Businesses and individuals across the West Midlands are being urged to ‘rise up’ in a special month-long event aimed at tackling youth unemployment across the region.

Birmingham-based charity Sport 4 Life UK is staging its third annual RISE UP Challenge, an energetic fundraiser in which participants complete 1,000 minutes of physical activity during May.

Proceeds from the RISE UP Challenge 2024 will pay for a range of support initiatives for West Midlands youngsters, such as CV and interview preparation - along with confidence building sessions based around sport.

Tom Clarke-Forrest, CEO of Sport 4 Life UK, said the event was an effective way for organisations to make a difference to future generations.

He said: “We’re incredibly pleased to stage our third annual RISE UP Challenge, which will enable businesses from around the West Midlands to make a tangible impact when it comes to helping young people who are lacking life chances.

“Funds raised will go directly towards activities that empower our beneficiaries to develop skills and get a foot on the career ladder. This really matters because by equipping everyone with the ability to get on in life, we support the wider prosperity and wellbeing of our region.”

Tom added: “So, I’m encouraging private companies, public sector organisations and individuals to do a thousand minutes of sponsored physical activity this May to raise funds that will help create a better future for all.”

Research by Public Health England has shown that supporting just 10 young people who are not in education, employment or training to move into sustainable work could save the economy more than £500,000 over the course of their lifetime.

RISE UP Challenge participants are free to choose what kind of activity they undertake in May. This could be a daily sports session, commuting to work on foot or bicycle, or even simply exploring where they live. As long as they log 30 minutes activity each day during the month it counts as successful completion of the challenge. 

Register to take part

In Sport 4 Life UK’s 2023 RISE UP Challenge, teams and individuals included lawyers, marketing professionals and office workers. Together they recorded 54,125 minutes of activity, raising hundreds of pounds.

Based at Digbeth’s Custard Factory, Sport 4 Life UK uses sport as a vehicle to achieve sustained education, training and employment outcomes for young people. Since its inception in 2006, it has grown into the leading sport-for-employability charity across the West Midlands, meaningfully supporting over 2,000 young people towards better futures each year.