Announcing a £525k grant to Football Beyond Borders

Impetus today announces a half a million-pound three year grant to Football Beyond Borders.

By backing this charity, Impetus will be supporting a promising three year intensive intervention to reengage young people in their education, while continuing to support Football Beyond Borders (FBB) to rapidly adapt their delivery to support their 900 young people with virtual delivery during lockdown.

Why FBB?

At Impetus, we fund one charity for every forty we look at. So, what jumped out at us about FBB?

  1. FBB is committed to solving a big problem. One in eight year 9 students are disengaged in school. At the extreme, this drives poor behaviour that results in students being excluded from school. For the rest of disengaged students, it means missing out on critical qualifications. Kids from disadvantaged backgrounds are four times more likely to be permanently excluded, and half as likely to get GCSEs. FBB’s goal is to help students finish school with GCSE grades 4-9 in English and maths.
  2. FBB has an innovative programme for reengaging students. Students are attracted by FBB’s strong brand, developed through connections with high profile footballers like Raheem Sterling, Ian Wright and Chris Smalling, and brands like Nike. Through weekly two hour classroom and pitch sessions over three years, FBB builds behaviour and attitude for learning. For example, the “Perfect Penalty” project gets students to reflect on what self-regulation skills footballers need to score a perfect penalty, and how they might apply these techniques to sitting an exam. The “My London” project gets students to analyse how their city is portrayed in lyrics: “This gives them self-belief that that they can extract key messages from a written text” - a key skill for their GCSE English that many find easier to acquire through rap music than Romeo and Juliet.
  3. FBB has an ambitious team who want to take this to scale, while constantly honing their programme to deliver impact. FBB aims to become the UK’s leading provider of specialist support to disengaged Key Stage 3 students. In the past 18 months of working together, we’ve helped them hone their programme to drive greater impact extending their programme from two to four years, caping caseloads at 80, providing extra support like weekly therapy sessions for the most at risk young people. Checkout FBB’s Impact Report to see more detail on their results to date, and their commitment to constantly improving their programme.

In addition to funding, we will also work should-to-shoulder with founders Jack and Jasper to help them on the path to their long term ambition. In their words:

Our relationship with Impetus has been massively important, to work in the right schools with the right kids, doing what we know is going to shift the dial.

FBB during COVID-19

FBB’s Isolation Diaries have shed light on the experiences of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds during lockdown. FBB knows that without support, their young people risk returning to school further behind academically, and with even more barriers to engaging in their education. In response they have adapted their work rapidly to ensure young people get the support they need. They’ve been through a two-week design sprint to develop FBB’s “Virtual School Day”. The bottom line: in this time of crisis, FBB is more important than ever. Young people and schools alike want to work with them.

As James Potter, Assistant Head, Sedgehill puts it:

The team which have been part of our school community, go above and beyond to provide life changing experiences to our young people. Even through these unprecedented times the FBB team have maintained regular contact with the cohort of students, providing constant reassurance during this strange time.

How have we at Impetus helped since COVID-19 hit? We’ve been working closely with FBB to help them plan for different scenarios which might unfold as a result of the pandemic and economic downturn - how can they proactively manage their operations to protect their impact and their financial sustainability in the face of COVID-19. In addition, we hosted a virtual “CEO Forum” where CEOs from our 16 portfolio charities were able to diagnose their top priorities and share tips for how to lead their charities through this crisis.

Backing the best

With the right support, disadvantaged young people will emerge from lockdown able to re-engage in school in the same way as their better off peers. With the right support, charities will emerge from the COVID-19 crisis in a strong enough financial position to expand their crucial work with disadvantaged young people.