How we started
In 2006, a number of small groups and project workers came together to form a strategy as to how to grow and sustain their projects, which were primarily funded by the Active Communities Development fund. This coming together of like-minded agencies shared and sought new ways of working to improve outcomes for young people at a time when they were stigmatised and labelled as troublesome. In response to this a new charity, London Active Communities was formed, with a remit to deliver services in South London, acting as a lead agency for the sports, youth and community development sector. London Active Communities had four core remits in the first instance: To deliver high quality grass roots sports and youth work projects, to provide a workforce development and training function to improve the skills of the sector and to improve the evidence base of our sector and recognition of sport as a strong method to impact on communities. By 2009, the charity was re-branded to Active Communities Network due to new projects in South Africa and Northern Ireland being established. Since then the charity has grown in stature, delivering projects across all regions of the UK, in South Africa and supporting local partners across five continents.
April 2015 - 2016
65,135 hours delivered
682 Accredited training delivered
833 volunteers involved
1. Michael Kuku
Michael first attended an estate football session on the Aylesbury when he was 11 years old. Michael’s main reason for attending was to improve his confidence and footballing skills. Michael had a habit of getting caught up in the wrong crowd, which lead him into trouble both at home and with the police.
Michael previously attended Walworth Academy, however at the age of 12 he was sent to Nigeria where he’s parents are from. The reason for this was due bad behaviour and Michael’s mum felt that the experience would teach him discipline. Michael returned to London when he was 14. His parents tried to get him back into school but due to a lack of available space at schools in Southwark, Michael was not able to attend school for a whole year. In September 2014 Michael was finally enrolled into St Thomas the Apostle College, however due to him spending a whole year out of school he was put into year 10 instead of year 11.
Michael started to volunteer with Active Communities Network, helping staff to set up sessions such as laying out cones, sorting out the teams before the session starts and refereeing matches. Michael’s positive engagement in sport has influenced his peers by encouraging them to become involved in sports sessions and moving away from gang activities. His determination and commitment in helping out in sessions has had a positive effect on the younger people he coaches who now look to him as a role model.
Michael did work experience with Active Communities Network as part of his school program. He is now back on track at school, he’s confidence is increasing and he feels that the sky is the limit. Michael parents feel that he is finally growing up and that he’s becoming a positive leader in the community. His short term goal is to become more involved in volunteering and to keep attending accredited and non-accredited courses to improve his CV. His long term goal is to gain as many GCSEs as possible and hopefully become an ambassador for ACN.
Most recently, Michael completed the VRQ in Using Sport to Tackle Youth Crime, an Equality and Diversity Workshop and completed an Introduction to Youth Work qualification during the summer of 2015. Michael feels that these qualifications will help him stand out from his peers when entering the working world. Growing up in such a difficult part of London, Michael is a shining example of how sport can help to have a positive impact on himself and the wider community. The dedication that he has shown thought his journey with ACN is to be applauded and we look forward to seeing his progress in the future.
— Michael Kuku
2. Bobbi Clarke
Bobbi who is from Leigh Park first became involved in Active Communities Network in the summer 2015 when she was 21 years of age. Bobbi was not in Education, Employment or Training and was experiencing some challenges in her personal life resulting in low confidence and increasing risk-taking behaviors including, substance misuse.
A keen footballer and amateur boxer during her youth, Bobbi had originally undertaken a football scholarship in the USA but this was cut short when the club folded and returned to the UK in the Spring of 2015 with low self-esteem and lack of direction.
Bobbi was identified to us through the local boxing club and originally volunteered on our Boxing Awards sessions and quickly showed a passion and commitment to supporting young people.
Bobbi was offered the chance to attend a GB Boxing Tutor course through Active Communities Network and as a result this enabled her to gain an income through the delivery of boxing sessions around Havant.
It was quickly evident that Bobbi had huge potential as a youth worker, exhibiting key skills such as empathy, patience and an ability to build positive relationships with young people.
Bobbi was supported to increase her knowledge and understanding of the protective factors required when working in this environment and undertook training, including Safeguarding & Child Protection, Sex and Relationships Tier 1& 2 and awareness courses covering, substance misuse, Domestic violence and Child Sexual Exploitation.
Bobbi quickly gained confidence and leadership skills and she has since progressed to support and lead on our community multi sport delivery provision and become a vital member of this small team operating in Leigh Park.
Bobbi has also played a vital role in a number of specialist projects which has supported young people within schools and the community to be better educated, aware and to have a voice regarding matters that affect them including, Domestic Violence and Child Sexual Exploitation.
Bobbi has successfully applied to a local University to study Physical Education and Sports Coaching Degree from September 2016 and will continue to work with ACN gaining more experience and widening her opportunities in Sport for Development, Youth Work and Teaching.
- Bobbi Clarke
3. Andrew Mongi
Andrew first attended sessions with ACN at the age of 12 as a young person in our Southwark programme, initially taking part in local football and sport sessions. As he moved through his teen years Andrew started demonstrate an willingness to volunteer and he quickly started nominating himself for the qualifications ACN had to offer. With the qualifications under his belt he soon starting putting them to good practice and become a sessional worker for ACN and managed the Southwark Tigers youth football team with great success. His roles soon expanded with ACN due to his hard-work and eagerness to learn new skills and Andrew was presented with multiple different opportunities to take his hand to. One of which was the opportunity to use ACN resources/equipment and design the leaflets for the summer tournaments and local programmes across London. With a taste for design Andrew went on to study graphic design at university and has since started his own successful graphic design businesses.
The company now works with a variety of organisations to deliver his mission of ‘providing high quality visual communications with a personal service’.
In addition to his design work Andrew has continued giving back to his community and in 2015 Andrew set up Train Station UK, a community based fitness programme, which gives people the chance to access quality free weights training in their community. This has been hugely successful. He also offers this as a portable service to be used at events. He has been to many of the ACN hosted events with Asda Foundation and Laureus where he and his team of volunteers have been great at engaging young people and staff alike.