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Xboxes and anxiety: how Crystal Palace are helping kids in lockdown

Club’s charity has adjusted swiftly amid Covid-19 and faces challenges with youngsters previously involved in crime

Like most workers in the charity sector, George Henry knew he had a problem when the UK entered lockdown on 23 March. As the targeted interventions manager at the Palace for Life Foundation – Crystal Palace’s charity – Henry uses football to help disadvantaged young people in south London and organises a team of mentors who try to keep them on the straight and narrow.

“Most of them have been arrested or been in gangs and we try to get them into positive outcomes,” he says. “We’re based in schools and a custody suite for our Divert programme, which aims to get them back into employment and training. Around this time of year we usually help with the transition from year six to year seven but because of the lockdown that couldn’t happen.”

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