Topic: Article
Posted on 1st Jul 2024

Spotlight on JE Delve


In this new series, each month for the next year, RealWorth will be shining its social impact spotlight on a third-sector organisation which is bringing about meaningful lasting social change to communities in need. These unsung heroes may be flying under the radar, but their contribution to society is often underestimated and undervalued. The series of articles will highlight the work of these pro-social heroes, and share some of the challenges they face. We hope this will encourage people, businesses and funders to understand what we can do, individually and collectively, to support and sustain the valuable and impactful work they do.

July 2024: JE Delve (Jamal Edwards Delve)

In 2019 Jamal Edwards could have been kicking back, enjoying the success of SB.TV, his acclaimed music platform and cultural industry. From its origins highlighting the best of London’s amateur grime artists, he had expanded the brand enormously. Encompassing coverage of a range of music styles, a record label, and news and lifestyle broadcasting, his reach was huge. In his own right, he had launched an accessories range and even a health food and refreshments chain.

Rather than rest on his laurels, Edwards instead used his influence to found the not-for-profit organisation Jamal Edwards Delve. His charity focused on refurbishing and reopening youth centres, helping young people in his home neighbourhood of Acton, West London. Despite his untimely death in 2022, JE Delve has continued its valuable work to bring opportunities and mentorship to underprivileged youth.

Not Just a Youth Centre, But a Hub of Multimedia Opportunity

Through creative engagement and mentorship, Edwards hoped to offer the young people of Acton a way to maximise their potential and realise their dreams. This Ealing neighbourhood has consistently been amongst the nation’s 20% most deprived areas, as ranked by the government’s English Indices of Deprivation. Locals face higher crime rates, and increased barriers to education, health, housing, and services than most of the UK population. It has long been an area and population sorely in need of Edwards’ visionary philanthropic input.

JE Delve has, from its inception, placed great emphasis on local networking and collaboration, partnering with schools, community centres, and other nonprofits. This approach has inspired confidence in the neighbourhood and ensured that their services reach young people who need them the most. Continuing to expand upon Edwards’ vision and legacy, the organisation now runs a variety of workshops and drop-in clinics at their four youth centre sites.

Talking about their most successful ventures, Yara Mirdad, CEO and Senior Youth Worker at JE Delve said, “Providing safe spaces and trusted relationships for young people has been the basis of most of our engagement with over 350 young people. We believe in curating spaces and projects that focus on meeting and addressing young people’s needs and interests. We started out with one youth centre and a 2.5 hour provision in 2019. In 2024, we provide 5 days a week of youth provision across the Ealing borough and have recently begun delivering sessions in Southall. Our expansion over these 5 years has centred around responding proactively/dynamically to young people’s needs and to reviving youth work where it once existed and is most needed!”

Their weekly schedule includes Music and Media sessions, and recent projects have harnessed the raw creative talents of young people in the borough. Attendees of JE Delve’s centres and the Bollo Brook Youth Centre wrote and produced the independent film Bando – drawing on the lived experiences of adolescents in West London, Bando follows the fortunes of four young boys in the area. Gaining international attention and exhibition at several film festivals, this project also gave participants valuable work experience in the industry.

The New Gen Youth Festival is perhaps JE Delve project, now in its third year. Supported by Ealing Council and produced in collaboration with Bollo Brook You’s most high-profile mediath Centre, Descendents, WAPPY, Cody Studios, and Ealing’s Arts and Culture Team, this is a one-day festival ‘by and for youth’. Aiming to showcase London’s finest young talent, its exhibits include live music and DJ sets, open mic sessions, creative industry masterclasses and dance workshops.

Practical Support for a Productive Future

Beyond the focus on the media industry, Delve works to support its service users with their employability and financial literacy too. Using accredited psychometrics, their Career Guidance and Employability project helps young people widen their aspirations and explore their talents free from limiting beliefs. Delve workers are then able to support attendees in pursuing careers tailored to their strengths and interests, setting them up to succeed.

Outreach schemes in collaboration with local schools and companies are another way Delve effectively achieves engagement with hard-to-reach youngsters. Yara’s personal highlights of these include the Copewell project in collaboration with UCL, which explored the disparities, challenges and barriers young people of colour were facing post-pandemic, and co-created resources that would support them:

“Our researchers explored good and the lessons learned through young people’s lived experiences. This knowledge-exchange partnership enabled charities, academics, and young people to come together and to support each other during these challenging times and beyond.

The year-long collaboration culminated in the research being published in the British Medical Journal and the project is being replicated across other boroughs in London. I am immensely proud that JE Delve was able to help shape a project that will continue to support young people’s mental health and wellbeing across London.”

Looking to the Future, Helping Even More Young People

While JE Delve’s achievements and efforts are undoubtedly impressive, having an enormous impact on the lives of those young people they have supported, there is always room and need for growth. Virtual workshops, online mentorship, and digital resources could benefit exponentially more young people across the borough and beyond.

Increasing online presence and amplifying impact reporting can boost profile and generate additional funding. This may open the doors to corporate partners looking for such accountability, while online reach could bring JE Delve to the attention of a more diverse range of backers. Innovative funding models like social impact bonds offer even greater opportunities to scale their initiatives and ensure the longevity of the organisation.

You’ve Read This Far – So What Can You Do To Help?

If you or anyone you know – perhaps your employer, a friend’s business, or a family member – wants to support JE Delve in its continued mission to deliver meaningful lasting social change to their local communities – please get in touch with Yara at for more information on ways to help. Yara and her team would be delighted to talk to you about pro-bono services, volunteering, fundraising and other ways you could support. If you’d like to donate to JE Delve, please visit their Local Giving page here.

Finally – if you’re reading this and thinking “I know of a voluntary, community group or social enterprise that would benefit from the RealWorth Spotlight” – please email us with your suggestion to, with a short (max 500 words) suggestion for us to consider.

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