Greenhouse Sports, the London charity that provides free sports coaching and mentoring to thousands of children growing up in the most disadvantaged parts of London, has announced a new funding campaign, ‘Life After Lockdown’.
For Greenhouse Sports the Coronavirus pandemic has seen an income shortfall owing to cancellation of fundraising events and activity. Unlocking new funding will allow the charity to increase its vital services to the capital’s most disadvantaged children as they return to a more ‘normal’ life.
Greenhouse Sports says the challenges children growing up in disadvantaged areas have always faced have been exacerbated by the Coronavirus-enforced lockdown. They started the year already twice as likely to leave school without Maths and English GCSEs than their more privileged peers. Reports during lockdown suggest a fifth of schoolchildren have done little or no schoolwork at home, with four in ten having no regular contact with teachers with many lacking internet access for online learning.
Throughout the pandemic the charity’s ‘HomeCoach’ programme has meant that some kids have been able to stay in touch with their coaches and mentors at Greenhouse Sports and to support their physical and mental wellbeing. Now, as children begin gradually returning to schools, those mentors will be on the frontline at their schools, providing familiar faces, mental wellbeing and physical health support to help them to re-engage with teachers whom they haven’t interacted with for months.
Increased funding levels will allow Greenhouse Sports to reach even more kids at this crucial time. With 17 schools on the charity’s waiting list for Greenhouse Sports’ coaching and mentoring programmes, the demand for its services after lockdown is at its highest level ever.
Béatrice Butsana-Sita adds: “This is a really crucial time and the need and demand for the support and mentoring that our coaches provide in situ at schools is at a peak.
“We’ve actually lost around £1m in income over the last few months due to key events being cancelled and people’s inevitable concerns with future uncertainties across the economy. However, we now enter a crucial week with the public launch of our Life after Lockdown campaign. This week all donations we receive will be matched thanks to our partnership with the Childhood Trust’s Champions for Children fundraiser – a pivotal opportunity to kick-start our Life after Lockdown appeal.
“Greenhouse Sports helps young people realise their ability on a daily basis and at this time we want to be reaching even more of those in need.”
“We hear time and time again from our young people’s families and teachers about the important role we play in their lives – whether that’s providing a safe space to play sport or providing mentorship and support with schooling day-to-day.”
Jay Shapiro, a Headteacher at Addey and Stanhope School in New Cross, one of Greenhouse Sports partner schools, says: “Greenhouse and Coach Renan have been absolutely fundamental to our Covid-19 response. Our priority as a school is the wellbeing of students and staff, and Renan has kept this firmly on the agenda. He has been an inspiration to us all and I have received extremely positive feedback from parents.
“His fitness sessions have been vital in maintaining morale and, also, the engagement of some of our most vulnerable students.”
Greenhouse Sports Director of Coaching, Jason Sugrue says: “The work we do with these young people is incredibly important not only for their physical health but their mental health too. Not being able to come to the Centre has been a huge blow for many of them so being able to stay connected and be that support system for them has never been more important.”
“When lockdown ends life isn’t going to suddenly go back to normal, and it is these children that will be affected the most. It is so important that we are able to get to the schools and help the teachers with re-engaging the kids back into learning.”
This month we launched our ‘Life after Lockdown’ fundraising appeal aiming to raise £1m, with £750k raised so far, and we now enter a crucial week for donations. Tuesday 23rd June marks the start of Champions for Children, a seven-day funding campaign led by the Childhood Trust. During this week, all donations to Greenhouse Sports, are matched by the Childhood Trust up to £50,000. For more information on how you can support Greenhouse Sports, click here.