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Tottenham Hotspur Foundation - five fantastic years!

The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation's fifth year will be celebrated at Sunday's Premier League match against Manchester United at White Hart Lane.

Today, the award-winning Foundation has employability at its core, delivering a 'cradle to career' approach as its driving ethos.

Since being granted independent charitable status at No.10 Downing Street in early 2007, the Foundation has created 1.5 million sporting opportunities for people in the Club’s local community.

At present, 48 per cent of the Foundation’s coaching workforce have previously been participants on community programmes that have changed the lives of so many.

These innovative programmes engage young people from classrooms in local Primary and Secondary schools through to Further and Higher Education and leading on to employment.

In doing so, the Foundation reaches some of society’s most hard-to-reach young people, such as Children in Care and those classified as 'NEET' (Not in Education, Employment or Training) after leaving compulsory education.

The Foundation gives these young people the skills needed to gain future employment through:
- running intervention programmes aimed at school children with the lowest self-esteem and attainment levels
- giving over 6,000 children the chance to study at White Hart Lane’s Spurs Learning Zone
- teaching school children how to run a business using the model of a professional football club through the Enterprise Academy
- giving budding footballers classified as ‘NEET’ the opportunity to study BTEC and NVQ qualifications while receiving Academy-standard coaching at college, through the Sports Industry Award-nominated Football & Education Development Centre programme
- working with local authorities to signpost young people in care or care leavers to the E18HTEEN project, where they are given an individually tailored learning and development programme with Jermain Defoe acting as a positive role model
- becoming the first ever professional football club to offer a Degree course in partnership with a University

New programmes are continuing to be developed all the time.

This week, Club captain Ledley King announced that he is putting his name to a comprehensive community sport and education programme for young people from Haringey aged 12-19 years. Many have been identified as 'NEET' or at risk of becoming 'NEET', including ex-offenders, gang members and young people that have emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Daniel Levy, Chairman, Tottenham Hotspur, said:

"Our Foundation has received many accolades and we have been immensely proud of its achievements to date. We started out to set the benchmark in terms of a Foundation which fundamentally provides life-changing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities in our community. It has never stood still - it now has employability and the 'cradle to career' approach at its core.

"Without a shadow of a doubt, the single greatest issue we face in society, and the root cause of issues such as a sense of hopelessness, crime and unhealthy lifestyles, is unemployment. Work is the cornerstone of a healthy society and we are committed through our Foundation to playing our part in raising levels of education, employment skills and job opportunities."

Grant Cornwell MBE, Chief Executive Officer, Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, said:

"Over the past five years the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation has been delivering life changing programmes for those in our communities on a daily basis. Using the unique and inspiring brand of Tottenham Hotspur and the players as inspirational role models, we work with over 100,000 participants every year in some of the most deprived areas of London.

“The Foundation will be focusing its attention in the coming years to how the power and infrastructure of football can be used to help support and train young people to help them gain meaningful work experience and employment opportunities.”

Ledley King, Club captain, Tottenham Hotspur, said:

“As players, we recognise the important role we can play in our community, especially amongst young people, and as captain I am proud of the commitment the players at this Club show to the work of our Foundation.

“At least a player a week attends a Foundation project or initiative and it is something we willingly dedicate our time to.

“I have just put my name to the new Skills project – enabling 12-19 year olds from in and around Tottenham to take part in sport and learn the life skills necessary to stand them in good stead for future employment.”

During the Manchester United game, the Tottenham Hotspur team will wear special edition shirts incorporating the wording 'Tottenham Hotspur Foundation: Creating Opportunities That Change Lives'.

Also on the day, ‘Football Freestylers’ from the Foundation will be delivering a performance on White Hart Lane’s public square and the official fifth birthday cake will be cut pitchside at half-time by Club Ambassador and legendary former captain, Gary Mabbutt.