2098. Michael Wallace
2099. Ashley Levien
PC Michael Wallace and Ashley Levien, from London, founded ‘KickOff@3’ in 2017, which has engaged over 12,000 young people in football tournaments and sporting events with the aim of reducing youth violence and hate crime, and boosting fitness, wellbeing and inclusion in sport.
Michael is a Police Officer who works in community and youth engagement, and teamed up with Ashley, a youth worker, to build better relationships between young people from diverse communities and police through the power of football. Together, they delivered their first-ever football tournament in Croydon Borough in 2016 in support of the ‘African Caribbean Trust Charity’, before going on to create ‘KickOff@3’.
Michael and Ashley work alongside ‘KickOff@3’s’ youth volunteers and since its creation, the project has expanded to host a range of other sports tournaments, including in swimming, cycling, and basketball. Over the last 5 years, they have evolved nationally, as well as raising £45,000 and supporting over 50 charities, who promote health and well-being in young people.
In a personal letter to Michael, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“Together you have created a brilliant way of using football and other sports o connect young people from vulnerable communities across London.
“Since 2018, over 12,000 people have now taken part in your programmes, improving their fitness and wellbeing whilst also supporting more than 50 different charities. From encouraging stem cell donors from minority communities to spearheading charity campaigns that support families affected by cancer, it is fantastic how you are giving young people the confidence to give back to others.”
In a personal letter to Ashley, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“I was inspired to hear how, together with Michael, your brilliant initiative ‘Kick Off @3’ is helping to reducing youth violence and improve physical and mental wellbeing for young people. Your events are also serving as a springboard for them to take part in other activities that support their communities, and even to find work placements in the sport industry.
“Through your passion and dedication, you have made a huge difference over the past five years in strengthening community ties in London. I understand you are now widening your initiative across the UK, including taking your work to Belfast with the ‘Rio Ferdinand Foundation’, and I wish you every success.”
Michael and Ashley said:
“Ashley and I are humbled and most proud to receive the Prime Minister’s Points of Lights Award.
“We would like to thank our families, friends and others who have continued to tirelessly support our charity work since we co-founded ‘Kickoff@3’.
“We wish to leave a legacy with our voluntary work, for young people to follow whilst they gain invaluable life experiences and employment opportunities.”
See more about ‘KickOff@3’