Moat Foundation: How football kickstarted Jaheim's journey to a better future

Jaheim joined the Raising Stars football team as a fun activity to do in his spare time, but what started as a pastime ended up having a hugely positive impact on his life.

Jaheim played as a central midfielder for the Raising Stars football team for three seasons, which he describes as the best three years of his life. Based in Pollards Hill, the youth football team is sponsored by Moat Foundation and managed by the team coach, PSCO JJ, from the Met Police. The team gives local young people the opportunity to learn new skills, get active and be a part of a team. Jaheim said: “The best days of the week were the days I trained and played football. It was such a great feeling to get up in the morning to represent something bigger than yourself”.

After playing for one season, Jaheim realised that Raising Stars was a place for him to himself, and that the programme was “more than football coaching; it was life coaching too”. Outside of the team he had fallen in with the wrong crowd of people and was going down a path that he knew was not right for him: “The Raising Stars programme shed light on this and gave me the skills and opportunities to get away from that. I needed that guidance.”

Jaheim enjoyed success with the Raising Stars team, winning the league two years in a row. Now working as a barber, Jaheim credits the programme for getting him to where he is today, providing him with the skills he needed for a stable career and future. Moat’s former Executive Director of Housing & Customer Services, Anne-Britt Karunaratne, was a huge supporter of the team and loved cheering them on from the side lines, offering great support for Jaheim.

Jaheim believes he wouldn’t be in the position he is today without Raising Stars: “I would like to thank the team for everything they have done for me in my past for a better future.”