The sense of community, individual pride, identity, and belonging the Foundation conjures truly inspires us all.
We have a team of around 20 committed and passionate full time members of staff and a dozen coaches, delivering exciting programmes and services in health and wellbeing, education, employment and skills, community safety, equalities and inclusion, sports participation, and regeneration.
There is no doubt about the reach and power football and sport has to help make positive changes to people and our communities.
The Premier League recently committed a further investment of £300,000 into the Foundation over the next 3 years, through the Kicks and Primary Stars programmes, helping to tackle crime on the streets of Crawley and to support health, wellbeing and education in our primary schools.
This reflects the trust and confidence the Premier League has in the Foundation to support the local area.
We exclusively and successfully delivered the National Citizen Service (NCS) contract in Crawley, worth around £1 million over 3 years, directly creating over 1,000 opportunities of social action for those aged 15 – 17 years old.
Anyone who has been on the NCS programme or is related to someone who has been involved with it will tell you how life changing the experience is.
We continue to be at the forefront of innovation with projects.
The EFL commissioned us as one of 12 EFL clubs to pilot Extra Time Hubs, which offers a range of services to those aged 55+.
Move the Goalposts helps those at risk or those who have been diagnosed with mental health, and this project has provided many positive outcomes for so many people.
Of course, who can forget our very own Crawley Old Girls (COGS), who since being formed through the Foundation, have been empowered to go on to achieve so much for women and girls through recreational football.
All of these projects have been acknowledged, and some even won awards, at local, regional, national and international level.
Our programmes not only provide so much joy, so many exciting opportunities and positive experiences for so many people, they positively promote the Crawley Town brand.
Last season alone, the Foundation invested £491,602 of external funding into Crawley and to surrounding areas.
This took the total figure to £1,461,602 since 2016, helping to support the local community over a sustained period of time.
Another way to gauge the Foundation’s contribution to the community is through social value, a concept we have been working on with partners 4global to develop Data Hub.
Through this partnership, we are able to generate the social cost savings achieved through engagement in sport and activity, and via the programmes and services we work in.
The total social value generated for 2018-19 was £524,568, up slightly from £523,093 the previous year.
Since 2017, we have generated a social value of £1,494,448 to Crawley and surrounding areas.
That is almost £1.5m of savings to services since 2017.
With both financial investment and social value, the Foundation has clearly made a significant impact in Crawley, supporting the community during uncertain times particularly with cuts to the public sector and austerity.
Whilst there has been a very small drop in registered users and aggregate attendances on our courses and at events, we discovered that the number of contact hours and average contact hours per participant have increased.
This would indicate that we have successfully reduced sessions that were not so popular, and focused our attention, energy and resources on those making up the rest of our sessions. In essence, we have improved our efficiency, effectiveness and reach.
We have around 2,982 registered users and members, and together with our events, we had an aggregate attendance of over 60,000 in 2018-19. This equates to over 1,100 opportunities created every week.
It is the individual journeys that gives us the most satisfaction, from our youngest participant of 2 up to our eldest at 85 and through engaging some of the most challenging and difficult to reach.
These individual and collective achievements inspired us so much that we decided to commission local company Stone Empire to film a video to celebrate the amazing feats of our participants.
These are featured on our website www.ctcommunityfoundation.com
Over the course of the year, the Foundation has also been through a journey of its own.
We have been working towards achieving the required industry standards of Capability Code of Practice through the EFL and Premier League, which provides a range of governance, safeguarding, finance, health and safety, and various other best practice and legislation we must adhere to.
Increasingly we are being held accountable for the investment being made into the Foundation, and from the board of trustees to staff and through to our participants, we are working hard to achieve and maintain the highest possible levels of professionalism, behaviour and conduct.
I am delighted to report back that the Foundation currently sits in the top 24 EFL clubs from 72, which equates to EFL Championship level!
It is our aim to move ahead over the next year, and to develop plans to take us forward into the next exciting chapter of the Foundation.
We aim to continue to nurture existing relationships and develop new partnerships at national, regional and local levels, through agencies who entrust us to deliver various social and sporting agendas.
The professionalism, dedication and endeavour of all our staff will continue to drive us forward, and enable us to deliver so many more programmes for the community.
Crawley Town Community CEO
Crawley Town need your vote in the Crawley Community Awards as Charity of the Year, so please be sure to nominate us and show your support #VoteForCrawleyTown
To look back on the past season go to - https://www.ctcommunityfoundation.com/
Or to watch our fantastic Promo Video in partnership with Stone Empire - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOUhBgXo4jQ&t=7s