BEST SPORTS COMMUNITY OR CSR SCHEME – FOOTBALL
Argyle Community Trust – Plymouth Argyle Football Club
Project 35 is Argyle’s landmark community social action initiative, in partnership with Ginsters, aimed at reducing poverty in Devon and Cornwall through a comprehensive campaign of fund and awareness raising, social outreach, food donations, education, and charity support. A project close to our heart and in-line with our core values, and a chance to give back to our communities.
The first year has already delivered over 35,000 meals to those most in need, 4.1 tonnes of food collected for local food banks and food network, free education and wellbeing sessions delivered to over 6,300 children, 2,084 volunteering hours from ‘Pledge 35’ volunteers, 307 hampers delivered to the most deprived areas of Plymouth, 406 hours of community volunteering from Ginsters staff, 320 match tickets, 20 mascot experiences, and 212 Argyle shirts gifted to those most in need – And we’re just getting started.
The strengths of the project have been its dynamism and the Club, Trust, and Ginsters willingness to make a difference, always evolving the project and doing things outside the delivery plan to respond to need as we continue to strive make an impact and lasting legacy in the fight against poverty.
Bloomsbury Football Foundation
Bloomsbury Football are a registered charity seeking to improve the lives of underprivileged young people in London. Established in 2018, we are set up with the aim of improving the mental and physical health, social mobility and opportunities of our beneficiaries. Based in Camden, we now operate in 8 London boroughs, delivering football sessions to young people across the capital using a “pay what you can” financial assistance model to ensure nobody is ever priced out of playing.
This year, the expansion of our ‘Changing the Game’ programme – aiming to grow our reach from 3500 to 5000 young people each week and to work towards our goal of a 50-50 gender split in attendees to our sessions by 2025 – has been our key focus, and we now work with 5000 young people per week across our programmes, and are well on our way to engaging 2500 girls. We use this place-based, community-led programme to improve the lives, wellbeing and opportunities of our beneficiaries.
Dons Local Action Group
Dons Local Action Group (DLAG), started by three long-time AFC Wimbledon fans, is a network of volunteers who came together at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. We work with local communities in the London boroughs of Merton, Wandsworth, and Kingston to tackle the issues of food, digital and furniture poverty.
Dons Local Action Group is unique in that it is still largely powered by volunteers. In 2022 well over 1,000 gave their time and dedication to help us meet the ever-increasing needs of our community as vulnerable people not being reached through other channels struggled with the cost-of-living crisis.
Across the year we collected and redistributed over £1 million worth of food, furniture and laptops to those who most needed our help. This included over 900 families to whom we delivered food boxes. We also provided regular bulk deliveries to 35 partner agencies such as food banks, shelters for the homeless, refugees and victims of domestic violence and community kitchens.
Dons Local Action Group has become a vital part of the social support network in the boroughs in which we work, making a real and positive difference to our community.
EFL Clubs in the Community – EFL and EFL Trust
The English Football League (EFL) is the original football League competition with 72 member Clubs in England and Wales EFL Clubs are the beating heart of their communities, serving 47.6m people that live within 15 miles of an EFL Club (80% of the population). With their Club Community Organisations (CCOs), EFL Clubs form an important part of the fabric of the country, representing a national network that delivers local impact. As important civic institutions, EFL Clubs continue to be catalysts for social change, providing support 365 days per year for local people facing challenges including food poverty, unemployment, obesity, loneliness, diabetes, and people seeking sanctuary. They change lives…and in many cases, save them. In January 2023, during the League’s annual Week of Action campaign, the EFL launched ‘EFL Clubs in the Community’ report, providing substantial evidence demonstrating the collective impact of the work EFL Clubs deliver in their communities. An ambitious and complex piece of work, the team successfully launched the report in parliament achieving widespread media coverage and political engagement. As demand for Club community work continues to rise, the value of community remains central to the EFL, as does the role football Clubs play in their communities.
Everton in the Community
We pride ourselves on being ‘The People’s Club’ and doing what is right for our local communities We have never shied away from tough challenges and this approach has positioned ourselves as the ‘go to’ sporting charity for advice and guidance both nationally and globally.
We work tirelessly to ensure we deliver a service which is ‘best in class’ and this has been reflected in the numerous awards we have secured, the media recognition we have received and the societal value we have generated.
We are very unique in that we have worked with an academic institution since 2013, have our own GP, deliver projects across the life course supporting from cradle to grave, tackle a broad range of social challenges and work with a range of stakeholders to ensure a collaborative, joined-up approach to maximise impact, avoid duplication and deliver services in a cost-effective way.
The addition of The People’s Place will mean EitC has created a £12 5m community campus in one of the UKs most deprived communities, which has completely transformed derelict land and disused buildings into purposeful resources for the community.
The LFC Foundation is Liverpool Football Clubs’ official charity. Our mission is to create life changing opportunities for young people and families. This season is our highest turnover ever and we have worked with more than 100,000 people.
We’ve expanded upon our successful programmes from last season and pinpointed areas of real need. Refugee and Inclusion work, supporting mental health and suicide in young men and taking care of our communities both old and young.
Our work with refugees covers mainly football sessions but we also provide access to our employability programmes and even dental check-up and referrals to help keep them mentally and physically active.
Suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under the age of 50. Maintaining engagement with young men who have experienced the loss of a child can be challenging. Therefore a unique approach was needed to keep them talking; using football as a vehicle we created Honeysuckle FC: The Bond Of Love.
We create a lasting legacy of empowering young people to produce sustainable positive changes in their communities.
With the cost-of-living crisis putting more pressure on people’s income, Red Neighbours have tackled food poverty locally distributing 57,908 meals to 6,435 people.
Saints Foundation is the charity of Southampton FC. We support people in need throughout Southampton, providing life-changing opportunities to help our city and its communities thrive.
We deliver programmes that respond to the ever-evolving needs of the people of our city. Connecting with our communities using the power of the Saints badge, we help those who feel the impact of inequalities the most.
The Howdens Game Changer Programme – Howdens
In partnership with England Football, Scottish FA and Northern Irish Football Foundation, the Howdens Game Changer Programme was launched to support grassroots football with improved clubhouse facilities that are at the heart of the community. Over three years, we will provide kitchens for 450 clubs across the UK, so clubs outside of the professional game have a hub where players and local people can congregate, nurture young talent, and keep the spirit of football alive. Championed by football legends Jill Scott, Chris Kamara, and Julie Fleeting, these new club kitchens present valuable funding opportunities for small teams by giving them the facilities to serve food and drink. This makes them more attractive for external hire and less reliant on external funding to survive.
The Twinning Project is a partnership between His Majesty Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and professional football clubs, with the objective of twinning every prison in England and Wales with a local professional football club.
The aim is to engage approximately 48 learners per year in each of the 117 men’s, women’s and young offender establishments in England and Wales. The football-based programme’s goal is to help them to improve their mental and physical health, all-round wellbeing, whilst simultaneously improving life skills and employability. This will enable over 5,000 sentenced individuals to obtain a qualification which will help them to improve their life chances and gain employment.
The aims of the Twinning Project are to:
• Engage with rehabilitation services on offer in custody.
• Secure and facilitate robust relationships between football clubs and prisons.
• Offer routes to employment on release.
• Up-skill and educate whilst in custody to ensure employability and opportunity.
• Reduce reoffending and save lives.