What people have said about the Youth Charter's work...
University of Roehampton
“The University’s partnership with Geoff Thompson and The Youth Charter is therefore borne out of a shared philosophy, an explicit commitment to tackling complex social issues and a shared desire to make a lasting difference. In 2008 Geoff Thompson received an honorary doctorate from Roehampton University, re-kindling the link that began fourteen years previously.”
IOC Vice President and LA84 Foundation President
“My heartfelt congratulations to you for your extraordinary stewardship of the Youth Charter for over twenty wonderful years. You have provided opportunities for young people to understand the world nearby and beyond the geographic borders of our nations. These young people now see the world of possibilities that await when an opportunity to achieve is offered. I am proud to have been there at the start!”
“I first became involved with Youth Charter as a teenager because I felt passionately that everyone should have a chance in sport like I had, regardless of their background. The charity has gone global, using sport as a bridge to bring even the most socially-challenged youngsters back onto a positive path.”
“Just as Officer Joe Martin helped to change the course of young Cassius Clay’s life, we have found that a strong Social Coach equipped with comprehensive resources and curricula materials based on Muhammad Ali’s 6 Core Principles can interrupt cycles of disaffection and hopelessness that lead to violence within our communities. The Muhammad Ali Center and Youth Charter are fortified in our resolve to grow the Float Like a Butterfly Social Coach Leadership Program and to expand the reach of Muhammad Ali’s legacy into communities globally.”
Vice Provost for Diversity and International Affairs, University of Louisville
“This four-day tour took place in communities and institutions from across the UK, culminating in a major conference. Coordinated by the Youth Charter, young people from communities across North West England, supported by the British Council, welcomed the Muhammad Ali Scholars, a group of students from the Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice, at the University of Louisville, Kentucky.”
"Over the past twelve years the Youth Charter has been one such agency that has worked with disaffected youth from disadvantaged communities in various Commonwealth countries using the vehicles of sport, culture and the arts to enthuse young people to engage in positive activities thereby promoting a positive attitude to life."
“The Youth Charter has been an integral part in my earlier adult life, providing support and encouragement from both Jan and Geoff in times of encouragement, guidance and celebration. Youth Charter’s national reach and recognition has supported community and youth development in Liverpool providing a clear stepping-stone and pathways to different cities and career opportunities. I consider Youth Charter extended family, who provide direct lines of reachable, consistent and reliable connections, the unofficial mentoring has been a lifeline and opportunity that I will always be grateful for.”
Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Namibia and President of the Namibian National Olympic Committee (NNOC)
“I came to know the Youth Charter through my colleague, Mr Piet du Plooy. It is the best thing that can happen in any Country taking into account the problems our Youth is facing nowadays. We together with the Sport Commission took the Youth Charter very seriously and we approached the Ministry of Youth, National service, Sport and Culture to incorporate it into their programmes. I hope that the Youth Charter can be expanded to as many Countries as possible.”
“Your work through the Youth Charter is powerfully inspirational and easily put into action. If only everyone could have seen you engaging our youth in the streets of District 4. Young people in our poorest neighbourhood immediately connected to your vision and understood the role they could play. You are in the business of transforming lives through connectivity. Thank you!”
Community Outreach Specialist, Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, Office of Mayor Greg Fisher
“I really enjoyed the enthusiasm of Mr. Thompson’s presentation and the passion the trainers had for building community. I also appreciated the context around the work and addressing why intervention is so important.”
Pro Vice Chancellor (Education & Experience) and COO at University of East London
“The Youth Charter has been at the forefront of work in the field of sport, social and human development for over fifteen years, providing an inspirational framework through which others have learned and become inspired.”
“The Float Like a Butterfly Social Coach Leadership Programme [FLAB SCLP] workshop set the standard social coaches should uphold. This was achieved by sharing excerpts of the life of Muhammad Ali reminding us of the conviction, choices and important role we play in the life of youth."
“The event [Float Like a Butterfly Social Coach Leadership Programme] was an opportunity to reinforce and remind ourselves of some key values that will help to bring out the best as both individuals and a community. It was a real positive to be surrounded by such like-minded, yet diverse set of people. I went home feeling inspired and I hope to inspire the young people that I coach with some of the material we were given.”
"My brother Andrew and I began working with Geoff in 1993. I got in touch with him because I was worried about my brother... As a result of this comprehensive package of support Andrew, my brother, was able to secure a long and successful career in the sport he loved. He never quite made it into the professional ranks. But he enjoyed his time in the amateur game and is spoken of fondly by all who saw him play. He is now an experienced and qualified coach and the devoted father of four amazing and beautiful daughters. He has not been in trouble since getting involved with Youth Charter 25 years ago!"
“Having known and worked with the Youth Charter since 1995, I have come to admire the work it has done as well as its ability to persevere and to adapt. Following on from the Manchester bid for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and linking into the Cape Town 2004 Olympic Bid and the 1995 Vision for Sport Conference held in South Africa, a long-standing relationship has been developed to address the increasing need to engage our youth in their communities through the use of sport, arts and culture with digital technology being added in recent years.”
Community Engagement and Supplier Diversity Coordinator, Jefferson County Public Schools
“I found the FLAB Social Coach Program to be highly informative. It was great to see how situations in the UK mirrored situations here in the states. I’m glad I got to share and engage with best practices that can be used here at home.”
“I have had the unique perspective to witness the work of the Youth Charter within its birth, development and coming of age. I was to witness the Youth Charters’ growth and impact in the UK and in South Africa. One of the highlights of the man. Youth Charter programme initiatives was the Spirit of the Streets Tour of South Africa, which followed Manchester’s highly successful 2002 Commonwealth Games. I had the privilege of hosting the Tour Group with fellow IOC Honorary Member, Dame Mary Glen Haig and witness the development and growth of young people who had been exposed to travel and the social and cultural diversity of the new South Africa.”
"A powerful collaboration has formed among the Center, my city and the Youth Charter, with projects, programs, exchange trips, advocacy and campaigning. Ali’s core values of Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect and Spirituality are reflected in the Float Like a Butterfly Social Coach Leadership Programme (FLAB SCLP), which now aims to engage, equip and empower young people from some of our world’s most disaffected, disadvantaged and disconnected communities."