Money raised from a charity CEO Sleepout last October supports youth projects which help thousands of young people improve their life skills and employment prospects.
Newcastle United Foundation's youth projects include Kicks, National Citizen Service, Lifestyles and the Enterprise Academy. Foundation staff have delivered over 6500 sessional hours of out of school youth work to 5633 young people during the 2013/14 season, helped by a generous grant of £10,000 from the CEO Sleepout fund.
The Toon CEO Sleepout took place in October last year and saw 50 of the region's top business leaders giving up a night of comfort to sleep out by the side of the pitch at St James' Park, raising £56,712 for local good causes.
Organised by Middlesbrough & Teesside Philanthropic Foundation in partnership with Newcastle United Foundation, the CEO Sleepout was an opportunity for business people to raise awareness and important funds for essential homeless services in the city. By funding the Foundation's youth projects, the Magpie's official charity has been able to utilise the power of football and Newcastle United to engage with hard to reach young people before they reach a situation of homelessness in the North East.
One of the projects supported is 'Kicks', a diversionary youth project which engages young people aged between 11 and 19 in constructive football activities across the city, particularly in neighbourhoods where anti-social behaviour is high.
In the West End of Newcastle in particular, Northumbria police have seen 60% fewer anti-social behaviour incidents on Fridays when the Kicks session runs, compared to a Saturday night. Also, by encouraging volunteering and helping build team skills, Kicks helps develop a pathway of opportunities for participants with 30% gaining accredited qualifications and 30% progressing to volunteering.
Kate Bradley, Head of Newcastle United Foundation said:
"Our youth programmes prepare young people for the transition to adulthood, particularly if they face barriers to education, training and employment or experience disadvantage such as housing, young parenthood or leaving care. The Foundation helps young people develop the skills and confidence they need to be successful in the future and we thank CEO Sleepout for supporting us with their generous donation."