Greenhouse employs full-time sport coaches to work directly in schools, Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) schools and through our community clubs, where they deliver sport and mentoring programmes before, during and after school, as well as at the weekends and during the holidays.
We partner with schools where over two-thirds of children are living below the poverty line, according to Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI). We work to see schools, where lack of equipment, transport and cost is not an issue, open before school hours, on evenings, weekends and over the holidays to provide key support for young people and the benefits of extra-curricular activities are wide-ranging: broadening access to education and helping families on low incomes with childcare.
Schools are an important place for fostering the healthy development of children – as they spend most of their time there. It is in school that we hope our young people develop into confident, healthy, active, confident and aspirational members of society.
The children we work with:
Greenhouse children improve their social, thinking, emotional and physical skills, attend an average of 5 more school days per year and achieve 30-40% higher grades in maths and English compared with their non-Greenhouse peers.
Sport is an incredible vehicle to teach life skills, and it has been proven that children who play sports are better socially adjusted than those who don’t. Over the years, good sports coaching and extracurricular sport activities has been associated with private schools and wealthy communities – and there is a reason parents who own more wealth invest in their children playing sport: because sport works. Research demonstrates that participation in sport:
Extracurricular activities are less common amongst underprivileged communities. Parents who are less well-off cannot afford for their children to be privately coached, buy equipment, or send them to compete in tournaments. These children miss out on the many positive outcomes that are linked to regular exercise, including longer life expectancies, improved mental and physical health, and better grades in school. Just as important, they are denied lessons in discipline, teamwork, and resilience—the qualities that most parents want for their children—which are often taught in sport. And despite the well-documented advantages of sport participation, there is a striking lack of opportunities for many children.
Greenhouse aims to reach lower income children to give them the initial opportunity that wealthier kids have from the start. They deserve the opportunity to be great too.
Since our founding in 2002, we have worked with more than 50,000 young people, and developed expertise in how to use sport to engage, inspire and motivate children. A Greenhouse Sports coach is not only technically skilled and highly qualified – our coaches must also be role models and mentors. Our programmes do not just focus on excellent and intensive sports coaching, but are also designed to develop the life skills of our participants.
We offer a school-based youth work model, making sure coaches are positive forces in these young people’s lives. They understand that the way kids are spoken to can have a lasting effect on attitude and engagement. Greenhouse aims to make young people see that they can achieve anything they set their mind to. Our coaches work with teachers, including heads of departments and exclusion centres, to support children both directly in and out of the classroom, as well as running extracurricular sports coaching sessions.
Greenhouse coaches are present in young people’s lives 6 days of the week. With a minimum 37.5 hr working week, as well as sessions through the school day they run pre-school breakfast clubs and after school clubs, and are there from Year 7 until children leave school. Our coaches are often described as 40% coach; 60% mentor, and it is the longevity of our coaches’ relationships with the children they coach that is particularly unique – on average lasting between 3 – 4 years. In an average year, Greenhouse coaches complete more than 11,000 hours of 1:1 and small group mentoring, and this doesn’t include the informal conversations and presence our coaches take in their children’s day-to-day lives. Importantly, most of our coaches come from similar backgrounds to our young people (with 7% being ex-Greenhouse participants themselves.)
Our programmes aim to help young people reach their full potential. This also applies to the sport they play. We want our participants to benefit from their commitment, hard work and dedication by having opportunities to take training and playing to whatever level they choose.This has led to our young people reaching borough and regional finals, competing at London Youth Games – even reaching National Championships.
Our London Greenhouse Pioneers basketball club and Greenhouse Sports Table Tennis Club offer basketball and table tennis participants the opportunity to train in a performance-focused environment, outside of their school programmes. These clubs bring young people from schools across London together as teammates, helping build wider friendship groups and communities across the capital.
Competition for SEN students
Our programmes in SEN schools offer participants with needs of varying levels of complexity the chance to participate in fun, stimulating sport and physical activity. Our programmes provide pupils at these schools with truly inclusive competitive opportunities that are adapted to their specific needs.
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