As the Youth Charter enters its 29th year, 2021 has been one of the busiest periods in the agency’s life journey reflected an uncertain world of challenges and opportunities.
With the relocation of the Youth Charter office to the Olympic Park at London Stadium Learning, the Youth Charter’s new location reflected the charity’s unprecedented journey in the bidding, hosting and legacy of sport for development for peace in the lives of young people and communities of disaffection and disadvantage globally.
Sport and physical activity was impacted by the ongoing pandemic and the mental, physical and emotional health, wellbeing and safeguarding of young people in particular, that saw the resulting rise in anti-social gang related violence on our streets.
2021 also saw the most diverse loss of young lives, with 75 young citizens losing their lives to different forms of criminal activity in communities - inner city, suburban and rural. The disproportionate representation of young black lives was also alarmingly and tragically evident. Equally, the past year has seen the largest number of lives under 16 lost to our streets with young lives taking other young lives. Society is still grappling with the ongoing variants of a pandemic that saw sport and the arts unable to properly provide a vaccine and antidote to the street pandemic, sport and physical activity, the lack of the already diminishing number of youth clubs and lack of youth workers has seen almost a perfect ‘street storm’ experienced.
In whatever event, as each month passed, with this alarming reflection of the years of failed strategies, policies and resources, the Youth Charter continued its reorganization and repositioning to reflect its vision, mission, objectives and values, projects, programmes, initiatives, advocacy and lobbying.
In what was an Olympic and Paralympic year, the Games in Tokyo reflected the diversity of the world as if only for a moment of time, the best sportsmen and women provided a much welcomed escape from the continued anxiety and fear of the global virus that was taking its toll on a world that had not united in its collective ability to address the inequalities that have resulted.
The Youth Charter continued to refine and develop its Community Campus engagement model and Social Coach Leadership Programme in preparation for a time where we can re-engage, re-equip and re-empower young people, community leaders and communities locally, nationally and internationally.
The Youth Charter now aims to deliver its ‘LegacyOpportunity4All’ as part of the Games for everyone at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Our legacy effort will also mark the 10th anniversary since London’s 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Our work will be inspired with a continued commitment to provide young people with an oportunity to develop in life providing them with somewhere to go, something to do and someone to show them.
We would like to thank our volunteers, Trustees, support agencies, stakeholders and above all, the young people who continue to provide the motivation and continued dedication of effort in all that we do.
Prof. Geoff Thompson MBE FRSA DL,
Founder & Chair,
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