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JD celebrates E18HTEEN

Jermain Defoe appeared at Northumberland Park Community School in Tottenham on Thursday to mark a successful first six months of his E18HTEEN project.

Through the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, E18HTEEN has given the striker the opportunity to act as a positive role model for a group of young people aged 16 – 19, who are in care or care leavers and identified as NEET(Not in Education, Employment or Training).

In partnership with the GLA and the London Boroughs of Barnet, Haringey, Enfield and Waltham Forest, the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation offers each participant a dedicated mentor and individually tailored learning and development programme with access to 18 separate training and life skill workshops and 18 different sports.

Jermain, meanwhile, is playing an active role in offering advice and inspiration to the young people involved as they hope to gain the qualifications and experience needed to prepare them for independence and adulthood.

Thursday saw Jermain take four E18HTEEN participants – Ashley, Charlotte, Finnean and Pierre – to Northumberland Park School to deliver a football coaching session to Year 7 children as part of their coaching experience and volunteering commitment.

He said: “E18HTEEN is all about giving young people the opportunity to take courses and gain qualifications that can open doors for them to do something positive with their lives, focusing on 16-19 year olds who are or have been in care.

“There are many challenges facing this group of young people and some have had hard upbringings, but E18HTEEN can help change their lives.

“The guys on the project are brilliant. They’re so honest. I have particularly been impressed with Charlotte, who really speaks from the heart – they all do – and as a result of what they have been through in their lives they are such genuine people who tell it how it is.

“I can tell they appreciate the help that E18HTEEN is giving them as perhaps they haven’t had this sort of help in the past.

“For me personally, it’s important for young people to see what I have achieved in my life and the hard work it has taken to get me to where I am today having come from the streets of East London.

“E18HTEEN has given me the chance to do just that, and it is a great feeling.”