Town in The Community
Harrogate Town Football Foundation C.I.C was established in 2012 and is a community investment, not for profit, organisation.
The aim of the foundation is to provide opportunities for individuals to enhance their opportunities in life. To that end we provide access to training programmes as well as to work-based qualifications, both of which lead to better understanding of health, exercise and diet issues. Through this pathway we hope to build greater self-esteem, improve life skills and ensure a better economic outlook for each participating in the different projects.
Over the past 3 years, the foundation has worked closely with local groups, charitable organisations, schools, Harrogate Borough Council, Harrogate NHS Hospital and various funding bodies to promote community projects across the district.
The projects we have been involved in so far include :
Leadership through Football
Secondary Schools in the borough identified young people who were not achieving to the best of their potential, who were becoming increasingly hard to engage at school and who were, consequently, in danger of falling out of education.
The Foundation delivered a leadership skills “Through Football” course, 90 minutes after school, once a week for 15 weeks. At the end of the programme each student received a ‘Certificate of Achievement’ and a personal assessment of their progress.
The positive outcomes included improved school attendance, better classroom engagement, increased self-esteem and greater parental involvement.
“ There was a real and noticeable, positive difference in the students that took part in the course, attendance improved and their confidence increased.
Football seems to have generated a real connection.”
Head Teacher, Harrogate Secondary School.
Harrogate Starting Line Up
Working in partnership with Harrogate’s Crime Reduction Unit, The Probation Service and the Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation Team the foundation delivered weekly football sessions to a group of individuals undergoing a drug & alcohol rehabilitation programme.
The sessions, delivered by the first team manager and a number of first team players took place at the stadium, on The Stray and at a local community club.
At the end of the programme the group took part in a number of 5 a side football tournaments across Yorkshire.
The aim of the work was to support the individuals through their rehab, increase confidence, grow team work ethics and provide some release from daily routine through football.
“It was a humbling experience working with the group, the smiles grew week on week and by the time we got to play in the tournaments the participants had formed a strong bond. That was shown in their team performances and they way they worked for each other.” Simon Weaver, First Team Manager.
A further positive was drawn when 2 people from the group chose to get involved helping out on match days.
Lifeline through Football
The project was designed to help individuals gain work based qualifications through football and drew in a number of partners to form a working group.
Harrogate Homeless Project, provide temporary hostel accommodation for homeless people. Lifeline Harrogate looks to move people from temporary accommodation in to more settled and permanent residencies. Harrogate Borough Council, through the Fairfax Community Centre provide opportunities for local groups to meet to take part in a number of activities including getting fit and obtaining qualifications.
The Departments of Works & Pensions through the office of The Harrogate Jobcentre funded the programme of work and helped in the recruitment process.
We were able to attract the support and interest of local employers CNG, Envirovent, Halo Training and Evolved Security as well as Annapurna based in London.
Every Thursday over an 8 week period we met at The CNG Stadium and kicked off with 90 minutes of work on a Stewarding qualification. At 1130am we then got out and delivered a light coaching session to the group finishing off with a 5 a side match.
In the afternoon after lunch at Fairfax Community Centre we delivered a top up session on the stewarding course and finished off with a football tournament tin the sport hall.
The pilot scheme in May 2014 and the first funded course in May 2015 has seen 9 of the candidates move in to employment and 4 of the group have gone on to improve their personal housing circumstance.
“Wrapping football around the delivery of a work based qualification proved a success, taking education out of the classroom and basing the experience at the stadium provided a fresh feel to learning.” Garry Plant, Foundation trustee.
We are very pleased to report that the programme of work has been recognised nationally and was awarded the Conference Trust Most Innovative Community Project in 2015.
The Foundation has delivered a number of other community projects.
- Healthy Hearts, target groups were men and women over 50 as well as young mothers. A basic insight to what a practical healthy lifestyle looks like, exercise and diet.
- Mr Fit, weekly exercise sessions aimed at men over 55.
- Cardiac Rehab, working in conjunction with Harrogate NHS Hospital and Harrogate Borough Council’s Fit4Fun Team the weekly sessions reduced the waiting time for cardiac rehabilitation from 8 weeks to immediate entry.
- Respect thru Football, working with primary school children highlighting through football the Respect Campaign, team work, tolerance, diversity, accepting differences, respect for each other, family, friends, teachers, opponents, officials and supporters.
The Foundation’s work has been supported by a number of funding bodies including The Conference Trust, The Premier League, Player’s Football Association, The Big Lottery, The People’s Trust, The Heart Foundation as well as The Department for Works & Pensions. We have also enjoyed the support of private business with generous donations from CNG, Annapurna, Strata Homes, and The Howard Matthews Partnership.
If you are interested in the work the Foundation does and want to get involved do not hesitate to contact Garry Plant on 01423 880675.
Harrogate Town Football Foundation C.I.C.