This week Adam Gale speaks with Michael de Giorgio, Founder of Greenhouse Sports & Levels Enterprises. Greenhouse was founded in 2002 when Michael set up a sports coaching pilot to give young people on a local housing estate something positive to do in the school holidays.
Using the sports facilities at St Paul’s School, an independent school in West London, the pilot programme helped troubled teenagers and was supported by the Metropolitan Police. It was so successful and in demand that it continued over the following years and merged with similar charity, Table Tennis for Kids (TTK).
Michael quickly realised that rather than transporting young people from their own neighbourhoods to private schools in more affluent areas, he needed to bring sport to young people in their own communities – their current unique model of running full-time school sports programmes was born! In 2004, the ‘Greenhouse Schools Project’ moved into schools, with two full-time table tennis programmes and weekend/holiday programmes at eight locations.
From then Greenhouse has continued to grow thanks to a community of supporters and role models.
Adam and Michael discuss the importance of mentorship and Michael’s journey from the private sector to being the founder of social enterprises.