MFC Foundation inspire hope and inspire confidence

Boro midfielder Adam Clayton was quick to praise the work of a group who have benefitted from one of a range of projects organised by MFC Foundation.

Participants on the Kitchen Therapy Project, run in conjunction with the Foundation, Middlesbrough College and MasterChef quarter-finalist Matei Baran, prepared and served canapes ahead of the Foundation’s new strategy launch.

Clayton took time out of his pre-match schedule to meet Chef Baran and those on a course that helps people who have suffered with mental health issues.

“They are an inspiration to us all,” said the Boro midfielder. “They have been through some tough times and this project has helped them come through the other side.”

The charity arm of Middlesbrough Football Club was set up in 1996, turning a vision of chairman Steve Gibson into reality, going on play an active role in the communities of Teesside and North Yorkshire, helping thousands.

Working to their new motto, Inspire Confidence Inspire Hope, MFC Foundation has refocused the work they do to meet the social challenges of today.

Speaking at the launch, Chair of Trustees Ray Mallon said: “There are a lot of people out there who are disadvantaged and we’re trying to give them a chance.

“Hope could be argued to be one of the best things in life, as hope can lead to ambition, aspiration, self-belief and greater self-esteem.”

The Foundation will continue to work in partnership with local services to help reduce social deprivation and support the positive action already taking place within the area. By using the power and influence of Middlesbrough Football Club, the Foundation will deliver bespoke programmes providing opportunities to raise aspirations and improve the life chances of people across local communities.

Southall MP praises impact of EFL Trust project run by Brentford FC Community Sports Trust

Southall MP Virendra Sharma swapped parliament for the playground as he joined pupils from St Anselm’s Catholic Primary School yesterday. He took part in a Joy of Moving Move and Learn session, which inspires 9-10 year olds to get physically active and enjoy movement by learning through play. With temperatures soaring to 24 degrees, the pupils learnt about the importance of hydration during exercise before heading outside to showcase their skills to the local MP.

Delivered by Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, one of 26 Football Clubs delivering the Joy of Moving programme, this Move and Learn project aims to inspire pupils to be physically active and enjoy movement. During the six week in-school project, children up and down the country will learn, through fun games inspired by the Joy of Moving methodology, about the importance of physical activity and balanced diets based on the Eatwell Guide.

After attending the session, Virendra Sharma praised the impact of the project, he said:

“I feel honoured to attend St Anslem’s Joy of Moving project today and see the pupils come together to learn about the importance of moving.

“It is fantastic that organisations such as Ferrero UK, the English Football League Trust and Brentford FC Community Sports Trust are providing support and resources to inspire children to live healthy lifestyles.”

Data from Sport England shows that only 22% of Years 5 – 6 are active every day. Through the Move and Learn project, each child in this year group receives an additional 9 hours physical activity and learning.

St Anselm’s Catholic Primary School has certainly reaped the benefits of the programme, Tito Perera, Deputy Headteacher of the school, said:

“Our partnership with Brentford FC Community Sports Trust started in January 2019.  Since then, the support and commitment from the coaches and senior leaders has been incredible. 

“We were privileged to be part of the Joy of Moving programme, which has helped the children to grow in their knowledge and understanding of having a healthy lifestyle. We look forward to a continued partnership with Brentford FC CST.”

Move and Learn is part of the Joy of Moving programme which is a CSR initiative for Ferrero developed in partnership with English Football League Trust. It is designed to inspire active lifestyles in children and help them develop positive habits for adulthood. Along with the Move and Learn project, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust runs a multitude of health and education projects – engaging with a staggering 2,000 pupils in the borough of Ealing.


70 people attend Pride in London parade with the Charlton Family

  • Organisers say more than 1.5 million people took to the streets to celebrate the event
  • Second year in a row CACT has taken part in the parade

Building on last year’s success, 70 people joined a Charlton Athletic group taking part in Pride in London on Saturday 6 July.

More than 30,000 people from over 600 different groups, including Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT), took part in this year’s parade.

The event saw CACT celebrate the achievements of CACT Invicta FC, the first LGBTQI+ friendly team to become affiliated to a professional football club’s community trust, and Proud Valiants, Charlton’s official LGBTQI+ supporters’ group.

The Charlton Family were represented by Charlton fans, CACT Invicta and Proud Valiants, as well as students from the University of Greenwich, young people from CACT’s National Citizen Service programme and Young Greenwich, the youth service CACT delivers on behalf of the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Representatives from CACT Principal Partner ITRM were also present.

This year, they were also joined at Pride by a growing number of organisations from across football, including the FA.

Participants wore special ‘We are going up’ t-shirts to celebrate the club gaining promotion to the Championship after winning the Play-Off Final at Wembley.

Daniel Jenkins, a player for CACT Invicta, said:

“It’s so important because it’s a celebration for people who for years have not had the opportunity to celebrate.

“We have annual tournaments at The Valley and CACT have always been very supportive of CACT Invicta as a club and the stuff we do.”

Dr Michael Seeraj, CACT’s Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, said:

“What an incredible day, we had such a great representation from across the Charlton Family and one of the biggest walking groups in the parade.

“It was quite a spectacular event, and the interaction and positivity from everyone there, from a wide range of different communities and backgrounds, was a real example of how diversity and inclusion really works. We can’t wait until next year!”

Pompey in the Community’s partnership with Community Integrated Care praised

As a part of Integrated Care Week (1-7th July), we are showcasing life-changing programmes for people with learning disabilities delivered by Pompey in the Community, the official charity of Portsmouth FC. The programmes were also celebrated as a part of National Learning Disability Week in Parliament on 20th June.

Clare Martin, CEO of Pompey In The Community Trust, presented at Sport You Can, a national event celebrating the best examples of sport in learning disability settings. At the event, she showcased the club’s incredible partnership with the national social care charity Community Integrated Care and the success of their adult learning disability team.

Community Integrated Care is one of Britain’s biggest and most successful social care charities, and a major care provider in Portsmouth. The charity teamed up with the club last season to commission weekly accessible sports and activity sessions for the people with learning disabilities and autism, and special matchday experiences. Community Integrated Care has also supported the ongoing growth and success of the club’s learning disability football provision.

At the House of Commons event, lead figures at Community Integrated Care hailed the values and commitment of Pompey in the Community.

Clare Martin, CEO of Pompey in the Community, says: “It was an honour to present at such a prestigious and inspirational event, showcasing Pompey in the Community’s commitment to inclusion for people with learning disabilities. We have been thrilled to work in partnership with Community Integrated Care to develop several innovative opportunities that promote the health, happiness and inclusion.

“Pompey in the Community are excited to see this partnership grow and develop in the seasons ahead.”

Kristie Burberry, Regional Manager for Community Integrated Care in the South of England, says: “We were delighted to engage Pompey in the Community at this important event. The charity, and the club as a whole, have demonstrated a genuine commitment to changing lives through sport.

“It was only right that the quality of their work and this partnership was celebrated on this national stage, in front of leaders in the sport and care sectors.

“It is a privilege for us to work with the current Checkatrade Community Club of the Year and we are committed to strengthening this partnership in the seasons ahead.”

Argyle Community Trust Opens New £2.5m Sports Hub

A new multi-million pound sports hub in Plymouth, which is expected to support 30,000 people taking part in physical activity a year, was opened by England legend Peter Shilton last week.

The facility which is set to become an integral venue for community sport in the local area, includes a floodlit third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP), one adult and one junior grass football pitches, a new artificial cricket wicket, eight grass wickets and a four-team changing pavilion (made possible thanks to investment from Argyle Community Trust, Plymouth City Council, the Premier League, The FA, Football Foundation, Sport England and the England and Wales Cricket Board).

After Plymouth City Council and the Argyle Community Trust netted an £880,000 grant from the Football Foundation towards the project, work begun on the site in February 2018.

Mark Lovell, Head of Community at Argyle Community Trust said:

“This space is more than just a place where people play sport, but it will be a place that the community can use at its centre for education and social events. 

“The project has involved a great deal of planning and I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to Plymouth City Council and all the partners involved. 

“It has been a genuine partnership throughout and a source of huge pride that the facility is now open to the public.

“There is no doubt the Manadon Sports Hub is the largest project ever undertaken by the Trust and a reflection of the progress we have made over the past decade. 

“Working in unison with Plymouth City Council and Argyle Community Trust, it is a very special moment seeing the community enjoying this fantastic facility.”

The venue will be open to everybody from schools, small sided football leagues and football development, to private parties, fitness classes, health and wellbeing activities, disability sports, frisbee clubs and community sessions.

Guests at the official opening were given an exclusive tour of the new facility and were able to see school children competing in a football tournament on the 3G pitch as well as players from Plymouth Civil Service and Roborough Cricket Club using the cricket nets.

There was also a surprise appearance from former England footballer and Argyle legend Peter Shilton OBE, who was delighted to be back in the where he secured his first management job with a three-and-a-half-year stay, getting Plymouth Argyle into the playoffs in only his second season.

The Manadon Sports and Community Hub will be one of the best sports facilities in the city and will see the return of many cricket teams able to play within the city boundary after many dedicated spaces disappeared for the sport in Plymouth.

Deputy Council Leader PeterSmith said:

 “This fantastic new facility has been years in the planning but absolutely worth the wait.  

“It’s not just somewhere to play sport – it’s been designed with the whole community in mind, with spaces for all sorts of physical, health, education and social activities that really bring people together. 

“The all-weather pitch has been massively popular and now the main pavilion is open people of all ages and abilities can really start to get the best out of the facilities and sessions on offer. Once the grass pitches and wickets are complete, we will be well on our way to establishing Plymouth’s first cricket and football development hub and bringing cricket home again. 

“We’re proud to have worked alongside the Argyle Community Trust to transform what used to be a run-down and underused site into what is, without doubt, one the best sports facilities in the city.”

Devon FA identified the site as a strategic priority to focus on growing football development opportunities within the local area.

By working alongside the partner clubs the aim is to create an additional 13 teams playing at St Peter’s Road over the next five years.

Team growth will primarily focus on youth football and it is projected that female teams will double from five to ten teams.

The sports hub will also be used to deliver coach education by Plymouth YMCA and Devon FA. With an emphasis on coaching opportunities directly supporting the partner clubs and local community it will enable the football coaching workforce to organically grow.

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said:

“The support of the Premier League, The FA and Government enables the Football Foundation to help improve community sports facilities like this one across the country.

“Their funding has played a key role in delivering The Manadon Sports Hub in Plymouth and I am delighted for everyone associated with the Plymouth City Council and the Argyle Community Trust. 

“This is one example we want to make people in Plymouth aware of, that they have the kind of quality pitches and changing rooms that are taken for granted in other counties.

“We will continue to support projects nationwide, but we cannot do this on our own, so we are encouraging organisations in the area to join our movement to deliver quality football facilities for people in Plymouth once and for all. 

“Taking part in community sport at any level offers many benefits and rewards, not least the opportunity for people to enjoy themselves and socialise with different members of the community.”

It was also thanks to the support from Sport England who funded £350,000 to help make the project possible. Sport England Property Director, Charles Johnston, said:

“We know people have a better experience of sport when they have good facilities in which to play. That is why we are investing in this excellent project at Manadon Sports Hub to create a multi-sport facility to encourage more people to engage with sport and physical activity.”