Derby County Community Trust’s Active Recovery celebrates second anniversary

Active Recovery, the Derby County Community Trust’s cancer rehabilitation programme, celebrated its second anniversary on 23rd September. Over the last two years nearly 400 participants have engaged in the programme as part of their own recovery journey from cancer or through supporting a friend or family member through recovery.

The event, hosted at Pride Park Stadium, was attended by over 80 of the programme’s past and present participants, six of whom shared their stories before lunch and cake with donations going to Macmillan as part of their Coffee Morning week – which raised £111.45 for the charity.

Vincent Martin and Derek Puplett, were two of the participants to share their stories.

Vincent said: “I was diagnosed with myeloma in 2016 and it was a complete shock to everyone. I went from being the life and soul of the party to experiencing chronic back pain as a result of the cancer which made it unbearable to even move sometimes.

“My counsellor told me about the ‘Look Good Feel Better’ event at Pride Park Stadium where I met the Derby County Community Trust team. I only went to my first session in June, but it has already changed my life. The team, the exercise, meeting people I can talk to about my problems – it’s all revolutionised the way I think about things and I can deal with my back pain much more. I look forward to it every week and I’m even able to go on holiday again now which I never thought would be possible.”

Derek has been part of the programme since it started in 2017, and said, “I joined as soon as I heard about the programme after I was in recovery from prostate cancer. I wanted to get back to my previous levels of fitness and Active Recovery provided a way of doing disciplined exercise the way that I wanted to. The team wrote me a fitness plan to continue with while I was on holiday, it’s become such a way of life and has helped me hugely after gaining almost a stone after my surgery.”  

One participant sent her story to be read at the event as she couldn’t attend due it being her wedding day! She explained the role Active Recovery has played in her journey and particularly how Steph Thompson, Health Team Leader at the Trust has helped her.

Zara Scott said: “When I was diagnosed with my brain tumour in January 2018, I woke up from my brain operation and I thought my life was over. I couldn’t walk, I could only move the left side of my body and I couldn’t communicate.

“Since starting Active Recovery in March 2019, it has allowed me to push my fitness on to the next level and my confidence has grown so much since starting at the gym.

“Steph is amazing! She is so patient, encouraging and has boosted my confidence more than I could ever imagine. She takes her time to explain the benefits of the exercises and suggests further advice on diet to help me reach my goals.

“Unfortunately, I cannot be there today as it is my wedding day. Steph has even taken further time out to help me look fantastic in my chosen wedding dress!”

Active Recovery is available to anybody who is undergoing treatment or in the five years following their treatment. It is also open for partners, friends or family attend in support of the participant. To make a self-referral to join the programme please contact [email protected].

Utilita become sponsor of Kids and Girls Cup

The EFL and Utilita have today announced a new four-year deal that will see the energy supplier become the Official Title Sponsor of the Kids and Girls Cup competitions.

The new partnership, which will be in place until at least the conclusion of the 2022/23 season, will see the community competitions renamed as the ‘Utilita Kids Cup’ and ‘Utilita Girls Cup’ respectively.

Over 22,000 schoolchildren take part in the competitions each year, with the aim of representing their local EFL Club, as they battle for the opportunity to play at Wembley Stadium. The Girls Cup Final takes place before the Trophy Final and the Kids Cup Finals during the Sky Bet Play-Off Finals weekend.

In the run up to these Finals, EFL Clubs and their Club Community Organisation’s deliver local and regional stages of the competitions. By encouraging these young people to participate and develop a love of sport, the Clubs and CCOs are helping to deliver the EFL Trust’s overall vision to create stronger, healthier, more active communities, whilst also supporting Sport England’s ambition of creating an active nation by focusing on the benefits sport can bring to people and society.

The competitions have also historically played a part in the development of some now established professional players, with Will Hughes (Watford) and Scott McTominay (Manchester United) having previously represented their schools in the Kids Cup Finals.

As well as the title sponsorship, Utilita will have a portfolio of rights across the Utilita Kids Cup and the Utilita Girls Cup, including digital rights and prestigious access at all EFL Wembley Finals.

The partnership will also allow Utilita to activate within communities nationwide across area and regional Finals of the respective competitions, as well as four newly created football festivals.

EFL Chief Commercial Officer, Ben Wright, said, “The EFL is delighted to welcome Utilita as a partner of the League and as title sponsor of the Kids and Girls Cup competitions.

“Utilita are committed to engaging with families and local communities making them a perfect match for this partnership and I’m sure their support will enhance the opportunities available for thousands of schoolchildren involved each year.

 “We look forward to working with Utilita over the next four seasons, as we look to develop both competitions and provide young people the chance to live out their dream of playing at Wembley.”

Utilita are one of the UK’s fastest-growing energy suppliers and a leader in the smart meter revolution – installing Britain’s first ever smart meter way back in 2008. 14 EFL Clubs are currently partnered with Utilita, with sponsorship ranging from stadium naming rights to junior retail kits.

Jem Maidment, Director of Marketing and Communications, Utilita said, “To be partnering the EFL Kids & Girls Cup is something we are immensely proud of and it reiterates our commitment to youth football – powering the stars of tomorrow.

“We are now recognised as a growing brand in football – particularly grassroots – and that will continue to be our mission in the game. Over the past couple of years, a host of schools have benefited from our kit donations, whilst we have partnered a number of clubs sponsoring junior kits including the likes of Birmingham City, Derby County and Leeds United. To form a national partnership with the EFL Kids Cup & EFL Girls Cup was the logical next step.”

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Bluebirds star Sol Bamba and Cardiff City FC inspire school children with a little help from Roald Dahl

Sol Bamba joined the Cardiff City FC Foundation, the official charity of Cardiff City Football Club, as they celebrated Roald Dahl Day at Herbert Thompson Primary School.

Roald Dahl Day is an annual event that celebrates the worlds, characters and stories of the Welsh novelist, with Matilda at the heart of this year’s celebrations.

Pupils from Year 4 enjoyed learning about the Cardiff born novelist and the fun character that is Matilda, who could move things with her mind.

The session aimed to improve children’s confidence in reading and develop their creative writing skills.

Children were asked to write about what their superpower would be, inspiring creative writing. If reading Roald Dahl’s Matilda wasn’t enough inspiration, Bluebird defender Sol Bamba shared what his superpower would be and engaged with the children, helping to spark their creative minds.

This was not the first time fan favourite Bamba’s had visited Herbert Thompson as the defender regularly attends community events, using his presence and the power of the Cardiff City badge to change lives.

Sol Bamba said: “A good education is so important and I think the badge can engage youngsters, especially those who are Cardiff City fans.

“If I can be a role model and inspire them to work hard at school, then it’ll be my honour.“

Tobi, a Year 4 pupil from Herbert Thompson Primary School, said: “My superpower is being positive and being able to get through tough times. I look up to inspirational people like Sol Bamba and realise that I want to be like them someday.

“It’s been a really good experience and has helped us with our confidence. Sol Bamba is a really inspirational person to us.”

The visit was organised as part of the Premier League Primary Stars project, which uses the appeal of Cardiff City FC to inspire all children to learn, be active and develop important life skills.

The Bluebirds Charity recently celebrated 10 years of changing lives, during which time it has invested over £10 million in sport and education programmes across South Wales.

EFL Trust National Conference 2019

EFL Football Club Community Organisations (CCOs) from across the country came together at St George’s Park as the EFL Trust’s new five year strategy was launched and a £2.25m investment into the network was announced by Sport England.

The EFL Trust National Conference is an opportunity for the network of CCOs to hear inspirational speakers, discuss key opportunities and share best practice, enabling them to continue to positively benefit the lives of more people in their communities.

This year, the National Conference played host to the launch of the EFL Trust Strategy for the next five years and focused on the importance of partnerships with key organisations to deliver the organisation’s vision of ‘Stronger, Healthier, More Active Communities.’

Hosting the Conference this year were two amazing young people who themselves are testament to EFL Trust’s biggest project, NCS.  Jasmin Devine-Runkee and Dominic Hartley are both NCS graduates from EFL Trust’s network. NCS develops life skills and helps the integration of 16-17 years olds into their community. Both young adults are a shining example of the skills and confidence gained from being part of NCS.

NCS graduates Dominic and Jasmin who hosted the event.

Don Goodman spoke with passion about the significant impact of CCOs on their communities and said that the growth in the numbers of people benefiting across the country was staggering.

During the Conference, delegates heard from key speakers from Department of Work and Pensions, NHS and Sport England.

In his address today, Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of Sport England announced his organisation’s intention to invest in the EFL Trust network’s ability to reach one of their key audiences.

The investment of over £2.25 million, of National Lottery funding, will aim to reach around 10,000 inactive men and women on low incomes.

Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive, Sport England

Partnership with the EFL Trust network due to the unique position of Football Clubs in their local communities was a constant theme throughout the two days.

Dave Barrow, Group Director, Work in Health Service, DWP, commented that the EFL Trust brings some really innovative approaches to getting people into employment and that the partnership with the EFL Trust to date has been a major success.

Similarly James Sanderson, Director of Personalised Care, NHS, referenced the power of CCOs and how they can add value to the health and wellbeing of individuals in EFL Communities. He is very positive about the opportunity for more CCOs to connect with people, share messages about healthy living and enable people to access more physical activity.

James Sanderson, Director of Personalised Care, NHS

The CCOs heard from Clare Martin from EFL’s Community Club of the Year 2019, Portsmouth, who linked their successful strategy to the key themes of passion, people and continuous improvement. Clare also reflected on the vital importance of partnerships both locally and nationally.

Caroline Dakin, of CD Associates, delivered a fantastic interactive session for the CCOs around the importance of building personal resilience and resilience in teams in the bid to be successful in challenging times.

Finally, Miriam Jordan Keane, NCS Trust, took to the stage to speak about the power of the EFL Trust network and its successful delivery since 2011, the growth plan for the reinvigorated NCS brand and the future potential of the Trust’s delivery.

EFL Trust would like the thank all the the organisations from outside our network, who attended to deliver information or workshops to our network including DWP, Job Centre Plus, NHS, ICSA, M&C Saatchi, Anthem Engagement, Mind, AoC, University of South Wales and Sports Directory.

The EFL Trust now look forward to the next five years as we strive to achieve our vision of stronger, more active communities.

You can find out more about the 2019-2024 EFL Trust Strategy by clicking here.