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Soccer school for kids that tackles East End knife crime scores cash from London City Airport

PUBLISHED: 19:24 28 November 2019 | UPDATED: 19:38 28 November 2019

Young Stars soccer school on the Isle of Dogs keeps kids on turf and off the streets. Picture: Young Stars Elite/Timeline

Young Stars soccer school on the Isle of Dogs keeps kids on turf and off the streets. Picture: Young Stars Elite/Timeline

Young Stars Elite/Timeline

Volunteers working to beat knife and gang culture have landed a cash windfall to help keep youngsters off the streets.

UpRising runs 'fastlaners' programme making school-leavers 'employable' to get their dream careers. Picture: UpRisingUpRising runs 'fastlaners' programme making school-leavers 'employable' to get their dream careers. Picture: UpRising

Money from London City Airport's new community fund is also going to another charity helping school-leavers become "employable".

The Young Stars Elite under sevens soccer school on the Isle of Dogs and the UpRising not-for-profit job training organisation in Bethnal Green are among 14 east London charities getting grants from the fund that was set up earlier this year.

They are getting up to £3,000 each for their work improving East End life.

"We are using the money to take the kids on trips, buy equipment and pay for coaching classes," a Young Stars Elite statement says. "Our project is to tackle obesity and encourage healthy living and helping them stay off the streets."

It offers football and DJ lessons "to help tackle knife and gang culture" and create a safe environment for youngsters to make friends and stay away from anti-social behaviour.

Elite's soccer school at Millwall's George Green's School in Manchester Road meets every Sunday, 10 to 11am for ages three to five in the sports hall, and 10.30-11.30am from age six on the school's astro turf pitch.

The UpRising charity in Bethnal Green gets cash from the City Airport fund for its "fastlaners" programme helping those aged 18 to 30 get through barriers to getting meaningful careers.

It is running three week-long programmes in the New Year, following a successful run this summer.

The organisation's Andy Crisp said at the time: "Many youngsters work hard to get their foot in the door—but it's sad that the jobs market is so tough.

"Youth unemployment has risen by 12 per cent this year, which is why we're helping them achieve their goals."

The organisation has already helped 450 young people in the past decade get their dream jobs.

City Airport has received more than 200 applications for grants since starting its community fund in May.

A judging panel looks for groups that create safer, healthier or more sustainable communities as well as those raising aspirations and creating pathways to careers. Young Stars Elite and UpRising both score.

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