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Jermain celebrates two years of E18HTEEN

Posted on 12 December 2013  - 08:00

This week marked the second anniversary of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation's E18HTEEN project, with a celebratory dinner and presentation by active project ambassador and role model, Jermain Defoe.

Jermain speaks to young people at the E18HTEEN dinner and presentationJD at the E18HTEEN dinner and presentationJD at the E18HTEEN dinner and presentationJermain hands out certificates at the E18HTEEN dinner and presentationJD at the E18HTEEN dinner and presentation

E18HTEEN works with 160 young people aged 16–19, identified by Local Authority ‘Virtual Schools of Children in Care’, to improve opportunities for some of the most vulnerable individuals within our community.

The project provides 1-2-1 mentor support for young people in care/care leavers who are not currently in education, employment or training. Each participant is given an individually tailored development programme, with free access to training, sports and life skills workshops. Supported by the Greater London Authority, E18HTEEN demonstrates how sport, coupled with mentor support, improves the lives of children in care and care leavers, instilling positive values and helping young people develop a sense of pride and identity.

Jermain said: “This project means a lot to me and it’s great to see how far it has come over the last couple of years.

“When we set it up, I wasn’t even thinking about media coverage, great statistics or even nights like this, it was just something I wanted to do,

“Speaking to the young people, it’s great to know that E18HTEEN has made a difference in their lives, helped them get an education and, in some cases, employment.”

Alex White, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation’s Community Development Manager, said, "As mentors, our role is to motivate and inspire vulnerable young people, and to help put in place building blocks that will enable them to reach their full potential. We've seen incredible results through E18HTEEN and hope to support many more young people with their transition to independence and adulthood."

For the young people involved in the project, their mentor relationships will forever provide a reference point of positive change.

“E18HTEEN helped us out when we thought we had no other alternatives, when no one was there to help us,” said E18HTEEN participant Edward Kargbo, 20. “E18HTEEN has brought all of us together, it’s had a positive effect on our lives, given us the second chance to make something of ourselves and hopefully we will now be able to help the next generation.”

And Charlotte Larbi, 20, added, “To me, E18HTEEN is family. Family isn’t about blood, family is about this. It’s about being there for each other.”