LMCT Girls' Initiative - Funding Extended

The Daggers Trust is pleased to announce that the London Marathon Charitable Trust has agreed to extend the funding for the London United All Girls' Premier League Charitable Fund Kicks Project which has been running across London for nearly two years.

The fourteen professional London Clubs' Community Organisations (CCO's), all members of London United, will receive a further £120,000 between them to continue with the highly successful project up to at least the end of July 2022.

With the support of Substance, London United put forward a proposal to the LMCT in 2019 to offer Girls' Only PL Kicks across London. The project is aimed at girls living in the most deprived areas of the Capital and who are not regularly engaging in physical activity. The project first began in January 2020 but was brought to a sudden halt with lockdown in mid-March of that year. The PL Kicks sessions are not only about playing football, they can include other sports and activities eg dance and is available to young people aged 8-18. The clubs include workshops and one to one mentoring to the participants, aiming to improve lifestyles, attitudes and behaviour. In spite of lockdown, several clubs were able to offer online support to girls across London.

As a member of London United, the Daggers Trust received equal funding and began with a group of girls at Riverside School, Barking in January 2020. Other local Barking and Dagenham schools were due to come on board after Easter but then the COVID pandemic hit. PL KIcks Restart activities during the school holidays allowed the Daggers Trust to invite youngsters aged 8-12 to May and Bakers to participate in a variety of sport and other activities, including workshops. At May & Bakers the youngsters worked with many members of the Metropolitan Police, Box Up Crime and other similar organisations to support and mentor the young people.

The involvement with the Metropolitan Police was the first to be organised by the newly appointed PL Kicks Met Police liaison officer and that model has been replicated by other clubs in more recent months and led to the first outreach football tournament organised by the Met for young people which took place in Watford on Sunday 3rd October.

Using the LMCT funding, the Daggerstrust was able to start up new Thursday All Girls sessions at Goals Dagenham and more recently, other local schools have begun new sessions since the Autumn term began in September. The latest group was made up of 22 young girls from All Saints School in Dagenham and further groups are due to start shortly.

In spite of all of the restrictions imposed by COVID, London United has continued to operate through the last 20 months and in spite of COVID restrictions and lockdowns has come close to meeting its Key Performance Indicators in most areas. By December of this year, the KPIs will continue to be met and the impact will increase next year with the new additional funding.

The Daggers Trust is by far the smallest member of London United and the only charity attached to a Non-League club. The Trust has received and continues to receive support from the other CCOs in London United, especially from West Ham Foundation and Leyton Orient Trust, with much additional support from the staff at Substance, the Metropolitan Police, the Premier League Charitable Fund, Goals Dagenham, many local schools, the Barking and Dagenham Schools FA and Dagenham & Redbridge FC. We thank them all for their continued support.

We look forward to developing our activities, our partnerships and the All Girls project in particular.

Any schools interested in providing a free school based activity for young girls who meet the KPI criteria over the coming 9 months should contact plkicks@daggers.co.uk

For over 30 years, the community trusts of London’s football clubs have been harnessing the power of the football clubs to support Londoners across the capital.

Professional Football Club Community Organisations such as the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, Charlton Athletic Community Trust, Palace for Life and Arsenal in the Community, have become important community catalysts. They have used their profile, skills and knowledge to engage groups of people who are often marginalised and socially disadvantaged and helped improve their life chances.

Collectively, these Club Community Organisations raise and spend over £40m annually in London and engage tens of thousands of people every week. This includes working through programmes funded centrally by the Premier League Charitable Fund such as Premier League Kicks, Primary Stars and Inspires as well as others commissioned by statutory agencies and grant giving charitable trusts.

In order to deliver greater collective impact across the capital, these 14 Club Community Organisations formed London United, a not for profit organisation that aims to:

  • Share knowledge and best practice.

  • Work with London wide organisations to understand how football clubs and the sport can help address wider social issues.

  • Deliver London wide programmes which improve lives, particularly young lives.

One of the main aims of London United is to improve young lives and funding from the London Marathon Charitable Trust in 2019 has helped each Club Community Organisation to focus on increasing the number of female participants in the longstanding Premier League Kicks programme. Over the duration of the programme 5,000 girls and young women will be involved in a range of sport and activity initiatives, the majority of these participants will live in the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in the capital, and over 200 will achieve work related qualifications, secure a volunteering or work placement or part or full time employment. In time, this will ensure more females will become positive role models from girls and young women within their own communities.

Despite the impact of Covid 19, London United members have continued to ensure girls and young women have stayed involved in the programme through a mix of on-line and socially distanced activity projects. These include a virtual dance programme at Leyton Orient, school based activities for children of NHS and other front line workers at Millwall and motivational webinars by Chelsea FC Women’s players Hannah Blundell and Drew Spence.

Riverside School Barking

The Daggers Trust is a member of London United and before lockdown was working with local schools to deliver this programme. The Trust is currently reviving these links and one such example is the Riverside School group from Barking who meet together after school on a Friday afternoon for an hour's football coaching. The Trust has the ability to offer dance, multisports and other activities to groups of girls who meet the criteria and the Women & Girls Coordinator is currently working to establish further links now that schools are now open and the Trust is up and running. Any school interested in finding out more should write to plkicks@daggers.co.uk

Since we've returned from the COVID-19 restrictions new groups are being held at Eastbrook and All Saints schools, plus the regular open sessions at Goals Dagenham on Thursdays from 5pm to 7pm. Further school groups will be coming along in the coming months.