The Community Trust programme notes from Saturday's match
These programme notes were written by Head of the Community Trust, Kevin Thoburn, for Saturday's Talk of the Town edition for the match against Crawley Town.
BEDFORDSHIRE & LUTON YOUTH COMMUNITY FUND
We are really pleased to report on the continued progress on our Community Youth Fund project to establish a sustainable youth football club structure for boys and girls in High Town. At the start of the season High Town lacked any organised youth football teams and this has been the situation for many years. We now have over 35 very keen youngsters training every week alongside new trainee coaches Richard and Phil.
The project aims to set up teams in this part of town to compete in local leagues from next season as well as establish a volunteer community club structure to administer the teams. Last season we were thrilled to report great success in Marsh Farm with the formation of four teams with Luton Nations Youth FC at U8 through to U15 age groups.
They are now playing every week and along with our successful coaching centre in Farley Hill that operates twice a week these two projects are already giving over 100 young children and their families the opportunity to play football against boys and girls from all over Bedfordshire.
Luton Borough Council and Luton Airport work in partnership through the Community Youth Fund to improve the quality of life of the people of Luton and particularly to provide positive activities for children and young people and reduce anti-social behaviour, strengthen community cohesion and improve health and promote health equality. Phase 1 of this year’s project in High Town is well underway with a weekly coaching centre established in People’s Parks for local youngsters, and Phase 2 – establishing a group of a volunteers along with trained and qualified coaches – is well underway. We are now looking at Phase 3 of the project which involves organising local fixtures leading to our new ‘High Town Hatters’ playing in local youth leagues beginning in September.
These are ambitious projects, targeting socially disadvantaged areas of the town, to help parents and kids form football clubs takes a lot of effort and money. It is a challenge, especially where a high number of parents in these areas are new to the country and English is not their first language. Talk to anyone currently involved in running a team about just one issue, safeguarding, and they will tell you how much necessary work is involved. We have, however, proved our project can work in Marsh Farm and Farley Hill and we can potentially look to take this template and use it elsewhere.
If you want to start up a youth football club in Luton it may be worth giving our Community Office a call on 01582 737568 for a chat or emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.