Our Journey


One In A Million was founded in 2005 by Matthew Band and Wayne Jacobs.

On 6th May 2006, One In A Million (OIAM) began its first football engagement programme on Canterbury Estate, Bradford, West Yorkshire. That day, 7 children and 5 volunteers attended. Over the proceeding week’s, Saturday morning attendance quickly rose to 120 children and young people per session! They travelled from across the city, crossing boundaries, to attend our football themed projects, all of which created a hotbed for social cohesion.

In 2007, One In A Million Sports Hall Athletics was launched. It fast became a huge success, thanks to our outstanding coach Toks Adeniji, along with all our deeply committed volunteers. In 2010, we affiliated with UK Athletics and BAN Bradford Athletics Network. Since then, its won England Athletics ‘Development Club of the Year for Yorkshire and Humberside’ and ‘Development Club Coach of the Year’ for the region. In recent years, some children and young people have been selected to represent West Yorkshire. Others have progressed onto completing at the England finals.

In this year, we launched our flagship annual Stars Awards Ceremony held at the prestigious Bradford Grammar School. It was at this event that we launched our first apprenticeship.

OIAM became a charitable company limited by guarantee, incorporated on 26th September 2007 and registered as a charity on 4th February 2008. The Trustees board was formed and included: Matthew Band, Wayne Jacobs, Rebecca Band, Craig McHugh and Mark Hughes.

Following an informal partnership, OIAM signed a formal partnership agreement with Bradford City Football Club to be an official community partner. This was extended in 2013 for a further 5 years.

In 2009, OIAM began a partnership with West Yorkshire Police naming it to ‘Twilight Football’, later changing it to ‘Streetwise Football’. West Yorkshire Police soon informed us that in one district crime and anti social behaviour had fallen by an astonishing 70% whilst the activities were taking place.

In 2010, we expanded our community work into Bierley, Bradford. Bierley sits within the top 10% deprived communities in the country. An ideal location to form the second spoke in our ‘Hub & Spoke’ strategy. Initially starting with ‘kidz clubs’, Bierley now runs a full carousel of sports, arts and enterprise programmes.

OIAM took its first initial steps into a formal education. We opened an alternative education provision called “The Stadium Project”, which was led and run by Paul McAuley. We’ll say more about this later on!

In 2011, One In A Million was named as the ‘Barclays Community Sports Award’ winner by Barclays Spaces for Sports, the Premier League’s Creating Chances programme and the Football Foundation. The award recognised OIAM’s: sporting activities and informal education, preventing crime and anti-social behavior, whilst promoting healthy living and community cohesion.

In 2012, our enrichment programmes expanded following the development of our ‘Dance Stars, Mac Stars, Film Stars and Cook Stars’ initiatives during the previous 2 years. This was made possible thanks to a grant fund award by Provident Financial’s Good Neighbour Community Programme. They remain one of our principal community partners.

Our enrichment carrousel consisted of: ‘sport’ (football, rugby, cricket and athletics); ‘arts’ (dance, drama, music and media); ‘Enterprise’ which is interwoven into everything we do.

On 1st September 2012, our much anticipated Free School was deferred from opening.

However on 1st September 2013/14, One In A Million Free School, a mainstream secondary school, was finally established. Opening with 60 students in each year group, the school will have 420 students when full in 2019/20. Lord Nash, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education) formally opened the school later that year.

OIAM formalised community partnerships with new principal community partners Bradford Bulls Foundation, Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and added a further 5-year extension with Bradford City AFC.

OIAM added Bradford City Women’s Football Club (BCWFC) to our list of principal community partners. Today, the club has 6 teams from U10’s – U15’s) competing in various leagues across Yorkshire supported by high quality coaches and a team of dedicated volunteers.

Positive Lifestyle, an educational prevention programme, came under the governance umbrella of the charity and took up residence in our brand new Free School.

In 2014/15, the charity received grant funding by The Clothworkers Foundation and Children In Need. We added additional community hubs in the Windhill area of Shipley and Keighley, enabling OIAM to have presence in all five constituencies of Bradford. Today, we have 5 ‘community activators’ and a loyal gathering of volunteers working across the 5 constituencies of Bradford.

The charity entered into a partnership agreement with Bradford Youth Offending Team (YOT). The allotment where YOT carries out most of the reparation work was referred to as “the best kept secret in Bradford” – such is its beauty.

The OIAM Alternative Education Provision was successful in its registration as an independent registered school.

In 2015, Positive Lifestyle had its 25,000th pupil attend its programme. This incredible achievement was celebrated with students from Wibsey Primary School along with distinguished guests from the city.

During autumn of this year, we launched our Corporate Partners Programme, a network of Bradford based, corporate monthly regular givers, who believe passionately about the work we are doing amongst young people in the City of Bradford.

In 2016, OIAM Alternative Education Provision was rated GOOD after its inspection by Ofsted. The national school regulating body’s report marked all areas of the independent school – including leadership and quality of teaching and learning – as GOOD.

On the 6th May, the charity celebrated its 10th anniversary of delivering community projects to children and young people within the Bradford district.

 Our journey continues!