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Swindon Town presented with EFL League Two Community Club of the Season Award

The great work of our Foundation recognised with top accolade…

19 April 2023

Community

Swindon Town presented with EFL League Two Community Club of the Season Award

The great work of our Foundation recognised with top accolade…

19 April 2023

Swindon Town have been named 2023 divisional winners of the EFL Community Club of the Season Award thanks to the fantastic work of our Foundation.

Their work in bringing to life a variety of innovative schemes and initiatives to help individuals, youngsters and families across the town is the catalyst behind their recognition, which continues to make a huge difference to people’s lives.

The EFL also highlighted the club’s commitment to integrating and supporting refugees in the area set them apart from other League Two clubs in the running, using football as a force for good to build connections and drive positive change.

It’s been a hectic period for our Community Foundation over the past few years as they’ve worked harder than ever to bring smiles to faces young and old, while also helping those at some of the most challenging times of their lives.

As mentioned above, their bespoke Refugee and Asylum Seeker sessions have proved one of their most successful.

Supported by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, these free weekly football events for refugees and displaced people, predominantly teenagers and younger adults, involve regular coaching sessions which also offer additional opportunities.

This includes entry into tournaments and festivals, as well as friendly fixtures against other similar groups the Foundation supports on their range of programmes.

Their physical health and wellbeing sessions for the homeless have been gratefully welcomed across the town too.

Working in partnership with local homeless charity, Threshold, and funded by Nationwide, this scheme is available to participants from Threshold’s resettlement projects and those in emergency accommodation.

Sessions are delivered on a weekly basis with an emphasis on physical activity while ensuring participants receive the necessary nourishment through nutritional guidance and the provision of fruit and veg.

During the COVID pandemic, their Staying Connected initiative proved a vital lifeline for hundreds of elderly Robins supporters, whether it was a simple phone call during lockdown or meeting for a hot drink and a chat once restrictions were lifted.

In fact, it was so successful, they’ve now expanded the programme to offer coffee mornings at Foundation Park on a weekly basis with activities and games thrown in, as well as guest speakers which have included both current and former Swindon Town players.

Finally, their Project Me programme has been a scheme transforming the lives of the younger members of our community.

Working in tandem with Barnardo’s, this idea supports children with mild to moderate mental health concerns, such as social anxiety and behavioural disorders.

Through topics such as trust, self-awareness and resilience, the programme uses sport and activity to support positive mental health in children, and encourages confidence and participation both in and out of school hours.

Head of Foundation, Jon Holloway, said: “I’m immensely proud that we have won this award and that our social inclusion programmes have been highlighted as outstanding work with a positive impact on the more vulnerable people within our local community.

“We have a fantastic team of dedicated staff and volunteers that go above and beyond every day to deliver high quality sessions, and it’s incredibly special this award recognises their great work.”

With more than 80 per cent of the population in England and Wales living within 15 miles of an EFL Club, the league’s network of 72 clubs are at the very heart of their communities.

The impact they have on their communities goes way beyond the 90-minutes on the pitch as they deliver a portfolio of community schemes in response to issues such as obesity, food poverty, loneliness, education and unemployment.

Trevor Birch, CEO of the EFL, said: “Our clubs and their respective community organisations play an integral role in their communities, responding to the ever-changing needs of local people on an unprecedented scale.

“Last season alone, our clubs and CCOs engaged with over 840,000 people and generated more than £101million for community investment, and it’s an honour and a privilege to celebrate their outstanding work.”

The achievements of our Foundation and others cross the Football League pyramid were officially recognised as part of a special event held at the Houses of Parliament.

The overall winners in each category will now be revealed at a star-studded EFL Awards in London next week.

A fantastic achievement and well done to everyone involved at our amazing Foundation!


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