Skills offers a comprehensive sport and education programme to young people from Haringey aged 12-19 years. Many have been identified as ‘NEET’ (Not in Education, Employment or Training) or at risk of becoming so, including ex-offenders, gang members and young people that have emotional and behavioural difficulties.
In partnership with Haringey Council and the London Boxing Academy, the former site of the Wood Green Youth Centre at White Hart Lane Community Sports Centre has been revamped, with Ledley himself joining local young people in helping with the redecorating process back in February.
Since then, Skills has become active with an average of nearly 40 young people per evening attending to take part in the sport activities on offer, including football, boxing and basketball.
Daytime activities engage young people that have been excluded from, or are in a process that may lead to exclusion from school or college. These young people attend courses, programmes and workshops that will cover a range of academic qualifications.
Ledley was impressed with what he saw on his latest visit, and said: “When I first visited, there was still a lot of work that needed to be done, so I would firstly like to commend everybody involved with the project at how quickly they have got the site up and running.
“It’s a great place for both boys and girls to come along and I can only wish that there were more things like this around when I was younger. I’m just delighted that the project is up and running and that youngsters are showing an interest.
“Having spoken to the young people myself, they seem happy with the project and happy to participate in the different sports on offer. Not everyone enjoys the same thing, so it’s good that there is something for everyone.
“I watched a bit of the football and tried my hand at a bit of boxing, which was hard work! But there are also computers available here for youngsters to come down and learn as well.
“As a Club, we do a great job in giving back to the community and the players show their support throughout the year. Skills is my own way of doing just that.”