“IT’S absolutely crucial – there is a lack of activities for young people at those crucial teenage years, especially for low income families” – that’s the verdict of Inspector Mark Chappell on the work of the Redditch United Community Trust.
On Tuesday this week he was at the Trico Stadium along with business leaders and interested parties to hear more of the club’s growing role in the community.
Already two ‘satellite’ centres have been set up, in Matchborough and Church Hill, with more community work in the pipeline helping youngsters in the town.
“The football trust is really showing young people that there really is something worthwhile to do, improving their health and hopefully their employability, giving them aspirations and role models, showing these youngsters what can be done with a bit of hard work and dedication,” said Insp Chappell.
The meeting was led by club director Gary Barak who spoke of the opportunities for sponsors to get involved with the club and, by extension, its outreach work across the borough.
“We want to work very closely with you, working with the Trust and the community to show the people of Redditch that we are their club and their community,” he said.
He added that building firm foundations off the pitch would give the club the opportunity to push for promotion next season.
General manager David Tittershall outlined the involvement of the Trust in the community.
“There are certain social issues that need to be looked at in Redditch and for a football club it was natural for us to go out into the community,” he said.
As well as the satellite clubs in Matchborough and Church Hill a new Wednesday club will be aimed at preventing child sexual exploitation while an alignment with Premier Rugby Union side Worcester Warriors will target young people not in education, employment or training.
The club is also working with Woodfield Middle School and looking into a ‘bike ability’ scheme.
Local firm Protex is already a corporate sponsor and if more firms wish to get involved they can contact the club on 01527 67450.