Fearless – the youth service of charity Crimestoppers – is delighted to announce Paul Canoville as its first Fearless Football Ambassador.
Fighting hate crime including racism and supporting young people to achieve their best, are key priorities for charity Crimestoppers and The Paul Canoville Foundation who have joined forces in a pioneering new partnership.
It follows Chelsea FC honouring Paul’s important contribution to the club by naming part of Stamford Bridge in his honour when The Canoville Suite was officially opened earlier this year.
To mark this partnership, The Canoville Suite hosted its first event to introduce Paul as a Fearless Football Ambassador this morning.
This event promoted the inspiring partnership between the two organisations. Around a dozen young people from the local borough were there to hear Paul’s powerful story and how young people can continue to keep their communities safe. The event raised the profile of Fearless and the charity’s 100% anonymous online reporting service, appealing for young people to become champions of their community.
Recent trends show serious youth violence rising so Fearless is keen to engage with local partners to build on preventative measures that aim to help tackle youth violence.
Paul Canoville is a former professional footballer signed up in 1981 by Chelsea at the age of 19. He was soon subjected to a tsunami of abuse by his own fans. Due to injury, his career was cut short and his life was followed by numerous hardships and obstacles, from homelessness, addiction, cancer and mental health issues. After turning his life around, Paul was determined to give something back to the community and, in particular, to young people. The Paul Canoville Foundation was established in 2015 and works with schools and youth organisations to promote wellbeing, confidence and resilience through workshops and sport in conjunction with partners.
Fearless works in partnership with secondary schools, youth groups and other organisations across the UK, speaking directly to young people on how to report their concerns about crime, 100% anonymously. The interactive workshops, which are led in London by outreach worker Kenya Lamb, are designed to engage young people to spread the Fearless message and help them better understand the consequences of crime and criminal activity.
Fearless Football Ambassador Paul Canoville said: “This is about our youth making their communities safe again. We’re not asking you to be a snitch – but to be a hero to help stop youth crime.
“I’m calling on fellow ex pros and current players to follow my lead in supporting the Fearless project to help cut youth violence. Being aware of how harmful crime can be is also key which is why I’m so pleased to be working with Crimestoppers and Fearless to help address this issue in the wider community.”