Sport in the community

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

Our story

Imagine you've just been released from prison. You don't want to return to the gang lifestyle that got you there, but that's the lifestyle you grew up with and the only lifestyle you've ever known. You've got time on your hands and not much to do with it, and your prospects don't look good. What do you do?

This was the reality for Terroll Lewis, founder of The Block WorkOut Foundation. He couldn't afford a gym, so he decided to start his own workouts in local parks and playgrounds around Lambeth to keep his focus and avoid going back to his previous life. He soon became a social media sensation as he started videoing his sessions. After crowds started showing up to train with him, he realised that there were lots of other young people from similar backgrounds who needed a safe and supportive community network they could rely on. And so in 2010 Block WorkOut was born.

The Block WorkOut Foundation has been set up to embed Block WorkOut in local communities and ensure that every young person at high risk of gang involvement or serious crime has someone to believe in them, something to keep them active, and has the opportunity to change their life for the better. Block WorkOut is more than a workout – it’s a lifestyle, a mind-set. Our 'street gyms' are community hubs, and we provide a positive community network and safe place for young people. Our fitness sessions help users develop their confidence, determination and resilience, which is combined with training and mentoring to increase the opportunities available to them and improve their long term aspirations. We aim to give the young people we work with the mind-set of a champion.


Our project

Since The Block WorkOut Foundation was set up in 2014, we've worked with over 800 people from communities across Lambeth and surrounding areas. It's been amazing how much support we've had from the community and council. At the moment we run sessions throughout the week around Brixton. But we also know we can do so much more!

We've already been approached by a number of other councils and partners who want to work with us to deliver our programme in new areas and support their local communities. We want to use Aviva Community Fund to enable us to do this.

With the funding, we will launch Block WorkOut in 3 new areas, delivering 3 sessions per week in each location over a year. As a small charity, we have very few overheads, so we can direct funding to running sessions. The majority of funding will go towards the costs of leading sessions. Just £50 covers a lead and assistant coach to run one of our weekly sessions for up to 20 people. The remaining funding will be used to cover costs for equipment and a project coordinator. Our sessions are free for users.


Why you should vote for us

The Block WorkOut Foundation works with some of the most vulnerable young people in society and has a huge impact on individuals and local communities it supports. Our team of instructors come from the same communities and backgrounds, so they can relate to the challenges that young people face and help them make positive decisions about their life. But don't just take our word for it:

"This has had a massive impact on my life. I was just walking around, with nothing to do. That’s how teens get into trouble. I don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t started coming here.”
Cheyenne, 17, Block WorkOut user

"There’s a whole family here, loads of people from different backgrounds. And it’s so motivating and having all these personal trainers everywhere. Before this I was starting my GCSEs and I was getting Cs. But Terroll taught me about putting your mind over matter. I started applying myself to my exams and I got Bs in the end. I was so happy, just running around shouting. I even met a careers adviser here and he helped me sort out my CV.”
Jermal, 17, Block WorkOut user

The Block WorkOut Foundation

Location: London

It's incredible to see how much members of the community support one another. One of our users, Diesel, recently qualified as a trainer, and he now coaches others just as he was mentored before. It is that dedication and community support network that makes The Block WorkOut Foundation so inspiring.
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