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A new charity has launched in Leicester, providing disadvantaged children in two local schools with mentoring and sports coaching free of charge.

Since launching in London back in 2002, Greenhouse Sports has worked with 50,000 disadvantaged children, providing them with free mentoring and sports coaching, through placing dedicated basketball, tennis, and table tennis coaches in schools.

Picture: Greenhouse Sports

It has now launched its first hub outside of London right here in Leicester, partnering with two local schools; Castle Mead Academy and Knighton Mead Primary Academy.

The charity focuses on children and communities that need them most, only working in schools where at least two thirds of pupils live in areas of high deprivation, according to the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI).

According to the charity, Leicester was identified as a target area due to it being a city with high levels of deprivation and in need of attention.

“Greenhouse’s expansion of its programme into Leicester will help to ‘level-up’ the country and enable children in Leicester to benefit from the tried-and-trusted method,” said a charity spokesman.

“This includes improved school attendance and attainment, better mental and physical health, less antisocial behaviour and better job prospects.

“Children on the programme on average attend eight days more in school each year and achieve 40 per cent higher results in GCSE Maths and 30 per cent better in English,” she added.

Throughout the year, the two Leicester schools will receive free immersive coaching sessions for pupils before and after school, including breakfast clubs, lunch clubs and after school clubs.

The coach is embedded in the school like a full-time member of staff and trusted mentor.

To spearhead the new programmes, Greenhouse Sports’ Ryan Evans has been appointed as the Head Basketball Coach at Castle Mead Academy and Elley Cummings is Head Multi-Sports Coach at Knighton Mead Primary.

“It is an honour to be Greenhouse’s first basketball coach in Leicester at an exciting time for us as we expand outside of London,” said Mr Evans.

“Working with other Greenhouse Coaches in training, I have seen how much kids benefit from our programmes. I can’t wait to get stuck in at Castle Mead and introduce more young people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to the game I love.”

Jennifer Slinger, Principal of Knighton Mead, said they she was delighted to welcome Elley to the school in the near future.

“Greenhouse’s pioneering work to improve student’s educational performance, attendance and social skills is a huge credit,” she added. “We are truly delighted to welcome Elley and the team to our school.”

To find out more about Greenhouse Sports, visit: