Barclays Spaces for Sports has marked the end of FairPlay, a rugby-based education programme in the UK run in partnership with children’s charity Wooden Spoon and the Rugby Football Union.
The two-year programme supported young people from Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) – centres for those excluded from mainstream education.
Youngsters taking part in FairPlay gained the skills and confidence needed to succeed in life by participating in rugby and classroom activities.
Barclays employees also supported the initiative by volunteering to deliver lessons aimed at equipping youngsters with the knowledge to manage their finances, as part of the Barclays Money Skills programme.
A report evaluating FairPlay’s achievements said the initiative helped to improve participants’:
- Presentation skills (50 per cent of all participants)
- Interview skills (44 per cent)
- Money management skills (51 per cent).
The report added that the youngsters:
- Improved their behaviour, particularly around anger management
- Improved their confidence and sense of self-worth
- Were prepared for a return to mainstream education, entry into training programmes or employment
- Were engaged in regular physical activity.
Kirk Harrison, Head of Barclays Spaces for Sports, said: “FairPlay has proven to be a very challenging but extremely rewarding sport for development programme and has been ground breaking though its interaction with the PRU community around the country.
“FairPlay has used rugby as the platform to deliver essential life skills to young people, all of whom were not in employment, education or training and many who were one step away from juvenile detention centres. FairPlay has succeeded in putting many of these young people’s lives back on track and as such we are proud of the programme’s achievements.”
Charlie Watson, aged 18 from London, is one of FairPlay’s success stories. Through the programme, Charlie gained qualifications from the Rugby Football Union and now volunteers as a coach at his local rugby club. He will also join the army later this year.
The Barclays Spaces for Sports programme, which uses sport to help young people develop a range of life skills, is part of Barclays community investment programme.