Tony Adams is a former player and captain for Arsenal and England, and is currently Sports Director at Chongqing Lifan in China. He was born and raised in Romford and Dagenham; areas where SHS has carried out its work for decades. Showing the world that you didn’t have to come from a privileged background in order to achieve great success, he has been an inspiration to children throughout and beyond his sporting career.
His patronage coincides with our launch of the Membership scheme, a service that provides supervision, training, resources and support to anyone working with children and young people. The service is much needed by schools and their staff, particularly now in light of recent and forthcoming cuts to school budgets. SHS Membership supports schools to ensure vulnerable children do not miss out on the help they need to reach their potential.
Tony Adams said, “A few years ago, I attended one of School-Home Support’s open days in Barking. I did so because I was working in Azerbaijan at the time, and I had come home to see worse conditions in the borough I was brought up than in Azerbaijan.
The fantastic work that School-Home Support has been doing for over thirty years helps children in the borough and beyond who are living in these conditions. This is an area which is very close to my heart; I grew up and went to school in Dagenham before being signed to Arsenal Football Club at the young age of 16. I was one of the lucky ones, but many young people in Barking & Dagenham and across the UK are growing up with low aspirations and limited opportunities. These children and young people might play truant, have difficulty concentrating in class or become excluded for bad behaviour or poor attendance. The fact is – the majority of these youngsters are experiencing complex problems at home and school which lie behind their behaviour. A child may be being violent towards other children in school as a result of witnessing domestic violence at home; another can’t concentrate because he hasn’t had breakfast or a good night’s sleep – he’s having to sleep on the floor because his family can’t afford a bed. A young person might not be going to school at all because she’s afraid to leave her alcoholic mother alone at home and wants to try to stop her drinking.
I’m in a unique position. I relate to the children SHS supports, and I also relate to some of the parents – my struggles with alcohol have been widely documented, and I know how hard it can be to cope, Above all, I relate to SHS – because I too want to make a difference.
Every child deserves a decent chance in life. By acting as a patron for SHS, I hope to help more children get the chances they deserve.”
Jaine Stannard, Interim CEO of School-Home Support, said, “We’re very proud to have Tony Adams on board as a SHS patron, and look forward to working with him going forwards.”