Six football club community organisations in the North-West of England are amongst the beneficiaries of new 'Faith, Race and Hate Crime' funding from the Government
Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, Oldham Athletic Community Trust, Preston North End Community and Education Trust, Rochdale AFC Football in the Community Trust, and Foundation 92 – the charity of Salford City FC – will share £287,000 after coming together to apply for funding as ‘Communities United’ supported by the EFL Trust.
Newcastle United Foundation (£120,029) and Youth Sport Trust (£247,079) will also benefit from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s £1.8million fund which aims to support organisations that tackle discrimination and champion social cohesion.
Faith Minister Lord Greenhalgh said: “In this country we believe in freedom within the rule of law. We are all free to love and not to hate. This Government will not tolerate hate towards anyone because of who they are.
“We stand full square in support of all communities that suffer from prejudice and discrimination and we must build a shared future in this country.
“The pandemic has hit faith communities hard with the closure of communal worship during the two lockdowns. This funding is part of our comprehensive support for them. Our faith communities instinctively love their neighbours.”
Communities United will bring families from different backgrounds together, increasing understanding and awareness of social and cultural differences, challenging stereotypes and uniting them through common interests and social action.
The grants will address existing community issues, as well as pressures increased by the pandemic, such as isolation.
Loo Brackpool, Head of Community and Participation at EFL Trust, said: “It is of great importance for the EFL Trust and our Club Community Organisations to be part of this vital project and use the power of the club badge to unite people by demonstrating common interests, increasing understanding and bridging differences.
“We will be working with family groups to help facilitate understanding across generations, as well between those from different backgrounds, cultures and faith groups. Despite the current Covid restrictions, we will find ways to deliver this project and use the learning to inform other areas of our existing community activities nationwide.”
Keith Hicks, manager of Rochdale AFC Football in the Community Trust, added: “This is a brilliant project for the club to be involved in, working with the many diverse community groups across the borough. It will go some way to seeing how we can bring these communities together for the benefit for both the local community and Rochdale AFC.”