Javad Tayebi says he cannot technically be counted among the 1 million unemployed youths in the UK. “I was working, but just for the wrong people, I was a gang member.”
By the time he was 17, run-ins with the police were a direct consequence of Javad’s ‘work’. But after seven weeks of football coaching and employability skills workshops at Street League in North London, Javad feels like he has a new lease on life. Street League is a Trust charity partner.
“I was just always in trouble. I felt like it was a way of life, you do something and you get busted,” Javad said.
“But now I am here at Street League learning to put my life on a positive path. I study and I work and I stay out of trouble. I am so tired after the academics and the football here that I don’t have time to make trouble. I stay away from the gang now and turn instead to my coaches at Street League for advice. Terry Pampling and Rachel Zipfel who run the programme are great like that, they are always ready to listen.”
Javad is now working towards his certification as a football coach and plans to go to college.
Street League uses the power of football to get the most disadvantaged young people into work, education and training.