England international hails London's B Active programme
PUBLISHED: 18:00 07 February 2019
England international footballer Nikita Parris hailed the impact of the London-based B Active programme, which runs in Tower Hamlets and Brent.
Launched in 2018, the programme has already engaged over 1,000 young people ahed 16 to 24 in London, helping them to better access sport and activity and improve their life prospects.
Through B Active, participants have been able to develop new skills, find employment opportunities and discover alternative pathways to education, with more than 170 volunteers earning accredited qualifications.
A special event to celebrate its first year was held at the Houses of Parliament, with Minister for Sport and Civil Society Mims Davies MP and Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, in attendance as Parris drew on her own experiences.
Fitzpatrick said: “Programmes that help young people improve their life prospects, like B Active, are phenomenally important.
“It is fantastic to see, that in just one year, the B Active London programme has already helped over 1,000 young people access sport and physical activity.”
Parris added: “Community-led projects, like B Active, are so important as they give young adults opportunities and a path to follow.
“I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my local community. That is why I am proud to be working with Lucozade Ribena Suntory and ACN to help launch this new programme that will actively benefit so many young people.”
B Active is delivered by Active Communities Network (ACN) in partnership with Lucozade Ribena Suntory, one of the UK’s leading soft drinks manufacturers, as part of its commitment to positively impact UK communities though sport. The programme is also part funded by the Big Lottery Fund.
Accompanying the programme, Lucozade Ribena Suntory and ACN have partnered with Leeds Beckett University to evaluate the impact and success of the scheme. The research will also be assessing how community-led programmes can get more women involved in physical activity.
Michelle Norman, Director of External Affairs and Sustainability at Lucozade Ribena Suntory, said: “We understand the positive impact that sport can have on both an individual and a community and so we’re thrilled to see that even in its first year, B Active is touching the lives of over a thousand young people in London.
“We are so proud of what the programme has already achieved and are excited to see what the future holds for all those involved.”
B Active London volunteer Michael Kuku praised the scheme, saying: “I’ve been involved with B Active right from the very start and it’s helped me and my community to thrive.
“It’s a fantastic programme that has given me so many opportunities, from meeting my idol Anthony Joshua to allowing me to chase my dream of becoming a top-tier football coach.”