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Dame Kelly Holmes Trust to ramp up 'high impact' mentor programmes

By Matthew Campelli    19 Apr 2016
Emma Atkins, chief executive, said the strategy would help youngsters on the path to a 'positive destination'

The Dame Kelly Holmes Trust – the charity which matches up athletes with disadvantaged young people – has launched a four-year strategy with a focus on improving its mentoring programmes.

Yesterday (18 April), the Trust revealed its Go The Extra Mile strategy which detailed plans to improve the lives of 70,000 youngsters by 2020 with the support of 300 athletes.

Talking to Sports Management at the strategy unveiling, chief executive Emma Atkins said that the emphasis was on developing the “high impact empowerment programmes” that helped young people get into sport, training, education, volunteering and employment.

Atkins said that independent research showed the charity was strongest when using mentoring to “accelerate attitudes” – including confidence, resilience, determination, focus and motivation – and move young people into “positive destinations”.

As a result, the number of UK locations the Trust works in will expand from 46 to 104 over the next four years, with a concerted effort to move more purposefully into Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and “isolated” parts of England.

Several of the 300 athletes who will also mentor 200 further athletes who will attempt to move up the charity’s five level framework in order to become mentors themselves.

Atkins said part of the strategy was about getting society to “realise athletes are more than just medals” and will perform to a high standard “no matter where you put them”.

“Hopefully for the future we’ll see a world-class system where athletes are seen as vehicles of social change, and that it is valued by the governing bodies of sport,” she added.

No extra funding from Sport England will be needed for the expansion, explained the chief executive, who revealed that the majority of the charity’s finance comes from the Department of Work and Pensions, the Housing Association and the European Union funding for skills. The Dame Kelly Holmes Trust received nearly £7m (US$10m, €8.8m) over the last four years from Sport England – a pot Atkins said the organisation had managed to “sustain”.

Since its inception in 2008, the Trust has reached more than 300,000 young people.

To read Sports Management’s full interview with the ‘top team’ of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, click here.

Dame Kelly Holmes  charity  Emma Atkins  Dame Kelly Holmes Trust 
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