As part of its multi-year partnership with health and wellbeing provider Westfield Health, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust has launched a series of programmes this January in Sheffield. Over 2,000 Sheffield-based young people will benefit this year, the largest number of young people the Trust will ever have worked with in a single city.
Sixteen students each at ten Sheffield secondary schools, who are facing challenging circumstances in their personal or school life, will be chosen by the schools to benefit from mentoring sessions delivered in their schools by Trust athlete mentors. They’ll cover wellbeing techniques, team building, the importance of physical activity, problem solving and social action planning. Their resulting social action projects, delivered to pupils in feeder primary schools, will focus on boosting health and wellbeing, benefiting hundreds more children. The Trust will work closely with all schools to respond quickly to any changes in the Covid19 situation, and ensure young people still access this support.
The Foundation will also run youth leadership programmes, , in partnership with the Trust, for local young people who want to make positive differences in their communities and improve the health and wellbeing of others. These 18-25 year olds will benefit from sessions delivered by the Trust’s athlete mentors designed to develop their leadership skills and ability to work with groups of young people. They will also learn to develop their own fun and engaging sessions. They will be given opportunities to support schools-based and local community organisations, and raise awareness of challenges faced by young people today.
As with all Trust programmes, these will be delivered by world-class athletes who have been trained up by the Trust to use their unique experience from the world of competitive sport to mentor young people. Some of the region’s finest home-grown talent, including , former England rugby league international and challenge cup winner with Sheffield Eagles, and , former GB Olympic and world championship swimmer will be working with the young people of Sheffield. The transformational programmes are designed to improve wellbeing, help build healthy relationships and unlock the confidence, self-esteem and resilience needed to achieve in education, work and life.
Closely aligned with the Move More Sheffield strategy, the Trust is collaborating with local delivery partners to ensure the programmes are delivered where the need is greatest, giving many young people who are already facing disadvantage or challenges in their everyday lives the opportunity to thrive.
Katie Glossop, Acting Senior Manager, Sheffield United Community Foundation said:
“It’s a pleasure to work in partnership with Dame Kelly Holmes Trust to deliver the community leadership programme in Sheffield. Working in partnership to support our communities is one of our key priorities as we know working together can have a much bigger impact for our beneficiaries. We are excited to start this new journey with the Trust and look forward to supporting young people in Sheffield with this fantastic opportunity.”
Dave Capper, CEO at Westfield Health, added:
At Westfield Health our purpose is to make a healthy difference to the quality of life of our customers and the communities in which they live and work. Sheffield is our home city and we’re delighted to be supporting local young people who have been particularly hard hit during the pandemic, and creating opportunities for them to achieve their full potential.
Anna Lowe, Programme Manager, National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine and Development Lead for Move More Sheffield agreed:
We are committed to creating a healthier, happier and more connected Sheffield, and we welcome the Trust’s active involvement with our network. We look forward to working together to deliver opportunities to our young people to increase their physical and mental wellbeing.
James Kirton, former GB Olympic and world champion swimmer said of his hometown:
Sheffield took an ordinary council estate lad, with an average school experience to go on to become a top 10 world ranked Olympic swimmer; this lad was me. The guidance and support from the team around me were the building blocks that enabled the career and lifetime highs I was able to achieve. My day job may no longer be as an elite swimmer, but I am now lucky enough to be a coach and a mentor to the next generation, passing on this knowledge and skills to young people who are grappling with so many complexities, all over the country, the Steel City included.
With 2,000 Sheffield-based young people set to benefit from this year’s programme, and plans for expansion over the coming years already underway, the partnership is set to produce long lasting positive social impact from the outset.