12 Jun SPOTLIGHT ON THE TOWN FOUNDATION – PART 1
Since 2012, the Huddersfield Town Foundation has worked to support and improve the lives of people living in Kirklees.
Using the power of the Huddersfield Town brand, the Foundation runs numerous programmes targeted at different age groups and needs.
In the first of a three-part series designed to look at every aspect of the Foundation’s operations, we explain the history of the organisation, the programmes we offer, the staffing structure and more.
A registered charity, the Town Foundation was officially launched in July 2012 by then club Chairman Dean Hoyle.
At that time, its primary initiative was the ‘Early Kick-Off’ Breakfast Clubs. These provide a nutritious breakfast from Monday to Friday for children at local schools, at no cost to their parents.
The Foundation’s first Breakfast Club opened at Christchurch Academy in Huddersfield in October that same year, and we now operate Clubs at 41 schools across Kirklees.
Prior to COVID-19 schools were serving between 6,000 and 11,000 free breakfasts per week each.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, we have continued to support schools who have been able to keep their clubs in operation, serving more than 1,400 breakfasts at 14 locations.
With the Breakfast Club initiative continuing to go from strength to strength, the Foundation took the decision to expand its provision in December 2016.
This meant that it would look to run more programmes under five key themes: Education, Health, Inclusion, Sport and Trust. Importantly, the Foundation made making people feel that we are ‘One Club One Community’ its main aim.
That continued growth has seen the Foundation increase its workforce significantly, with 23 full-time staff currently on its books. These roles are in a range of fields, including Business Support, Coaching, Fundraising and Marketing.
It is expected that the number of staff will rise before the end of the year, as we continue to develop further areas of delivery. Full-time staff are also supported by casual coaching staff and volunteers.
Our staff deliver projects under four previously mentioned themes. The Education banner covers provision for both Primary and Secondary School students, whom our staff support in the form of workshops and interventions.
For example, we work in partnership with 30 local Primary Schools to deliver the Premier League Primary Stars programmes.
As well as supporting school staff in Physical Education, our PLPS coaches help children within the classroom through Maths, English and PSHE. The intervention of our staff, wearing Huddersfield Town kit, is often what’s needed to help re-engage the minds of young people.
For Secondary School students, we deliver the Steps to Success programme. 1:1 mentoring and group interventions are delivered to help young people improve behaviour, attendance and attainment. We also provide PSHE sessions on themes such as using Social Media, developing resilience and Goal setting, with 366 students taking part in the last two years.
Our Health provision includes Sporting Memories Sessions, which take place at Brian Jackson House and local care homes. At these sessions, roughly 50 attendees a month are encouraged to use their experiences as a talking point to gain new friends.
We also provide sessions for both young people and adults who struggle with Mental Health issues, as well as guidance on subjects such as healthy eating etc.
Premier League Kicks, a national programme aimed at 8-19-year-olds and delivered by the Town Foundation, falls under the Inclusion banner.
These sessions take a youth work approach and include sports like Boxing, Netball and Football, and have had 925 participants over the past year alone.
We also facilitate programmes that encourage female participation, known as FA Wildcats and the Player Development Centres. These events are designed to support female players to improve their skills and develop as individuals. These sessions compliment their club football as an additional source of training.
The Huddersfield Town Foundation are also the proud providers of the National Citizen Service Trust programme. The NCS is a youth programme running across England and Northern Ireland, to engage, unite and empower young people aged 15-17, equipping them with new skills and experiences for life.
We currently work with schools and young people based across North Kirklees and engage with more than 300 young people on our summer and autumn programmes.
Finally, our Sport offering comes in the form of Lunch and After School Clubs, as well as working with local grassroots clubs to provide a Matchday Experience at Huddersfield Town home matches.
Furthermore, we offer Half Term and Holiday camps in partnership with Kirklees Active Leisure as well as weekly Tomorrow’s Terriers sessions, which provide fun and inclusive football sessions for children.
Check back next week for part 2 of our ‘Spotlight on the Foundation’ series, where we explain how our work is funded, our partnerships with other organisations and the relationship with Huddersfield Town.