BSFC is proud of our Community Programme which aims to provide what support we can to 5 areas of Community need in the Bishop’s Stortford area – namely; Social Inclusion, Community Cohesion, Disabilities, Health and Education. For the past few seasons this has been suplemented by funding from the Football Conference Trust which in turn is supported by the Premier League and Professional Footballers Association.
- An Annual BIshop’s Stortford Inclusion Cup Final: Held at the ProkitUK Stadium between teams from St Elizabeth Centre for Epilepsy at Much Hadham and a team from Home Farm Trust (a charity which supports adults with learning difficulties). Each player receives a memento and the match is followed by a buffet. The match is the highlight of the season for many of the players (and their families who are excited to see their children involved. Two lads from St Elizabeth were selected to be mascots for the BSFC vs Northampton Town FA Cup First Round tie in November which was televised live on ITV. They achieved the “once in a lifetime” experience of playing football live on TV during the pre-match kit about/training session.
- FA CRB checks on coaches and volunteers.
- Dinner/dances for the Elderly of the town (Circle Anglia) – past events include themed events for the Queens Diamond Jubilee, the Royal Wedding and Christmas parties.
- Youth Connexions: The BSFC Community project has part-funded a Music Project for disadvantaged youths within the town.
- Provision of playing kit, equipment and weekly football coaching to disabled groups (Home Farm Trust on Friday evenings at BIrchwood high School) and extra curricula football coaching at St Elizabeth’s.
- Community cohesion work includes subsidising training facilities for local immigrant communties such as Polish and Portuguese.
- Provision of subsidised/reduced football fees for over 50 players per season from disadvantaged backgrounds.
- Twice weekly work experience for learners from St Elizabeths Centre at BSFC. This valuable project helps give the learners a step into work by providing them with the confidence to take that important first step into work. Two lads have moved on from this work to obtain employment at a local supermarket.
- Level 1 coaching for Youth Managers and Coaches. We are particuarly pleased when one of the Home Farm Trust lads qualified – Simon has since requested whether he could take further qualiifications.
- Free “taster” football and multi-sport training has been provided for over 20 local Primary schools targeted at boys and girls not currently involved in sport.
- Referee courses for Under 16s have been subsidised.
- Duke of Edinburgh scheme – two BSFC-Youth players are working through the scheme and have added coaching disabled adults to their CV.
- Provision of Safeguarding Children in Football and First aid courses are frequently held at BSFC to improve the education of the Coaches and Volunteers working with our Youth section.
British Heart Foundation
This wothwhile charity has been supported by both fans and the club for the last 5 years raising just over £12k. Football matches take place every May bank holiday to remember “Mr Stortford”, Andy Barnes who died of a heart attack. Stortford veterans,
academy players and the odd celebrity compete every year and the funds are further boosted by auctions and supporters football matches prior to the main event.
It is hoped that we will continue to run this event annually just so long as some of the veterans legs hold out.
At the last game of the 09/10 season a donation of 200 “unwanted” Haysey 500+ t-shirts was made to KitAid. KitAid was formed 12 years ago following a trip made by Derrick Williams MBE to Tanzania, where he was amazed at the interest in football and the total lack of any resources for the children to play the beautiful game. On his return Derrick spoke to colleagues and soon filled a box of shirts which was sent to one of the villages he had visited. Since then KitAid has snowballed and more than 120,000 shirts and items of sports clothing have now been sent out to Africa, South America, Asia and Eastern Europe. Former England manager Graham Taylor has also become the Patron of KitAid and the charity receives support from all across the football pyramid, ranging from The FA to grass roots clubs all across the UK.
Tim Lamb, supporters club chairman saw the synergy of working more closely with this charity and became the regional coordinator for Herts & North Essex in May of 2011.
KitAid made a trip to Kenya in June of this year and knew there would not be enough kits to hand out to all of the kids so they put the call out to see if anyone could donate Match Attax cards, the modern day equivalent of Panini stickers and popular with school kids the length and breadth of Britain.
The call went out to all the kids in the community football teams and they managed to donate in a very short space of time 7,000 Match Attax cards. These were all distributed in Kenya and it is hoped that these collections will continue.
During the coming season the supporters club hope to expand collection of both Match Attax cards and unwanted football shirts to the whole of Stortford which will boost donations and bring some positive PR to the football club.
Details of collections will be made available in the club shop. As well as football shirts and Match Attax cards KitAid also collect old football boots, shin pads, balls, socks and shorts in an effort to allow children less fortunate to enjoy football.
For further details on the charity visit the KitAid website.
Below are a couple of pictures showing the t-shirts being proudly worn by kids in Kenya and fervent swapping of Match Attax cards.