COMMUNITY

 

 

 

 

The Wealdstone FC Foundation Trust, established in June 2015, has made great strides in taking the club into the local community by linking up with the Middlesex FA, the London Borough of Hillingdon, local community groups and the enormously successful Wealdstone Juniors in order to provide activities for both young and old. 

Details of what has been achieved thus far and what is in the pipe-line are set-out below.

May 2019

There can be no doubt that the Wealdstone FC Foundation Trust has firmly and successfully embedded itself within the local community providing, as it does, activities for both older, younger and disadvantaged residents in Hillingdon and Harrow.

Walking football for the over 55s now has a life of its own, with weekly sessions being held on a Wednesday evening at Whitmore School in South Harrow and during Thursday lunchtimes at the Botwell Green Leisure Centre in Hayes. It has been particularly gratifying to see that participation at Botwell has grown significantly with there now being a dozen male and female regulars, and sometimes more, for a group who are within the very senior age group within our community.

In addition to the weekly sessions at Botwell, we have also started running regular walking football sessions for the Hillingdon Stroke Association. 48 sessions have been run over the year, originally in conjunction with Middlesex FA, but now led by the Trust. Gordon Bartlett ran 24 sessions, Taofiq Olomowewe (or T as he is known) led 16 sessions, Nick Symmons 4 with Omar Koroma taking the lead for the immediate future. An important element of the Trust’s work, this scheme reaches out to a particularly vulnerable and potentially isolated section of the community.

The Stones Soccer in Schools Programme goes from strength to strength. Recipients of the programme for 2018/19 were St Bernadettes, Roxeth and Vaughan schools, all in Harrow, Lady Bankes and Sacred Heart schools, both in Ruislip, and Field End School in Eastcote. This meant that 510 Year 3 (7 and 8 year olds) were reached by the project during the year. Once again the scheme was judged to be highly successful by the schools in which it operated, and the only issue that prevented the Trust being able to operate at additional schools was the limitation on funds.

For this school year The Trust was initially able to call on the services of Gordon Bartlett to lead the sessions, with most often T and Omar Koroma assisting with the coaching. Unfortunately Gordon had to stand down which left T to continue with Omar. Ronnie Welch from Wealdstone Youth was able to step in when required and more recently Dylan Kearney has been helping out. Although none of the coaches were currently playing for Wealdstone, they all had significant links with the club and promoted it with the children and schools whenever possible. Feedback from teachers at the schools served by the Trust has once again been universally positive.

 

The link between the football coaching and the mathematics element of the scheme has been promoted by teachers as helping the children develop their numeracy skills and in improving discipline. The performances of the coaches was again highlighted as being outstanding, with the footballers being praised for the manner in which they ran the sessions, and for being excellent male role models to children at junior schools with few, if any, male teachers.

The Trust’s other scheme, Tea Dancing at The Vale, has proved to be fantastically popular. The sessions are run by Philip Tampin of P J Music and Dance and held in the main hall at the Ruislip Manor Sorts and Social Club on a Wednesday afternoon. 49 sessions were held over the year with the 100th session from its inception having taken place on at the start of May 2019.

 

Philip now has a regular attendance of 40 participants with the feedback from participants, some in their 80s and 90’s, being comprehensively enthusiastic in their praise of the sessions and the venue. They site both physical and mental benefits of the sessions and they are proving to be a vital combat to social exclusion in the Borough.

The overall cost of the programme to run has been over £26,000 for the year, with the majority, £20,000 being provided by the National League Trust, and the rest from sponsors of the Trust’s work.

December 2018

We welcomed Brian Lee (and his wife) the former National League Chairman and now National League Trust Chairman on the pitch at half-time today when we hosted Eastbourne Boro on Sat 1 December  to present to the WFC Foundation Trust a National League Trust Award for the Best Schools Project of 2017-18 season.

Along with the Award is a cheque to the WFC Trust for £5,000 to be spent on further community projects.

Nick Symmons, Mick Fishman and Frank Funnell as well the educational Contributors from St Bernadette’s RC Primary School Harrow , Headmaster David O’Farrell and Assistant Head, Kevin Bassett will also be in attendance.

 

The National League Trust will also be handing over a cheque for  £20,000 to fund the full community programme the WFC Trust applied for the 2018/19 season.

The programme comprises a Tuesday lunchtime Walking football session for recovering Stroke victims, in association with Hillingdon Stroke association, led by Gordon Bartlett, Wednesday afternoon Tea Dance sessions at The Vale and  Walking Football for the over 55's at Botwell Leisure Centre on a Thursday lunchtime. The Trust will also be continuing with the prize winning "Maths and Soccer in Schools" sessions which will be delivered to six schools reaching 540 seven year old's in the London Borough's of Harrow and Hillingdon.

September 2018

The Trust have just heard that its programme of activity costed at just over £28,000 will be partly funded by the maximum contribution available from the National League Trust of £20,000. The programme will continue to run its prize winning Soccer in Schools activities for 7 year old children at local primary schools, its very successful Wednesday afternoon Tea Dances at the Vale, its now long running support of the mixed walking football session on a Thursday lunch time at Botwell Leisure centre. Plus it will be supporting the running of walking football sessions in conjunction with the Hillingdon Stroke association for recovering stroke victims. This session will run weekly at 12.30 on a Tuesday at Botwell Green Leisure centre Hayes and is being led by our old favourite Gordon Bartlett.

 

March 2018

We are delighted to announce that the Wealdstone FC Community Trust has just received a grant for a further £10,700 to help fund the Soccer in Schools programme through to the end of the summer term. In all the project will cost £14,500.

The WFC Trust also received our final award of £769 from last term’s work from the National League Trust. Nick Symmons and his community team will be supported by Gordon Bartlett and members of the playing squad in this activity for the coming programme.

The Trust recently received the following excellent feedback from Roxeth School in Harrow:

“The children were enthralled by the PE/maths programme offered by Wealdstone Football Club.  The maths lessons linked well to the new National Curriculum offering a good range of differentiation for all abilities and enabled the children to become engaged with the fun side of maths.  The fact that the coaches were first team players with real life experiences and stories of the footballing world worked wonders to spark the children’s interest and keep them motivated throughout the unit, especially those usually less-engaged in PE”

The Numeracy and Football programme is a maths and football related course for primary school Year 3 children that links numeracy maths lessons to activity sessions run by Wealdstone Football Club coaches. The aim is to create an add-on teaching mechanism that, by linking football-based activity sessions to the application of mathematics helps enthuse young schoolchildren to assist them in absorbing the basics of maths in an enjoyable setting. It involves a football skills/coaching session being complimented by a one-hour football themed numeracy lesson.

 

April 2017

As Wealdstone FC reached the first round of the FA Cup against Colchester United FC back in November 2015 the club received £2000 from the FA 2016 Community Shield gate money to distribute to locally based charities. The WFC Foundation Trust decided to award £1000 each to Wealdstone FC Youth set-up and Age UK Hillingdon.

Cheques were presented to Julian Lloyd the CEO of Hillingdon Age UK and and Ronnie Welch of Wealdstone Youth FC at our last home game of the season when we hosted Hungerford town at The Val on Saturday 22 April.

 

Stones in the Community

 

At our game today versus Bishop’s Stortford (17 Apr) the Club hosted an Epilepsy Awareness Event with folk  from the West London Epilepsy Action Group on hand to provide lots of information and advice.  Well done to all those who contributed to the bucket collection where £206 was raised.

 

Soccer In Schools Initiative

Prior to the Easter holidays Wealdstone FC recommenced the innovative Numeracy and Football Course aimed at Year 3 primary school pupils. We were delighted that 90 children participated each week for 5 weeks in numeracy and activity lessons. The numeracy lessons are being run by the school teachers and the activity sessions are being led by Wealdstone FC players Eddie Oshodi, Omar Koroma and Nathan Mavila.

The Numeracy and Football programme is a maths and football related course for primary school Year 3 children that links numeracy maths lessons to activity sessions run by Wealdstone Football Club coaches. The aim is to create an add-on teaching mechanism that, by linking football based activity sessions to the application of mathematics helps enthuse young schoolchildren to assist them in absorbing the basics of maths in an enjoyable setting. It involves 45 minute football skills/coaching sessions being complimented by 45 minutes of football themed numeracy lessons.

After the Easter break the pace hot’s up with sessions being run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the morning for a six-week period with former Wycombe Wanderers defender and Stones player Ryan Sellars also joining the coaching team. Wealdstone FC will be running the sessions at Aylward School in Stanmore, Roxeth primary school at Harrow on the Hill and Lady Bankes school in Ruislip Manor.

In each of those schools the club will be working with 90 children so a total of 270 children for the six week period.

Tea Dancing at the Vale As a new initiative to their expanding community activities, Wealdstone FC have submitted a grant application for ‘Tea Dancing at the Vale’ and the club should hear the outcome of the application in early May. The club is confident that the application will be successful and is looking to commencing these sessions.

Walking Football We are continuing with the successful Walking Football  sessions at Botwell Green Leisure centre on a Thursday lunchtime.

Walking football on a Wednesday evening progresses and we were delighted to announce that a team from this group won the regional final in the FA People’s Cup for Walking Football but unfortunately just losing out in the semi-final of the tournament.

The Wealdstone FC Foundation Trust is  funding participant entry fees for the first six weeks of a new joint Hillingdon Stroke Association/Middlesex FA/GL Leisure and WFC Foundation Trust walking football session at Botwell Green Leisure Centre on a Tuesday lunchtime for recovering stroke sufferers.

Wealdstone FC Foundation Trust Director Nick Symmons said:  “Wealdstone FC has always been a club immersed in the communities it has served. With the formation of the Wealdstone FC Foundation Trust we are now privileged to be able to offer activities directly to members of the local community, both young and old and those who have suffered the debilitating effects of a stroke, that have both physical and social benefits.  Although early days for the Foundation Trust we look forward to being able to continue to expand our activities in the future”

Wealdstone Football Club is fully committed to working in the community via its Foundation Trust and continues to work closely with local authorities and many local charitable groups and associations.

 

Jan 2017

One thing promotion to the National League has allowed the club to expand is its involvement in the local community.  Being a “community club” is a phrase we all see banded about regularly.  You only have to pick up a copy of the Non-League Paper every Sunday to see that. Sometimes the phrase has a ring of truth, a good example being the fantastic success of Dulwich Hamlet to see how embedding a club in the community can bear fruit.  That famous old club has caught the imagination of large numbers of like-minded, often young people, based around a loose “political” ideology and craft beers brewed locally – a sort of non-league football “Momentum”, but with far greater charm and arguably more direction.

The Wealdstone tradition is slightly different.  When located in Harrow the club was deeply embedded in the psyche and reality of the local population’s lives; and it was all based on football, red in tooth and claw.  During the nomadic years we maintained a core following and, now based in Ruislip, have built up a new level of support, all predicated on the passion and edginess the club engenders. Similarly to Dulwich Hamlet, we have a unique “product” to sell, albeit a somewhat different one to our South London friends. Membership of The National League has allowed us to form a Trust and apply for funding from the League’s Community Trust with the aim of reaching further into the local community than has been the case for many years.

Enlightened self-interest is the basis of Trust operations. By sponsoring and organising activities for the people of Hillingdon and Harrow, benefits to the local community will be in place and, with Wealdstone being associated with the activities, the club’s name will become even more up front, recognised and established locally.WFC_Wanders_Uxbridge_Winners

The Trust has organised two activities and, in so doing, has reached out to young and old alike.  Walking Football for the over-50s has proved to be enormously popular at several locations and at different times – Hillingdon Leisure Centre, The Botwell Green Leisure Centre, Hayes, St Helens College, Northwood and the Harefield Academy. Walking football teams have been entered for national and local tournaments, while the activity at Botwell Green has attracted both male and female participants and members of the Hillingdon Stroke Association.

It was a sobering thought that those who attended the session from The Association included those who had suffered strokes while in their 30s. Impressively, the Trust has delivered 112 walking football sessions in the last year, 99 of which have been led by Trust Chairman, Nick Symmons.

 

The activity aimed at the youngsters is Stones Soccer in Schools. It is a maths and football related course for primary school year 3 children that links numeracy maths lessons to activity sessions run by Wealdstone Football Club FA Qualified coaches. The aim is to create an add-on teaching mechanism that, by linking football based activity sessions to the application of mathematics, might help enthuse young schoolchildren sufficiently to assist them in absorbing the basics of maths in an enjoyable setting. It involves 45 minute football skills/coaching sessions being complimented by 45 minutes of football themed numeracy lessons.

The coaches provided by The Trust representing Wealdstone FC for Jade Dempsterthe football skills element have been Jade Dempster, Director of sporting Chance Academy Ltd, and Paul Hughes, joint manager of Kings Langley FC.  Jade is a vastly experienced coach and player in women’s football having represented, amongst others, QPR, Chelsea, Millwall and teams in the USA. Paul had a playing career at Chelsea and Luton Town before going into coaching and most recently has enjoyed three straight promotions as joint manager of Kings Langley FC.

Teams have been entered into the Walking Football United national tournament at the over 50s and over 60’s level and also at the local 12 team event organised by the longer established Uxbridge Ramblers. Another 12 team tournament, this time organised by the Middlesex FA, was entered and won by the Wealdstone Wanderers! In so doing, it followed the path successfully trodden by Greece some years ago when they won the European Championship on penalties, having seemingly  National_Trust_Championsprogressed by simply stopping their opponents scoring at all. And success has piled on success. Just recently the team triumphed in the National League Trust’s Walking Football Tournament that was held at Powerleague, Wembley.  The Trust has also been involved in Dormers Wells Leisure Centre and the Botwell Green Leisure Centre Sports Days.

The second activity, Stones Soccer in Schools, was launched in January 2016 and is a partnership between The Trust and three Harrow based schools, St Bernadette’s and St Joseph’s in Kenton along with Camrose School, Edgware.  Three more Harrow based Primary schools will join the scheme during the next academic year. Moves are also underway to incorporate the scheme into six schools in the LB Hillingdon in due course. We hope to be able to provide Wealdstone footballers who are also FA Qualified coaches to undertake the coaching element of the scheme.  That would create a stronger link between the children attending the schools and the football club, which can only be of benefit to the club’s future.

Last year the Trust worked with the Wealdstone Youth Section and Stanmore College for two football summer camps organised by the Chairman of the Youth Section and James Duncan, who runs The Football Scholarship Scheme at Stanmore College. The majority of any profit made at the events was passed to Wealdstone Youth with £400 going to The Trust.

WFC_Juniors_summer_camp_2016 camps were subsequently run in the October, February and May half term breaks as well as during the Easter holiday, and we are now in a spell of 5 weeks of summer camps at Grosvenor Vale. Again, any benefits accruing from the event over and above payments to the coaches will pass to the Wealdstone Youth setup. Attendances at the camps have risen since their inception, and last week saw an average attendance of 30 youngsters  per day, peaking at 42 on the Wednesday.

The camps have already provided 7,500 child hours activity covering from 10 to 42 children per day at 6 hours a day. They are promoted as, “JJ soccer school presented by WFC Foundation Trust in conjunction with Wealdstone Youth FC”.

While the Trust’s work slowly expands into the community, the existing lack of certainty regarding the lease and the consequent inability to provide activities on site for the time being limits what the Trust can offer.

The Trust’s work continues quietly in the background, but it IS raising awareness of the club locally and, while hopefully benefiting the local community, is also laying the foundations for encouraging more people to become aware of and be involved in the club’s future.

For more info contact: Nick Symmons, Director of the Wealdstone FC Football Foundation Trust via e-mail: nicksymmons@btinternet.com.

The National League Trust is a partnership between the National League, Premier League, and the Professional Footballers’ Association.  The Premier League and the PFA have committed to support the Trust until 2019. They will each contribute £1. 2m over this period. This allows  the Trust to help National League member clubs to develop their community activities.

The National League Trust is a partnership between the National League, Premier League, and the Professional Footballers’ Association.  The Premier League and the PFA have committed to support the Trust until 2019. They will each contribute £1. 2m over this period. This allows  the Trust to help National League member clubs to develop their community activities.

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