The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation (THF), in conjunction with the London Borough of Haringey and the Premier League/Professional Football Association Community Fund, has launched an innovative three-year local education programme named To Care Is To Do.
The programme, which aims to contribute to improving lifelong learning and educational attainment, as well as personal development of vulnerable and/or disadvantaged children in Haringey, was officially launched at White Hart Lane with guests including Haringey councillor Liz Santry, members of the Haringey Children In Care team, and representatives from participant schools.
As part of the launch, guests were taken on a tour of Tottenham Hotspur's world famous stadium - where hundreds of local school children come to supplement their school learning on a daily basis - and given an example of how the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation inspires young learners using the power of football by the Club's Football Freestyler, Billy Wingrove.
Grant Cornwell, Chief Operating Officer of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: "We are extremely proud to be launching the 'To Care Is To Do' project and hope that it will play a key role in helping to support vulnerable children within the Borough. We are also delighted to be able to continue to promote the links between the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and Haringey council, in particular the Children and Young People's services and Haringey Primary Care Trust."
Haringey Councillor Liz Santry said: "To Care Is To Do is an exciting project that further enhances the close links between the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and the Borough's looked after children. Our aim is to further increase the number of Haringey children in care who are in education, training or employment by the age of 19. This project gives us a great chance to move forward by giving vulnerable and disadvantaged young people the confidence to go and achieve in life and raise their aspirations.
"We all enjoy seeing young people achieve in life and that is what this project will enable them to do, with the help of the wonderful learning facility at White Hart Lane, which gives children somewhere very special and inspirational to learn. The partnership we have with Spurs is very important in improving outcomes for children in care by providing them with a range of positive experiences they would not receive otherwise."
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: "I want to congratulate the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation on securing this grant from the Premier League and PFA Community Fund.
"Sport, and in particular football, is a very effective tool in supporting the education and personal development of young people. This is another example of football acting as a positive force for good in society and I am delighted to see the partnership between Spurs and the Football Foundation extending and strengthening the Haringey community."
Joe Lyons, acting Education Manager of the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said: "We are keen to support the vision of Ed Balls by helping to ensure that this is a golden age for children and the most exciting and fulfilling period in a person's life. By using this kind of intervention, we can aim to promote Healthy Lifestyles, encourage independent learning and most importantly build higher self-esteem and work towards individual success."
The To Care Is To Do project has at its heart the aim of promoting educational engagement and healthy lifestyles to vulnerable children and their families. The need for the project lies in the particular challenge of the Club's locality: Haringey is the 10th (out of 354) most deprived district in England and ranks in the top five most deprived districts in London.
The reason for making Children in Care a further priority group is that being a child in care makes a young person particularly vulnerable to a range of poor health and educational outcomes.
Local background for children in care is as follows:
- There are 412 young people in care to the borough of Haringey, 254 of whom are of school age
- 104 are in Haringey schools (39 primary & 65 secondary) and 150 in schools outside of the borough (55 primary & 95 secondary). The local authority has a duty of care for all children in care
- Attainment at GCSE has risen from 12%-21% (2006) for children who have been in care for 12+ months and increased from 41% to 48% (2006) for children in care achieving 5+ A* - G grades
- Primary school attendance continues to be a "strong focus" in the borough with children in care's attendance remaining a priority