Earlier this year everyone involved with Sports Connections Foundation was devastated by the tragic passing of Sam Foulkes, a young man who is missed by so many.
Whilst it is easy to dwell on such tragedies with a negative mindset, Sam's mum Harriet is using Sam's passing as a way of bringing about positive changes within local communities, helping to guide and mentor children and teenagers to create a path to positive futures.
SCF and Harriet are please to announce that we have been able to pilot a new programme in Sam's memory under our Inspire Through Sport banner, here is what Harriet has had to say about this update.
With the money generously raised in Sam's memory, Sports Connections Foundation have been able to set up a pilot project to fund a key worker to begin building a programme of support for young people within the local community. The programme is based on inclusion and supports our young people to help them realise their individual potential, their positive contribution to society and their sense of belonging and worth in today's communities. This will be achieved through guidance, mentoring, interaction with positive role models, inclusion, peer support, sign posting where additional support is required and by developing a sense of belonging and self-worth so that each child feels that they have a significant purpose, sense of belonging within their community and ultimately a positive future to aspire to, contribute to and be proud of. As society develops, as technology becomes more prominent, as information, news, social media, trends, are at our fingertips, there is the potential for greater inclusion, but also increased isolation for some young people. A sense of not belonging, peer pressure, low self-esteem, lack of positive interactions, lack of purpose or direction or loss of focus can singularly, or combined, result in our young people not achieving their potential or fulfilling their positive futures. In not always extreme circumstances, a lack of positive inclusion can lead to self-harm, suicide, bullying, inappropriate behaviour and risk taking. Many professional and established positive environments already exist to support children in their development. Schools, out of school activities, social groups and sports groups. The 'Inspire through inclusion’, pilot programme, is aimed to bridge the gap between the more established and professional environments and the less formal and more subtle environments that can result in positive outcomes. The Pilot study aims to explore what the increased positive cohesion between these two environments can produce for young people and to identify what young people in today’s society are willing to engage in to enable an additional layer of proactive support.
While traditionally programmes have centred on social deprivation, SCF believe, that as times change the target group is any child or young person who is struggling, needs guidance, needs support who has lost focus or who would benefit from an increased sense of belonging and inclusion. SCF also believe that positive inclusion empowers today’s young people to become role models for future generations.
It is hoped that once the pilot project starts to deliver positive outcomes, more formal avenues of funding can be sourced to provide sustained positive support where it is needed most. Until then, both Sports Connections Foundation and myself in Sam’s memory, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the opportunity to positively support ‘our children’.
Sam with Sol Campbell at our Charity Dinner
You can continue to donate via Sam’s JustGiving page via the link below: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/samfoulkesmemorial
Thank you to everyone that has generously donated to this cause, we will of course keep you all posted on how the programme is doing and the impact and influence it is having on the lives of so many young people.