Greenhouse Sports

What We Do

 Greenhouse Sports uses inspirational sports coaching and mentoring to counter the effects of disadvantage, engaging young people and improving their life chances. We believe that every child deserves a fair chance to succeed in life. Greenhouse Sports gives young people an opportunity to participate in sports, receive mentoring and improve physical literacy. We partner with schools across London to provide opportunities for children who may be disengaged, vulnerable or facing disadvantage to develop key life skills that help them thrive.

Who We Work With

Greenhouse employs full-time sport coaches to work directly in schools and 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 and aspirational members of society.

The children we work with:
•       Age 5 - 19
•       69% are living in the most severe levels of deprivation according to the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI).
•       77% are from communities who experience racism and the reduced opportunities that enforces.
•       10% have a recognised disability and are attending a SEND school. However, we expect this figure to be far higher given the prevalence of undiagnosed learning needs in mainstream schools.
•       A significant proportion have reported poor mental wellbeing.
•       Many are or have been at risk of exclusion from education altogether.
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.

Why sport?

Sport is an incredible vehicle to teach life skills, and it has been proved that children who play sports are better socially adjusted than those who don’t. Over the years, good and accessible 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.
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, from 7am until 6pm, 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.)