This morning I brought Joe and Bryan of the West Ham United Foundation to Drapers Academy, Harold Hill, to talk about whether we could begin a partnership with local schools and roll out sports and other outreach programmes to students.
West Ham works with the Premier League to part-fund sports coaches and a range of targeted programmes to help build students' confidence, resilience and leadership skills. I am very keen to encourage West Ham to do more in Havering, where the club has many fans and where there are children who could really benefit from their programmes. I am particularly anxious to see schools and community organisations concentrate on the critical after-school period where often children can find themselves vulnerable to gang activity before parents return home from work.
I introduced Joe and Bryan to Head Teacher, Darren Luckhurst, who leads Drapers' Academy and also has a footballing background. We hope to work together on a new programme to help primary aged children and secondary students in Harold Hill reach their full potential.