to understand what strengths I have and how I can highlight these to future employers.
“I’m currently studying for my Masters in Popular Music Research so I think learning how to write covering letters for both immediate employment to support my studies and also longer term employment in my specialist field has been invaluable.”
Nikki Kelly, Senior Manager at Tottenham Hotspur Foundation said: “We’re delighted that Comic Relief has recognised the work of Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s Route One programme, through the plaque presentation.
“Route One supports young people experiencing mental health problems to take part in a range of employability sessions, developing transferable skills and signposting them on to accessible education, employment and training pathways in our local boroughs.”
In a letter to local charities receiving the commemorative plaques, Comic Relief Trustee Lenny Henry OBE said: “One of the things that makes me most proud about being part of Comic Relief is the brilliant work that projects like yours do to help people living really tough lives here in the UK. To celebrate our partnership, we’ve created this plaque for you to display. It shows the world just how proud we are of you and lets local people know that lives are being transformed right on their doorstep.”
Since its launch in 1985, Comic Relief has worked with over 16,800 projects across the UK, funding charitable organisations with the skills, talent and vision to create projects that inspire people to turn their lives around and build a better future, such as the Foundation’s Route One programme.
Pictured above: BBC Radio 2’s Matt Williams and Comic Relief’s Tara Carey present the commemorative plaque to Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s Mathijs Leenhouts and Route One participant Rosina.