A youth worker determined to make a difference by giving children an alternative to gang crime has set up a football club and academy.

Trevor Elliott, 21, said he set up the club on the South Oak Road estate, Streatham, so that young children would be able to channel their energy into something positive.

He said: “There is nothing for the children in the area to do, which is why the gang culture has emerged. I am hoping that by organising football for them, they will have a chance to do something else.

Mr Elliott, who used to live on the estate, has seen many friends get sucked into gang culture and he wants to make sure that he can make a difference to the youth of today.

He said: “All I wanted to do when I was young was play sport and the only way to get through to the children is with sport. All they ever talk about is football.”

The social inclusion project, for 11 to 16-year-olds, has proved popular with more than 25 regularly attending the weekly sessions.

It was set up following a cash boost from the Lambeth Play Association, a charity that offers small grants to local youth projects.

Mr Elliott hopes to join the club in the Tandridge football league and gain an association with the London FA.

A charity has also been set up to try to raise the funds to support the club for the children, and, with a football camp scheduled for July and a youth centre in September, the academy is looking to expand and give more children opportunities.

The academy runs every Sunday between 1.30pm to 3.30pm on the South Park estate playing fields.