Focus Group playing for change with The Big Goal 2024

Two boys shaking each others hands on a football pitch

Focus Group is delighted to announce its commitment, as a founding member, to The Big Goal – a nationwide charity initiative bringing ICT companies together to support disadvantaged and vulnerable young people through the power of football.

The Big Goal will see ICT businesses from across the country sponsor a Street Soccer Academy in their region. Employees representing each company will also have the chance to participate and compete in a national football tournament to further amplify how the sport is being used to help young people attending their partner academies.

The Street Soccer Academy is run by the award-winning national youth charity the Street Soccer Foundation, in partnership with several professional football club community organisations nationwide.

Each Street Soccer Academy consists of a ten-week personal development training opportunity which uses football as a catalyst to engage 18 to 30-year olds who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness by not being in education, training or employment. Weekly sessions cover mentoring, positive mindset training, employability skills, CV-writing and football coaching to support the young individuals in making positive changes in their lives.

Focus Group has been partnered with Crystal Palace and - through The Big Goal project - will be able to meet young people at the academy and offer work-related advice, expertise and opportunities to help prepare them for venturing into further education, training or employment.

Barney Taylor, Chief Executive Officer at Focus Group, said: “The Big Goal has presented us with a game-changing opportunity to collaborate with industry partners, friends and colleagues to raise awareness of the growing issue of youth homelessness in the UK.

We believe that by harnessing the universal spirit of football, we can transform adversity into fresh prospects for young people, foster a sense of belonging and kickstart a future where every goal scored in football becomes a step closer to ending homelessness.”

Keith Mabbutt, CEO and Founder of the Street Soccer Foundation, said: “I am so excited about our new industry-wide initiative, The Big Goal, and to have Focus Group on board as a Founding Member.

It’s a true call to action across one of the largest sectors in the country and the way in which we are using football as the anchor to unite these brilliant organisations not only sees several of our academies become sponsored for the benefit of young people as well as local communities nationwide; but through the offered tournament element, it helps brings to life how by playing football, these wonderful companies can experience for themselves the power of playing for change.”

Giacom is the official headline sponsor of The Big Goal alongside Comms Dealer as the initiative’s exclusive media partner.

Giacom’s Chief Executive Officer, Terry O’Brien, said: “Giacom is proud to lead The Big Goal initiative, leveraging the ICT industry's collective strength to impact the lives of disadvantaged youths positively. Football is a game with the power to unite and inspire people from all walks of life. This initiative offers a remarkable opportunity for us to contribute to a cause that goes beyond the pitch, impacting lives and communities in profound ways.”

To find out more about The Big Goal, visit: www.thebiggoal.co.uk

Published 13th February 2024