Alex has created an enriching and ‘out of comfort zone’ experience for youth groups across six London boroughs: Lambeth, Southwark, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Westminster and Harrow. By participating in the LFJ, each participate is able to develop new and beneficial skills.
It involves up to fifteen 12-14 years olds who are asked to record footage about their local area, what they love about football and their youth club. With eleven in the Streatham Youth team, including Will Cunningham, Azeem Ahmad and Marvin Wacha, they, with the help of Alex, were ready to record their video, which is then sent and shown to another youth club. The Streatham youth team in turn receives a video from the corresponding youth club.
The LFJ not only helps youth clubs from different areas in London to integrate, interact and communicate in the wider community, but LFJ helps develop leadership skills, a positive mindset, personal development and respect for one another.
Once each side has viewed the other’s video, they are invited down for a ‘Home and Away’ game. The two groups intermix so they are not playing with all their own members and have a training session before a friendly match. On a later day the other club visits Streatham for another training session and match. By the end of the project each youth group will have visited three other areas.
The experience does not end after the games are played. Those who have been nominated to be LFJ ambassadors will co-produce programmes, build the LFJ network, plan and deliver recruitment sessions at new youth groups and initiate projects to benefit their community, further widening the number of teams and areas any given club can visit while developing confidence and communication skills.
Knowing that there are many issues surround youth people today, Alex Baine hopes this will help children feel confident and safer in their area and London. Alex will begin initiating positive action projects over the autumn and winter and plans to celebrate the year's activities with an event at Wembley stadium in spring 2014.