Last week was the English Football League's #EFLWeekofAction with its 72 Football Clubs celebrating the impact of their CCOs (Club Community Organisations) in their communities.
According to research by Substance, Foundations like ours have helped contribute over £865 million of Social Value in England and Wales and over £101 million in community investment. The value of charity work around the divisions cannot be understated and it is the stories of the people that use our CCOs that give the biggest impact.
We have been out in the community documenting what had been happening during the week and meeting people that make CCOs work. People like Pete who volunteers at our Sporting Memories dementia-friendly session at Crawley Museum every week. Pete is someone that gives his time to give something meaningful to the community having experiences in his own family with the disease. We also spoke to Tim from Crawley Town Flyers - our Sussex Disability Football League team - who told us why the spirit in his team is what really matters. Goalkeeper Vinnie from our Move the Goalposts session who spoke candidly about his journey with mental health which was as heartfelt as it was inspiring. Each programme we deliver has its own aims and we love to see the difference being made as a result of them.
We ended the week with a visit from Crawley Town first team players Joel Lynch and James Tilley at our Education Academy programme game on Friday afternoon. Lynch talked to the Academy players at half-time as they battled through a 5-3 home loss to Norwich City at the Camping World Community Stadium
. He spoke about the importance of Education and the need for community programmes in football:
'I was surprised by the high quality, I said to them at half time that their general attitude has been really good and it's encouraging to see. There was no moaning and they are working well as a team.
I think our jobs as first-team professionals is to get more involved with what's going on in the foundation with the kids involved studying their BTEC Sport course, it's not only the football skills they are gaining for later life. The club should be proud of what's going on here and I definitely hope to come down more often and get more involved.'
We'd like to congratulate all of the Community Foundations and Trusts around England and Wales for the work that they do for their communities and look forward to another week delivering for Crawley Town!
Thank you to Charlie Palethorpe for all his help during the week!