Sport in the community

Funding level: Up to £1,000


Eden Bow is enabling young people to
•Value themselves and others
•Raise hope for a better future
•Transform their communities

Over the last few years we have seen a group of local young people (some of whom are now young adults) grow a Saturday morning football kick about started by a couple of men from our project. Whilst the session is a chance to play a sport they enjoy it has also become a hub for new friendships across cultures and ethnicities and a place for young leaders to emerge.

We want to make this Saturday morning group into a recognized project and team called the Bow Bolts. They have been meeting every Saturday on the local green for the past two years come rain or shine and we want to further invest in them so that they can enter football tournaments, run their own friendly matches with other local teams, bring in coaches to further their sporting skills and increase their numbers.

The footballers meet weekly on a Saturday morning in the middle of the Lincoln Estate and is currently attended by 15 people aged between 13-28. We want to see this grow by using the award money to fund publicity, tournaments and additional equipment.

Those who already attend are from mixed ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and the use of football has proved a great way to break down barriers that have existed in our community. There is also a great mix of ages from young teen to young adult, and whilst the kick about was started by a couple of adults, the sessions are now organised by older teens. We've seen these young adults prove incredible coaches and role models to the younger teenagers and would love to recognise their leadership and use some of this funding to provide them with qualifications in football coaching and first aid.

As well as providing training we would like to use the funding to buy kit that the group could wear to matches, giving them a better sense of ownership and identity as a team.

We would like to use their love of football and desire to play in games to give them opportunities to travel around London (and possibly further afield) to meet new people at tournaments and matches and breakdown some of the postcode barriers that are in place for many of our local young people on the edge of or at risk of being involved with gang activity.

As with any sport, football is also a great chance for those involved to get active and keep fit. By formalising the group and organising matches for them to play in, there is a greater incentive to attending the training sessions each week and build up fitness, stamina and skill. It will also increase the numbers attending, therefore helping more local residents keep active and fit.

We want you to vote for Bow Bolts because we believe the young people we work with are best placed to say what their peers need and want and this football project is something they are passionate about and are fully active in organising. This funding will make a huge difference to them and the young people who benefit each week from the session.

The Lincoln Estate where we are located ranks among the top 10% of most deprived neighbourhoods in the UK. 52% of children in our ward live in poverty. Eden Bow aims to break the cycle of antisocial behaviour, exclusion and criminal activity linked to gang membership on the estate. Our objective is to reconnect young residents on the Lincoln Estate as stakeholders in their local community. We wish to break through artificial barriers of ethnicity, religion or “turf” and develop a sense of common purpose through our group work and skills based activities. These can make a positive difference in their lives, and give them the opportunity to discover new talents and passions, equip them with the life skills and motivation to positively transform their own neighbourhood, and break down barriers of suspicion and distrust of statutory authorities.

Eden Bow

Location: London

I'm proud of this because it is the young people who have taken something started by adults and made it into a well attended regular football session for anyone on the estate. This is their project and idea and I could not be more proud of their committment and encouragement of one another.
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