The power of football and its clubs has been undeniable for some time, its importance and influence increasing year-on-year and extending well beyond the 90 minutes on the pitch. Now, that importance is more apparent than ever, with the positive impact of clubs on their respective communities - including supporters, businesses and educational facilities - brought to the fore by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. And on Monday 26 October, the EFL shared some of the stories of work being done in the community.
The work done by Brentford FC Community Sports Trust has never been in question. Formed in 1987 as part of a joint initiative between Brentford Football Club and the two London boroughs of Hounslow and Ealing, the Trust is now one of the leading community organisations linked to a professional football club. Employing hundreds of staff and volunteers, the Trust has evolved into an award winning, innovative charity that uses the power of sport to engage its community in positive activity.
Working in partnership with Brentford FC, the Trust offers a portfolio of programmes in education, employability, sports participation, health and community engagement. We have won the ‘Football League Community Club of the Year’ award four times and have cemented our reputation as a community-led Football Club. And this was shown during the recent Covid-19 outbreak.
At Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, the Trust engaged with more than 1,300 adults and children online and made over 650 phone calls to its most vulnerable participants. Their most pioneering initiative targeted children who might not have access to a garden or outdoor space and helped them remain active within their homes. 600 activity packs were delivered to families across Hounslow and Ealing.
With fans still unable to physically attend live games, both across the EFL's three divisions and up and down the country, the clubs that have long provided almost unquantifiable support to those around them are now in need of support themselves, making it a crucial time for English football and the game as a whole. Read more about the work being done in the community here and see some stories from around the leagues here.