Young people in Stonebridge were buzzing with excitement when they came face-to-face with their sports heroes. This was possible thanks to the community sports day organised by Brent Council, Jason Roberts Foundation and Higgins Group to celebrate the launch of a new partnership.
All partners have signed a Charter to boost training, education and volunteering in Stonebridge. The Charter aims to help strengthen and empower communities around Hillside and Milton Avenue, including a £22 million scheme to build 73 homes and a new public open space for Stonebridge residents.
The sports day event, held at Bridgestone Arena, home of the Jason Roberts' foundation, marked the official launch of the partnership. Representatives from each organisation, local schools and sports stars came together to celebrate. Ex-professional football stars and representatives, and coaches from Jacksonville professional football franchise who compete in the National Football League (NFL), also joined in the fun.
There were loads of activities for the young people in attendance to enjoy, from football games, tennis, basketball and even flower arranging.
The event was broadcast live across talkSPORT – The World's biggest sports radio station - to celebrate local community football initiatives ahead of the EURO2020 England v Scotland game.
Councillor Eleanor Southwood, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, said: "Building these new homes at Hillside and Milton Avenue means 73 families get a brand new, affordable home to live in. However, as with all new development, we are also committed to improving the area for those already living there. That is why this partnership is so important. It will help to create opportunities for the local community, and especially young people, in Stonebridge.
"I’m so pleased that we could kick-start the partnership with such a brilliant event. Brent is the Borough of Cultures, and football is an integral part of Brent's character. Legends such as Raheem Sterling, Cyrille Regis and Jason Roberts were born and bred in Brent. So it is great that local young people were able to meet some of their sports heroes and see what they too could achieve."
Steve Boreham, Construction Director at Higgins, commented, "It was wonderful to be part of such an exciting afternoon and see the residents of Stonebridge come together and take part in a variety of sporting activities. We are extremely proud of what this partnership will bring to the local community and look forward to working closely with Jason Roberts Foundation and Brent Council to bring a wealth of projects to life."
Otis Roberts from the Jason Roberts Foundation said: “On behalf of Jason, the trustees and the rest of the staff and volunteers at Jason Roberts Foundation we would like to thank talksport, Brent Council and Higgins for investing into this community based project where our users of all ages can access sports education, improve health and pathways into employment. There is massive regeneration in the borough and it was a wonderful event where developers and sport met to enhance local communities.”
Hillside and Milton Avenue is just next door to the Jason Roberts Foundation, where Brent Council and Higgins Partnerships will design and build 73 mixed tenure new homes and one retail unit with a new public open space linking the two sites. These 73 homes are a vital step in the council's drive to build 5,000 affordable homes, including 1,000 council homes, by 2024.