Volunteers ‘level up’ with free activities for children in Sheffield
School children from all over Sheffield enjoyed two weeks of fun and activities thanks to the hard work of the Level Up Foundation.
The group is the brainchild of Kelly Madden and fellow volunteers, based at the God of Prophecy church on Duke Street.
There is no charge for taking part and plenty of freebies because one of the main aims of the team is get rid of the obstacles that stop children joining clubs.
Kelly said: “We’re a very grassroots organisation – we only started in 2019.
“One of the things about us is we want to remove barriers to participation. We raise funds, we provide transport, food, we want people to be able to come and not worry. We offer free lunch when they get here.
“We want to do more sports, we don’t want to do just the typical football that everyone wants to do. We want to expand their experiences and do other sports and activities .
““It’s been fantastic, absolutely brilliant, it’s been something we needed to get out of the house. We're hopefully going to continue this through the half terms throughout the year.”
The children completed a week of American football at Goals on Norfolk Park Road followed by a week of boxing at Knox Boxing Gym hosted by Daimen ‘Combo’ Brown.
The youngsters were provided with free travel, snacks and lunches throughout the programme of events, which was aimed at reaching as many neighbourhoods as possible. Each participant was also given a backpack containing a water bottle, and a T- shirt.
Other rewards given were medals for participation, and for three outstanding attendees each received a £20 voucher for JD Sports, at the end of the programme.
This isn’t the first initiative carried out by the foundation – at the beginning of the pandemic the group reached out into the community in terms of caring for mental health and well being, with activities online
An online knitting programme was also devised and the group make scarves which they donated to a homeless shelter.
The foundation currently receives no funding or grants at all. Kelly said: “Right now we are literally self funded, myself and a couple of other members, donate a bit of money every month. We are looking for funding from investors or the local authority.”