Saturday the 22nd of September saw Brentford FC Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Community Sports Trust. As part of the celebrations, the Bees commissioned a special silver kit for the game against Oldham Athletic. To compliment the celebrations on the pitch, Trust partners from the public, private and voluntary sector were invited to join the Trust as we hosted a reception to celebrate 25 years of community engagement.
The Trust (originally Brentford FC Football in the Community) has grown considerably over the past quarter of a century. The scheme was born out of a partnership between Brentford FC, Hounslow and Ealing Councils. Supported by the National Football in the Community programme and the Professional Footballers Association, Community programmes based at football clubs evolved across the country and ideas from Brentford’s programme helped to inspire a host of new initiatives. Locally the programme expanded to Richmond-Upon-Thames with some activity in Spelthorne and Hillingdon.
25 years on, the range of projects offered by the Trust is more diverse than ever now delivering over 20 sports, whilst employing 30 full time and 70 part time staff. We also have a growing team of volunteers including our highly experienced Board of Trustees who give their time for the Trust.
The Trust has a number of key partners in the public, private and third sector ranging from National organisations to regional groups supporting projects through funding, strategic guidance and resources. Businesses such as St George West London, West London Audi and ISIS Waterside Regeneration all provide essential support.
The Trust is a member of the Football League Trust who link 72 professional clubs to deliver a national programme of activity on four key themes- sports participation, inclusion, health and education. In addition project funding from the Premier League Charitable Fund matched with local funds ensures regular local delivery of an activity and lifestyle programme through the national KICKZ programme. Other funders include the Football Foundation, Sport Relief, the Metropolitan Police and The Home Office. The Trust activities are a blend of tried and tested projects with new projects aiming to create a positive social impact. For example, recently we have been commissioned by The London Borough of Ealing to deliver their Young Carers project, which provides sport and educational opportunities, plus peer group links for young people who look after siblings or parents who are incapacitated through illness or disability. We are also developing a mentoring programme for the Ealing Youth Offending services. We continue to operate after school and multi-skill camps as well as an over 50’s social club and in recent years have developed a water-based outdoor education centre at Kew Bridge arches.
The nation has just experienced one of the greatest summers’ of sport. The Trust contributed on a local basis by delivering Urban Athletics across many Hounslow housing estates funded by the London Borough of Hounslow innovation fund. Some of the 300 participants plus Osterley Athletics Club took part in the Olympic Torch relay through Brentford High Street cheered by thousands of spectators. In August we launched a new event called The ISIS Challenge, comprising of a Stand-Up-Paddleboard Race at Brentford Lock and a 5k run and Family Fun-day at Syon Park, with 500 participants.
The list of projects and partners continues to develop with a host of new initiatives complimenting tried and tested programmes. The Trust has recently taken the club’s stadium based Learning Zone under its wing and is developing new sport, education and employment programmes. In the future, the Trust is also looking forward to the development of the new Brentford Community Stadium with a view to further developing the scope of community opportunities and partnership working.
Brentford & Isleworth MP Mary Macleod has praised the quality of the community work of Brentford Football Club’s Community Sports Trust. ‘The work being done by the Brentford Community Sports Trust is exceptional. It highlights the important role that professional sports organisations can play in addressing difficult social problems and building more cohesive communities. I think the club and its staff are doing a fantastic job,’ she said.
Mary highlighted Brentford Football Club Community Sports Trust CEO, Lee Doyle and his team for special praise.
‘Lee Doyle and his team deserve special mention for their energy and commitment over the years. They have shown amazing leadership and have a reputation for delivering gold standard programmes across several local Boroughs. I’d encourage any local business who has a community programme or who wants to help make a positive impact on the local community to take a close look at what they are doing.’
Mary Macleod MP, who works for the Rt Hon Maria Miller, Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media & Sport, visited Brentford Football Club on Saturday 22 September 2012 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Brentford Football Club’s community work.
Lee Doyle, Chief Executive of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust said, ‘The Trust that we have created is the result of partnerships built across all sectors over the last 25 years. We have seen the scope of work become increasingly sophisticated with sport being used as a means to create positive social change. It has been an exciting journey and I feel extremely fortunate to work with an inspirational, talented, hardworking group of people and forward thinking organisations.’
Mark Devlin, Chief Executive of Brentford Football Club said,
‘The club continues to work very closely with the Trust. We recognise the wonderful work that has been undertaken over the past 25 years with so many different sections of our local community. One of the Football Club’s key strategies during the next few years is to build support for the club from young families and under 18’s. The continued close relationship with the Trust will be crucial in helping the club to achieve this aim. Everyone at Brentford Football Club would like to congratulate the BFCCST on its 25th anniversary and looks forward to many years of further success.’
More information can be found on our website www.brentfordfccst.com