Fusing the dynamism of the ICT Channel with the power of football, The Big Goal is a twofold initiative aimed at combating youth homelessness in the UK. And this year, Vapour is proud to pledge its support. Explore how we’re making a meaningful impact in the lives of disadvantaged youth across the country.

What is The Big Goal?

The Street Soccer Foundation – formed by multi-award-winning, nationally acclaimed entrepreneur and business leader, Keith Mabbutt – is the primary brain behind The Big Goal.

As the number one football-led project tackling youth homelessness in England, the charity works in partnership with various clubs across The Premier League and English Football League (EFL) club community organisations, aiming to equip people with the skills they need to prepare them for a brighter future.

The Big Goal is one piece of a wider puzzle. At its core, it’s an industry-led ambition – with Giacom as headline sponsor and Comms Dealer as media partner – marrying the world's most beloved sport with one of the UK's largest industry sectors to address a pressing social issue: youth homelessness. The ultimate goal? To take 1,600 young people off the street and into employment.

The initiative's dual components, the five-a-side tournament and The Street Soccer Academy, offer diverse avenues for companies like Vapour to get involved and support the cause.

Playing for change at the home of football

The five-a-side tournament aspect of The Big Goal unites ICT resellers for a spirited competition on the football pitch. With the final set to take place at the home of football, St George’s Park, in summer, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime for all channel partners involved.

Beyond the thrill of the game, each team's entry fee serves as a direct sponsorship of up to 10 young people enrolled in The Street Soccer Foundation's National Academy program. This won’t just serve as a platform for young players to learn skills and build confidence in a football-based environment, but to further opportunities long after the programme ends.

Taking young individuals from pitch to purpose 

Meanwhile, The Academy represents a deeper commitment to empowering young individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Through a 10-week personal development training program, participants receive a blend of football coaching, mindset training, and soft skills workshops. 

Designed for individuals aged 18-30, The Academy aims to enhance physical health and mental wellbeing, as well as to instil confidence, self-belief, and practical skills essential for employment and independent living.

How Vapour is playing its part 

As a founding member and sponsor of The Big Goal, Vapour is fully engaged in both aspects of the initiative.

By fielding a five-a-side team in the national tournament, the firm not only competes for a cause but also directly contributes to the support and empowerment of young people through The Academy.

“Crucially, Vapour's involvement extends beyond the football pitch,” says CEO Tim Mercer. “I’m poised to share insights and expertise that don’t just cover the tech space but span essentials like how to excel in an interview and ways to safeguard business success during setup. 

“As a company, we’re also looking to offer work experience opportunities and mentorship to program participants, so we can offer a real avenue for growth later down the line. It’s not just a chance for Vapour to give back, though. Having welcomed a number of apprentices into the fold over the years, we know firsthand just how valuable fresh, emerging talent can be to our team.”

Keith Mabbutt, CEO and founder of the Street Soccer Foundation, added: “I am so excited about our new industry-wide initiative, The Big Goal, and to have Vapour on board as a Founding Member.

“It’s a true call to action across one of the largest sectors in the country and the way in which we are using football as the anchor to unite these brilliant organisations not only sees several of our academies become sponsored for the benefit of young people as well as local communities nationwide; but through the offered tournament element, it helps brings to life how by playing football, these wonderful companies can experience for themselves the power of playing for change.”

Tim will join the Northern team’s five-a-side regional line-up at Sunderland AFC’s Beacon of Light on 19 April, before The Big Goal’s second Academy intake reveals who will complete the Vapour pair in Autumn. 

Keen to help champion the cause? Discover how you can change lives through football.

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