Overall GiG Score: 29 based on 19 data points
Finance: 8
Governance: 9
Support: 12
Good reserves management: +3, Strong growth: +2, Fundraising costs low: +3,
Good trustee age range: +3, Dynamic board: +3, Gender balanced board: +3,
Supporters: +12



Sport 4 Life UK provides a hybrid online and in person sports-themed personal development programme targeted at secondary school pupils and young adults. The programme is intentionally focused on those people most at risk of failing and provides them with the tools to become self supporting members of society.

Strategic partnerships have been established with employers who offer work experience and with local sports clubs as part of the programme and impact results confirm the programme is effective, which has helped to secure the support of multiple respected grant makers.

Founder and CEO, Tom Clarke-Forrest, sees significant opportunity to scale the programme nationally in the future in conjunction with local sports clubs.

Source: Giving is Great


Helping young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into sustained education and employment through sports-themed mentoring
Analysis by Giving is Great


  • The charity has received backing from several prominent grant makers recently
  • Reserves management has been consistently within official guidelines
  • There has been strong growth in spending over the last 5 years
  • There have been no material income shortfalls in recent years
  • Fundraising costs are unusually low relative to funds raised
  • The Board appears to be well diversified in terms of age and gender and dynamic in terms of composition

Regulatory & Governance issues to consider:

  • Over half the Board have joined recently
Established: 17 years




Charity Commission for England and WalesCompanies HouseTwitterFacebookInstagramYouTube
This Charity did not raise funds from the public in its latest financial period
How you can help

Financial Data ?

Income & Spending ?
Sources of Income ?
Y/E Income
Cost £k
Funds £k
Funds £k
Staff Volun-

Financial Ratios
Fundraising Costs/Relevant Income: 3.7%
Fundraising Costs/Total Spending: 3.9%
Senior Staff Costs/Total Spending: 5%
Highest pay band: £60,000-£70,000
Liabilities/Assets: 18%
Liabilities/Income: 8%
Unrestricted Funds/Total Funds: 76%
Reserves/Spending: 3.3 months
Net Current Assets/Spending: 4 months
Quick Ratio: 3.6
Asset Split ?
Comment: Spending has been tightly controlled within available income each year. In 2021/2 income was boosted by over £400,000 received under a contract for the National Childcare Scheme.

Source: Giving is Great

What it does
  • Amateur Sport
  • Economic/Community Development/Employment
  • Education/Training
  • The Advancement Of Health Or Saving Of Lives
Sport 4 Life UK (S4L) believes in a level playing field where every young person has the opportunity to create a better future for themselves. S4L is proud to provide the opportunity for young people aged 11-29 to prepare for, and move into, sustained education, employment or training, by improving their employability and key life skills - through its sports-themed mentoring and training services.
Who works here?
  • 23 employees
  • 10 volunteers
Who it helps
  • Children/Young People
  • Other Defined Groups
  • People Of A Particular Ethnic Or Racial Origin
  • People With Disabilities
How it operates
  • Other charitable activities
  • Provides advocacy/advice/information
  • Provides human resources
  • Provides services
Where it operates
  • Birmingham City, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, Worcestershire,

Who's supporting them? ?

Donations from Grant Makers ?

We have details on the following significant donations. Multi-year donations are allocated to the years for which they are earmarked.

Major supporters in last 5 years
The National Lottery Community Fund£329,659
The Henry Smith Charity £201,000
The EQ Foundation£134,500
BBC Children in Need£60,000
Paul Hamlyn Foundation£40,000
Joseph Levy Foundation£30,000
Sport England£24,420
Specific Donations
Amount When
To be used for
The EQ Foundation
£42,500 13/10/2023
Unrestricted to support expanding to additional centres
The EQ Foundation
£47,000 15/04/2023
The Henry Smith Charity
£99,300 25/08/2022
towards three years' continuation funding of the salary and on costs of an Employability Mentor for a project supporting young people not in education, employment or training in Birmingham, West ....more
The EQ Foundation
£15,000 15/04/2022
The National Lottery Community Fund
£9,500 11/03/2022
The funding will be used to programme for new young people (aged 18-29) who are NEET and from Birmingham and Sandwell with a particular focus on females ethnically diverse communities and those who ....more
Garfield Weston Foundation
£20,000 05/11/2021
Core Costs
The National Lottery Community Fund
£300,659 02/11/2021
The funding will be used by the group to engage and support young people aged 11-18 to develop life and employment skills with specific focus on those who are pre-NEET. The group hopes to increase ....more
Joseph Levy Foundation
£30,000 20/09/2021
To support the organisation to help young people (aged 11 to 29) move into sustained education, training and work through sports-themed personal development
Sport England
£6,500 22/06/2021
Funding under Sport England's Return to Play - Small Grants funding programme for a Revenue project titled COVID19 Return to Play. This project lists its main activity as Multi Sports
The EQ Foundation
£15,000 10/03/2021
Sport England
£7,920 15/12/2020
This project will engage up to 50 young women aged 16-29 in a programme of activity with a focus on fun and friendly provision.
Paul Hamlyn Foundation
£20,000 16/09/2020
Support to aid the organisation in dealing with the challenges posed by COVID19.
£80,000 19/08/2020
"The fund aims to:1) To reduce closures of essential charities that provide essential services to vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 crisis by ensuring they have the financial resources to ....more
BBC Children in Need
£60,000 30/07/2020
Covid19 - This grant will fund a sports based employability programme for 150 young people who are experiencing socio-economic disadvantage due to Covid-19. This project aims to improve skills and ....more
The National Lottery Community Fund
£9,500 22/05/2020
The funding will be used to run virtual mentoring and physical activity classes for disadvantaged inner city young people. The aim on the project is to adapt and expand on their services due to an ....more
Paul Hamlyn Foundation
£20,000 07/05/2020
Support to aid the organisation in dealing with the challenges posed by COVID19.
The EQ Foundation
£15,000 10/03/2020
£10,000 28/02/2020
New sport and mentoring sessions
£5,000 28/02/2020
New sport and mentoring sessions. The wider aim of the scheme is: To deliver onward grants to increase positive activities for young people by delivering extra sessions in youth clubs for the ....more
Heart Of England Community Foundation
£10,000 16/12/2019
to deliver a mentoring and physical activity based initiative to support disadvantaged and unemployed young women (aged 16-25)
Sport England
£10,000 25/10/2019
Funding under Sport England's Small Grants funding programme for a Revenue project titled Be Positive. This project is a Multi Sports project, with a focus on beneficiaries from a BAME background.
The Henry Smith Charity
£101,700 12/06/2019
towards three years' continuation funding of the salary of the Project Manager at a project providing mentoring and training support to disadvantaged and unemployed young people in Birmingham
The National Lottery Community Fund
£10,000 11/04/2019
This funding will be used to deliver a mentoring programme to young females. The project aims to offer tailored one to one support sessions improving their chances for the future.
£55,000 01/04/2019
£55,000 01/04/2019
£10,000 01/01/2019
The aim of this project is to empower women, improve their skills and build their confidence and motivation to transition into the next stage of their careers or personal life. We aim to achieve the ....more
Heart Of England Community Foundation
£10,000 06/12/2018
To run female only versions of its Get Fit 4 Employment programme
Garfield Weston Foundation
£20,000 26/11/2018
Core costs
Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales
£25,000 25/07/2018
Birmingham based charity seeking to engaged an experienced external consultant to review the needs of their clients and develop a new theory of change as well as developing new internal systems to ....more
Paul Hamlyn Foundation
£40,000 09/07/2018
Funding will support Sport 4 Life to increase the capacity of its Research and Impact Manager, allowing the organisation to create a new impact strategy, improve its delivery model and diversify ....more
Heart Of England Community Foundation
£4,606 04/07/2018
to run 12 projects across 3 areas in Birmingham.
The National Lottery Community Fund
£9,490 21/03/2018
This group will deliver a young-person centred employment and physical activity programme over six months, offering local young women with the platform and opportunity to improve their employability ....more
BBC Children in Need
£15,000 13/11/2017
This project is a personal development programme working with teenagers in a deprived area of Birmingham. The project aims to improve life skills, build confidence and self esteem and provide access ....more
The Dulverton Trust
£40,000 24/10/2017
Birmingham NEETS Project
The National Lottery Community Fund
£401,000 28/06/2017
This project will work with young people to support their personal development. It will include targeted programmes for those still in education, and those not in education, employment or training. ....more
£55,000 01/05/2017
£55,000 01/05/2017
The Youth Investment Fund aims to expand, create and strengthen the sustainability of open-access youth services in six disadvantaged regions in the country. It will also expand the evidence base of ....more
£55,000 01/05/2017
The Youth Investment Fund aims to expand, create and strengthen the sustainability of open-access youth services in six disadvantaged regions in the country. It will also expand the evidence base of ....more
£41,250 01/05/2017
The Youth Investment Fund aims to expand, create and strengthen the sustainability of open-access youth services in six disadvantaged regions in the country. It will also expand the evidence base of ....more
£41,250 01/05/2017
The Youth Investment Fund aims to expand, create and strengthen the sustainability of open-access youth services in six disadvantaged regions in the country. It will also expand the evidence base of ....more
BBC Children in Need
£103,470 09/02/2017
This project will provide sporting and leadership activities for children who are not in education or training, in a deprived area of Birmingham. Outcomes include improved health and wellbeing, ....more
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
£60,000 17/10/2016
Towards the salary of the operations manager to expand sports based programmes addressing educational inequality.
Masonic Charitable Foundation
£5,000 20/07/2016
Uses sport to engage with disadvantaged young people and improve employment opportunities and life skills.
The Dulverton Trust
£20,000 08/06/2016
Birmingham NEETS Project
Comic Relief
£99,999 16/03/2016
Birmingham has 9.1% youth unemployment. Sport 4 Life (S4L) works with NEET young people aged 16-25 in two of the most deprived wards in Birmingham (Ladywood and Washwood Heath), who are at risk of ....more
The Henry Smith Charity
£60,000 10/03/2016
towards three years' continuation funding of a project providing sports-based employability and personal development programmes to disadvantaged NEET young people in Birmingham
Sport England
£9,998 11/12/2014
Funding under Sport England's Small Grants funding programme for a Revenue project titled 'Sport 4 Life TEENS - Washward Heath'. This project is a Association Football project, with a focus on ....more
Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales
£30,000 29/04/2014
A Birmingham charity that combines fun sports activities with formal training courses, educational workshops and volunteering opportunities for disadvantaged children and young people who are not in ....more
The Henry Smith Charity
£38,600 05/12/2012
towards three years' salary of an Education Co-ordinator to provide activities for young men in disadvantaged areas of Birmingham
The National Lottery Community Fund
£289,768 19/01/2012
This new project will develop a sports orientated programme to engage young people from Ladywood in Birmingham in positive community activities, educational workshops and learning challenges. The aim ....more
Show more rows

Data sourced from Donors via 360 Giving

How do they operate?

Sport 4 Life UK Personal Developmental Programme

Objectives: To provide young people with support that will progress them into sustained education, employment, or training

Beneficiaries: Young people aged 11-29

Description: Young people sign up to Sport 4 Life’s service through a range of recruitment pathways including partner referrals, sport engagement sessions, community outreach, and digital. Each young person is assigned a qualified employability mentor who will be with the young person throughout their journey for up to 12 months. Their mentor will provide tailored one to one employability support and personal development training that improves their prospects and develops their key life skills. The young person will either progress into education, employment, or training if they entered the NEET service (aged 16 to 29) or progress within education, employment, or training if they entered the EET service (aged 11 to 18). S4L continues to support participants for up

How effective are they?
Y/ETeenagers engaged% of Teenagers with transformed life skillsTeenagers gained an accreditation
Y/E18-29 year olds engaged% of 18-29 year olds improved employability skills18-29 year olds progressed into EET
Commentary: A ‘traffic light’ needs assessment process is used to focus on those young people furthest away from the job market in an attempt to combat issues impacting those at the core of disadvantage. Development of their delivery model has focused on the quality of evidence and success criteria of an individual young person’s outcomes. Increasing success thresholds of outcomes and measuring life skills through their ‘Outcome STAR’ framework has refined their benchmarking when claiming transformational change of an individual
See what you could achieve with a donation of: £
How do we calculate this?

Who works here?

    Founder and CEO
    Appointed: July 2006
Tom has led the organisation through significant change and growth in the last 14 years and was named ‘Future Face of Charity and Social Enterprise’ at the 2019 Future Faces Awards. He is also a Business Mentor for ‘Unltd’, a leading provider of support for social entrepreneurs in the UK
    Head of Operations and Contracts
    Appointed: October 2010
Matthew has a background in local authority and project management. Since joining the charity, he has managed a number of key projects and now oversees all operational delivery. He leads on Sport 4 Life UK contracts and commissioned work, and is the organisation’s designated safeguarding lead
    Head of Business Development
    Appointed: October 2019
Rob is the newest member of the Leadership Team and has over 20 years’ experience working in the public sector, higher education and one of the biggest national governing bodies of sport. An experienced leader and coach with a passion for growth and making a difference to people’s lives, he is responsible for business development, including income generation, marketing and partnerships
    Head of Research and Impact
    Appointed: July 2017
Saad has an academic background, and is dedicated to ensuring that the charity adopts a data-rich, learning and progressive approach to its work with young people, understanding what works and key reporting, research, insights and impact management. He also looks after the organisation’s internal CRM system

How is it governed?

Trustees (7)
Current Trustees appointed
Gender Split

Age Range of Trustees: 34-56
Alexandra is a solicitor specialising in general commercial contracts work, grant funding agreements, brand protection issues, intellectual property matters, data protection and privacy. She has experience working with a wide range of clients from smaller charities working in local communities through to much larger organisations working both....more
  • MICHAEL GAHIR (Chair) Appointed: 2023Occupation: Managing Director
Mundeep is the Head of Financial Reporting at Secure Trust Bank Plc, where she has responsibility for regulatory reporting, tax and external reporting. She began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, after which she moved into financial services, working at Santander and Coventry Building Society.
Thomas is the General Counsel at Coventry Building Society, where has responsibility for legal, procurement, data protection and corporate governance matters. He began his career at Theodore Goddard, before moving on to roles in private practice and the financial services sector.
Legal constitution
  • Charitable company registered in England & Wales on 11/07/2006, number: 1115222
  • Registered at Companies House on 03/01/2006, number: 05664605
  • Registered with HMRC for Gift Aid
Policies in force
  • Bullying and harassment policy and procedures
  • Complaints handling
  • Complaints policy and procedures
  • Conflicting interests
  • Financial reserves policy and procedures
  • Internal charity financial controls policy and procedures
  • Internal risk management policy and procedures
  • Investing charity funds policy and procedures
  • Investment
  • Paying staff
  • Risk management
  • Safeguarding policy and procedures
  • Safeguarding vulnerable beneficiaries
  • Serious incident reporting policy and procedures
  • Social media policy and procedures
  • Trustee conflicts of interest policy and procedures
  • Trustee expenses policy and procedures
  • Volunteer management
Main office

Unit 121-122 Scott House
The Custard Factory
Gibb Street
B9 4AA


1. The Objects of the charity are for the public benefit: 1.1 To act as a resource for (in particular but not limited to) young people up to the age of 30 by providing advice and assistance and organising programmes of physical, educational and other activities as a means of: (a) advancing in life and helping young people by developing their skills, capacities and capabilities to enable them to participate in society as independent, mature and responsible individuals;(b) advancing education;(c) relieving unemployment;(d) providing recreational and leisure time activity in the interests of social welfare for people who have need by reason of their youth, age, infirmity or disability, poverty or social and economic circumstances with a view to improving the conditions of life of such persons. 1.2 The promotion of community participation in healthy recreation in particular by the provision of facilities for the playing of sports. 1.3 To advance such other charitable purposes (according to the law of England and Wales) as the trustees see fit from time to time.

Defined Area of Benefit: NATIONAL AND OVERSEAS

Data Sources

Charity Commission for England and Wales
360 Giving

Tips for Selecting Charities

Which areas of philanthropy are most effective?
The text of this post is taken from an article on the Effective Altruism forum. It suggests that you can achieve the most impact by supporting causes that fight extreme poverty, improving animal welfare....more
Our Top Tips for Philanthropy
Here are some ideas to help you gain more satisfaction from your philanthropy and confidence that the causes you have selected are impactful. Engage your brain, as well as your heart You....more
How to become a Philanthropist
In this Blog we outline a strategy to help people who are new to philanthropy and for those who feel dissatisfied with the impact they are having. Effective philanthropy is immensely rewarding for donors,....more

Giving is Great