The Football League Trust is delighted to announce that it is able to continue its flagship On Target programme for a three-year period due to a £259,000 grant from The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and a £50,000 grant from npower.
On Target uses the positive power of football to engage with disaffected young people on Friday and Saturday evenings in areas identified by the police as 'hotspots' for anti-social behaviour and crime. Once 'engaged' the project seeks to raise aspirations in the young people, specifically with regards to education.
Originally established in 2009 with a grant from The Department for Children, Schools and Families, the On Target programme ran through seven of The Football League Trust community schemes - Bristol City, Bristol Rovers, Coventry City, Grimsby Town, Leeds United, Rochdale and Sheffield Wednesday.
The locations targeted are exclusively in the most 25% deprived areas of England and consultation with local agencies ensures that young people at risk of offending can be referred to the sessions. The Esmée Fairbairn funding makes up around 50% of the total required to continue the project in these seven locations for a further three years.
The Football League Trust will work with the seven local charities to find the additional 50% through partnership funding, and npower's contribution is a huge step towards that goal.
Mike Evans, General Manager of The Football League Trust, said: 'We would like to thank Esmée Fairbairn for their funding which will make the On Target programme sustainable for another three years in some of the country's most deprived wards.
"We have seen a significant positive impact on crime and ASB levels on the nights when On Target runs, and many examples of young people volunteering and gaining qualifications through the programme. 'We would also like to thank npower for their continued support of Football League Trust initiatives.
"Their £50,000 contribution is part of a £1 million investment into our community programme this season, and along with their financial support comes an enthusiasm and expertise around marketing and promotion that drives us and our 72 charities to continually improve our reach and impact."