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Foundation Shortlisted For Football Business Award

Newcastle United Foundation is incredibly proud to have been shortlisted for the Best Football Community Scheme (Premier League) at the Football Business Awards as a result of the reach and impact of the charity’s work across the 2015/16 season.

The Foundation was established to harness football’s power to deliver positive change in our area. Since launching in 2008 the commitment, dedication and enthusiasm of our staff and stakeholders has seen the Foundation become a pillar of the community, working with almost 50,000 disadvantaged young people and families across Newcastle, Gateshead, Northumberland and North Tyneside every year.

Working in some of the most deprived areas in the North East, our key objective is to use football as a means of engaging people in projects and activities that can help raise their aspirations and support positive change in their lives.

The Foundation’s Disability Football Clubs are hugely popular and engaged with 1300 people in the last year. Through weekly sessions, invitations to tournaments, and general coaching we help create thriving support network for disabled young people and adults who love football. Our Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Deaf, Visually Impaired, Amputee and Power Chair teams compete regularly and travel to tournaments representing the Foundation. We’re in the process of launching a Frame Football Club after a hugely positive taster session last month. The Foundation takes great pride in having an FA licenced Deaf and Partially Sighted Regional Talent Centre, which helps us get players onto the England player pathway.

Our schools programmes have engaged with 18650 children and families in over 200 schools in the last 12 months. Match Fit helps educate children about the importance of active lifestyles and healthy eating. This year we worked with a record 500 children each half term, taking the total number of participants to 5200. Family Learning is another hugely popular programme which runs as an after school club for parents and children. It aims to help participants become stronger, healthier families whilst also aiming to give participating adults the confidence to explore further learning. It combines classroom based learning with physical activities and football. The blend of physical activities and in-class activities is an important feature making it inclusive and broadening the appeal. This year alone Family Learning has worked with 4312 participants in 41 schools.

Our Community team has worked with over 3000 young people in the last 12 months through Kicks, Lifestyles, National Citizen Service and Employability programmes. Kicks offers free football sessions on evenings, mostly Fridays, to help combat the rise of anti-social behavior. The local police regularly visit sessions to help build better relations with this age group in the community.

Kicks is often the first step on the Foundation pathway for many young people. So many continue their involvement in the organisation through volunteering, which has regularly led to paid roles and importantly being role models for future participants.

Our partnerships with local business have evolved significantly since our launch. In addition to valuable funding support, partners also engage with our participants through Enterprise, a business challenge undertaken by over 2800 Primary and Secondary School children each year, and our Employability programme. Over 45 businesses are now committed to working with NEET young people by offering site visits, mock interviews and work experience. We’ve supported 198 young people this year with a significant number achieving employment as a result.

Head of Newcastle United Foundation, Kate Bradley, said: “We’re delighted to have been shortlisted for the Best Community Football Scheme at this year’s Football Business Awards . I’m incredibly proud of the staff for achieving this nomination. They are vital to our success because they have the passion and skills to have a positive impact on local people’s lives.”

The results of the awards will be announced on 3 November.

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