“I think sport and London United can, and does, play an incredible role in violence reduction,” said Lib Peck.
“Something that really stands out for me is the fact that a lot of the kids we speak to don’t feel that they matter or belong. Deprivation and alienation are key issues in our field of work and football clubs are a way of belonging and feeling part of something. That’s really important. It’s been great that we’ve been able to work with local clubs at a time where institutions are struggling for credibility, football cuts through that.
“I’d like to work even more with London United. There are so many people who want to make London a safer place and collaboration across sporting organisations is absolutely a way to do that.”
Typically fierce rivals on the pitch, the clubs have harnessed the power of football to collaborate, share expertise, exchange ideas, and implement best practices since their official partnership, which was formed in 2013. Their collective aim: to address pressing issues and implement city-wide initiatives aimed at helping Londoners to thrive.
As part of the celebration, the clubs shared their annual impact, based on the 21/22 season, which consisted of working with over 240,000 Londoners, investment of more than £30m back into the city, and delivery of over 450 programmes in the capital.
Three participants from London United clubs also graced the stage and shared inspiring stories, demonstrating that the work of the collective reaches all ages. Firstly, Kyran, who found employment with the Leyton Orient Trust after being a participant in their Premier League Kicks programme. Eileen also shared her experience, highlighting how she found a new lease of life after joining West Ham United Foundation’s ‘Any Old Irons’ project. Finally, Angel spoke about how she has helped a young participant find a better route in life through one-to-one mentoring with the Palace for Life Foundation.