Sports Traider Charity exists to give young people employment and sports participation opportunities. In doing so they gain confidence, self-esteem, retail skills and improve mental and physical health.
We do this by managing a professionally run chain of charity sports shops staffed by employees and volunteers. The charity uses the funds to invest in sports participation projects as below:
- provide free transport to and from venues, either by way of a mini bus or individuals travelling in cars;
- provide recycled push bikes to make local venues accessible;
- provide sportswear to ensure that activities are available to all, which may include boots, trainers, jogging bottoms and tops, and more.
- use proceeds generated from its retail units to fund coaching, access to facilities such as sports clubs and gyms, and fund the transport required to get talented but disadvantaged athletes to training.
- provide tents and equipment for unprivileged children to have a holiday.
- provide specialised wheelchairs to enable disabled people to participate in wheelchair sports.
- help regenerate local shopping areas by utilising otherwise empty retail units.
Sports Traider Charity shops are staffed by volunteers, many of whom are young adults with learning difficulties. Their engagement with volunteering gives people a reason to get out of bed, work in a team, building confidence and self-esteem. Their services, and the experience of shop work they gain, are recognised through a reference which may lead to paid employment, in some cases within the charity.
The skills they learn include organising the shop, dealing with new stock and donations, answering the phone, dealing with the general public, team working, and handling money. Other outcomes gained include increased confidence and self-esteem, improved health and wellbeing, reduced isolation and loneliness.
Recycle & Reuse
The charity recycles sports clothes and equipment, collecting from schools, sporting facilities and sports companies whether the product is second hand or new. Counterfeit goods are also received via Trading Standards departments and “rebranded” to ensure that the product is legal; encouraging sports companies to recycle old stock by donating it to the cause therefore significantly reducing the pressure on landfill.
The concept of a discount sports store, set-out and run like a mainstream store, proved popular and Sports Traider Charity now operates stores in Loughborough, Dunstable,Stoke on Trent and Evesham.
As well as benefiting the sporting community Sports Traider Charity supports the whole community by offering work experience to the disabled, young people, the long-term unemployed, disadvantaged groups, and ex-offenders in the stores. So far over 3,000 days of work experience have been provided.