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#SpursCares #PassionateAboutTottenham #JermainDefoe #NewStadium

Jermain Defoe celebrates educational achievements of Haringey’s children in care

Fri 18 November 2022, 21:15|Tottenham Hotspur

Club Ambassador Jermain Defoe was a special guest presenter at the 2022 Haringey Educational Achievement Awards, held at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Friday night.

The event, organised annually by Tottenham Hotspur Foundation in partnership with the Haringey Virtual School of Children in Care, sees 11-16-year-olds nominated by their social workers, teachers, foster carers and key workers for awards across different categories, spanning education, community and personal attainment.

Jermain, who is sixth on Spurs’ all-time record goalscorers' list and now coaches in the Club’s Academy following his retirement from playing earlier this year, presented the awards alongside Cllr Gina Adamou, Mayor of Haringey.

During his time as a player at the Club, Jermain fronted E18HTEEN - a Tottenham Hotspur Foundation project that worked with over 160 young people who had been in care or were care leavers, offering more than 5,000 hours of one-to-one mentoring and access to training and employment opportunities.

Children in Care are statistically less likely than their peers to achieve top grades throughout all years of school. Research shows that 40 per cent of care leavers aged 19 to 21 not in education, employment or training (NEET), compared to 13 per cent for this age group overall.

In 2021, the number of children in care by local authorities in England rose to 80,850, up 1% on the previous year and continuing the rise seen in recent years. Approximately 400 of these children reside in our local borough of Haringey.

This year’s Haringey Educational Achievement Awards were co-hosted by three Haringey young people - Fatima, Fatmata and Santina – and featured performances from local talent including the Haringey Vox Choir, Collage Arts, spoken word artist Kidanasi and Wuntanara African Drumming band.

Jermain said: “I’ve always been extremely passionate about working with young people and my experience with the E18HTEEN project during my time as a player gave me a focus of helping children in care achieve their potential.

“The Club and Haringey do an incredible amount of work together for this group of young people across the Borough and tonight it was fantastic to hear about the educational achievements of so many children in care, often in extremely challenging circumstances.

“Now I’m back home at Spurs, I’m looking forward to continuing my work with the Club and its Foundation to identify opportunities for me to re-engage with local young people and do what I can to make a difference.”

Nicola Morgan, Headteacher, Haringey Virtual School, said: “I’ve worked in Education for my entire career and it’s events like these that really act as a reminder of why I do what I do. The achievements of our Haringey children and young people in care are among some of the best in the country. Our children and young people are amazing, resilient and hard-working. As Headteacher of Haringey Virtual School I am extremely proud to be part of a dedicated team that has truly been able to make a difference to the lives of our children and young people by ensuring they are supported and receive the best possible education.”

The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and the Haringey Virtual School continue to provide opportunities for Haringey’s looked-after young people to participate in activities, events and workshops.

The Foundation’s To Care Is To Do programme provides a range of support services to help children in care and care leavers in our local community. The project improves educational attainment, increases employability, develops life skills and promotes healthy and active lifestyles.

Care leavers also take part in independent living activities, including money management, cooking and DIY workshops, and are signposted onto work experience, qualifications and job opportunities.