Rio Ferdinand Foundation

The Clarence Centre
6 St Georges Circus

Rio Ferdinand Foundation is a youth and community development charity. We work in the heart of some of the UK’s most disadvantaged communities, supporting young people (aged 10-25) to tackle inequality and reach their personal potential. Our model is tried and tested in communities, it is evidence based and research led.

Set up by Rio Ferdinand in 2012, the Foundation addresses issues of inequality that Rio had experienced in his own life growing up in Peckham, South London. Supporting and empowering young people from working class communities, tackling racism and inequality, and providing opportunities and pathways to deliver social mobility and realise personal potential were, and remain, the cornerstones of our work.

Alongside Rio, 70% of our leadership board are from Caribbean and African communities and all of our trustees and staff have lived experience of at least some of the issues our work is tackling. Since 2012, the Rio Ferdinand Foundation has worked hard to dispel limiting beliefs in society. Now working across the UK and Ireland, with regional hubs in London, Manchester and Belfast, we have supported over 10,000 young people to tackle the inequality they face in their lives and realise their own potential.

Key Objective:

The Foundation creates opportunities and pathways for young people to achieve their potential through sports, media, arts, and education. Through our work, we empower young people to take control of their lives, become socially mobile and drive social change.


A more equitable world where all young people have the self-belief, skills and support to achieve their potential.


We believe in young people and work hard to tackle inequality and promote social mobility. We do that through connecting young people to each other, to their communities and to opportunities provided by our partners. We provide young people with the supportive safe space, confidence and training they need to achieve their potential in life.

Our work delivers support under four strategic themes:

  1. Providing Safe Spaces

We provide safe spaces for young people, whether face to face in a sport or community setting or delivering digitally. Our sessions create a level playing field for young people, one where they can feel comfortable in their own skin and can explore their individual identities, issues and needs.

Health and Wellbeing Our work with young people is geared towards developing positive lifestyles, building good emotional health and wellbeing and strengthening resilience. We encourage all young people to understand how to support their physical and mental health and wellbeing as well as their peers.

Strong, Safe, Inclusive Communities We support young people and their communities, to deliver social action programmes tackling inequality. Our issue-based work addresses youth crime and violence, substance misuse, and youth loneliness, and improves community cohesion, to build a more equitable society.

Progression, Skills and Employability Our training, skills and careers programmes allow young people to develop transferable skills, access employment pathways and achieve their potential. We focus on partnerships which help create opportunities and connections and prepare young people for the emerging job market.

Our Values:

The values of the Foundation have been co-created with young people. These values inform everything we do as we believe we are:

YOUTH-LED: Young people are the heart of everything we do, inspiring us to evolve and adapt, so we can support them to realise their full potential.

EMPOWERING: Enabling young people to recognise their skills, giving them ownership to achieve their individual goals.

CONNECTING: Bringing young people, their communities and our partnership network together; valuing diversity and creating a shared sense of belonging.

RESILIENT: Bouncing back with enthusiasm and fresh solutions, continually learning and taking the time to actively ‘listen’ and respond to the world in which we work.

COURAGEOUS: With a ‘can-do’, open, supportive and honest approach - we are not afraid to do things differently

To find out more about our work, please visit

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