Award Winning Trust Gets Major Boost

Brentford FC Community Sports Trust Expands with New Funding

Ian Dobie (MD St. George West London) & Greg Dyke (Brentford FC Chairman) get ready for Brentford FC’s Centre Circle Challenge at half-time Brentford v Bristol City

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Brentford FC Community Sports Trust have been given a massive boost with the announcement of two major funding initiatives. The partnership schemes will enable them to expand their award winning activities in the local area.

There have been a number of positive new developments since the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust was launched and Brentford FC winning the title of Football League Community Club of the Year.

Twelve new full time and twelve part time staff have been employed through the Sport England Community Sports Coaches Programme in September, taking full time staff up to 22 and part timers to 50. New staff levels make the coaches ever-present in local communities on a year round basis offering a range of sports. They have coaches with specific responsibility for the Boroughs that we work in as well as a Girls Youth, Ethnic Minorities, Health and Fitness and Disabilities. The size of the organisation is one of the largest in the country in relation to the work they undertake and is made possible by a partnership strategy.

Brentford FC Community Sports Trust have developed many productive partnerships that include funding from central and local government, housing associations, funding bodies, and national governing bodies plus other charities and private companies. As a result they currently work with 100 schools and 40 housing estates across 5 Boroughs reaching in excess of 30,000 young people every year.

On Saturday the trust celebrated the announcement of funding from St George West London Ltd and Ealing and Brentford Combined Charities. Recent funding and physical support from the two organisations have played a major part in enabling the Trust to operate on a new level increasing in size and scope. They marked the day by offering free multi-sports coaching at St Paul’s Recreation Ground in Brentford and a match visit for school children from the surrounding boroughs. Sports on offer included Boxercise, touch rugby, tape-ball cricket, table tennis and football. The disabilities team supported by Brentford FC, The Feltham Bees, joined in the sport sessions and a great time was had by all.

Lee Doyle, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust Chief Executive said “Apart from the session at St Pauls we had 16 other sessions taking place at other venues. In addition, in the last week over 1000 young people have taken part in after school clubs and this year we are working on 40 housing estates which provides some idea of the expansion of trust activities. Whilst football remains our core sport, we now offer the opportunity to take part in many other sports.”

The trust also welcomed Councilors and Officers from the Borough’s of Ealing and Hounslow and the Mayor of Ealing, who watched the morning’s activities, plus MP’s Ann and Alan Keen who are great supporters of the programme. Once again partnership is the key, the original Football in the Community programme was a three way initiative between club and councils some 19 years ago, and the alliance remains strong today.

St George West London Ltd has supported the Trust since 2001. Initially they became involved in a ‘one off’ project that aimed to provide free school coaching programme for 10,000 school children. Since then the working relationship between the two organisations has gone from strength to strength, not least because of the enthusiasm and support of Ian Dobie, St George West London Ltd Managing Director and Tony Carey, Managing Director of St George plc. Ian was voted in as the first Chairman of the Trust leading an impressive Board of Trustees.

On Saturday St George has announced a further boost to the trust, a 4 year financial support package of £20,000 per annum plus an extra £10,000 per annum for Brentford Football Club for four years. This will enable a host of new projects to be developed. They are also going to attempt to double the power of the investment by applying to the government’s Sportsmatch grass-roots funding programme.

St George West London Ltd Managing Director Ian Dobie said, “The Senior Management Team at St George felt it was time to offer the Club a long term financial commitment, with “Community” the main focus. We feel that a four year deal will allow the Trust and Club to plan for sustainable growth. Most importantly we like to engage with and become actively involved in the Communities where we build. With the Football Club being the heartbeat of Brentford, where better place to start?”

As a result of dynamic expansion the trust have had to set up a new office. After considering all options they decided to locate in a building close to the club in the heart of Brentford at Half Acre House opposite Brentford Police Station. Tim Luckett and Maria Gledhill from Ealing and Brentford Consolidated Charity (EBCC) took a strong interest in the work of the Trust after visiting some events and meeting with trust staff. As a result a 3 year grant of £20,000 per annum has been approved to support Trust core costs.

Lee Doyle said “The financial support provided by St George and EBCC allows us to focus on our core objective which is to develop grass roots sport opportunities for young people in the surrounding communities. In addition to financial support Ian Dobie, St George Managing Director brings considerable experience to the Board of trustees and has been a fantastic signing as the first Chair of the trust.”

The trust has many plans for the future which will make a positive contribution to sport provision and the development of new sports facilities in the community.

October 13, 2006