What is the hunslet club?
The Hunslet Club is a well established and well respected independent voluntary youth club and organisation founded in 1940 and located approximately 2 miles from Elland Road. The site is located in the City and Hunslet ward of Leeds and has an IMD rating in the top 11% of LSOA’s in England. The ward is characterised by low incomes and high levels of economic in-activity. 41% of 16-74 year olds in the local catchment area have no qualifications and 10% of the population are classified as unemployed. The project was particularly welcome as 13% of the local ward population cite their health as poor.
Membership of the club derives mainly from the local area as well as neighbouring districts Holbeck, Beeston & Middleton which are predominantly low cost housing and council estates. The club also works with young people from the local Primary and Secondary schools in the area, including those with special needs.
Before the Barclays Spaces for Sports investment the site was used by 400 people per week with young people accounting for approximately 80% of the usage. There are limited sport & leisure facilities in the ward with many of the facilities that are available are unaffordable to the local community or require transport to visit. Due to the poor quality of the MUGA the centre was unable to deliver a strong sports development programme in football, rugby and cricket which were sports which many of the young people who attended the centre and in the local community were particularly interested in participating in.
Developing activity and skills
The Hunslet Club has set itself two targets for the forthcoming year;
The first is to increase club membership. The Club have plans in place to attract even more members to the club who can benefit from the wide range of activities available.
The second is for more young people to achieve nationally recognised certificates in sport related subjects. The Hunslet club aims to build on the success that has been achieved so far with many NEET individuals enhancing their employability. By offering further sporting courses this will enable more young people to enhance their CV and increase their employment opportunities later in life.
Impact to date
The Hunslet Club now has over 150 young people aged 5yrs to 18yrs training in football twice a week enabling 5 competitive teams to be fielded. The majority are new members that have joined as a result of the new facilities, as previously there were less than 20 playing members.
Before the Barclays Spaces for Sports grant there was a genuine lack of sports facilities in the ward. The site sports facilities at Hunslet was old tarmac, prone to flooding, slippery when wet with broken floodlights and regularly used for fly tipping. The new pitches have transformed the sporting opportunities for the local community and the capacity to deliver a wide range of exciting activities.
To date around 60 young people aged 14-16yrs have achieved nationally recognised certificates in sports related subjects with many more continuing to enrol. Not only is it important to achieve qualifications but to promote knowledge and understanding of the need for regular exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. The site also provides sporting facilities and opportunities that to some learners may not otherwise be accessible.
User experiences - craig's story
Craig had been expelled from numerous education establishments from entrance into year 7 before finally being referred onto an ABC Award in Health & Fitness course based at The Hunslet Club. With regular tuition sessions taking place on the all weather pitches, he has at last found a way of learning which suits him and tutors who understood his needs and ambitions.
Over the course of the year he enjoyed his learning and stuck with it, despite his learning difficulties he came to realise that he had opportunities to achieve, settled into the course and gave himself ambitions to focus on. He developed confidence in his abilities, pride in his skills and perhaps most importantly was enjoying his learning. He soon decided to join in with the evening and weekend football activities based at the club as well.
His talents were recognised and with support from his tutors Craig obtained a scholarship with Park Lane College to go on to do an NVQ in Football Coaching and playing competitively with them at Thorpe Arch, the Leeds United Training Ground. He has returned to the club on a number of occasions to see his former tutors to inform them of his ongoing progress and truly appreciates the learning opportunities which he had at the Club.