STATEMENT| An update from Chester FC Community Trust

STATEMENT| An update from Chester FC Community Trust

Chester FC Community Trust is continuing its work in the community to support those in need during the coronavirus crisis.

The impact of the outbreak and introduction of social distancing measures has led to the suspension of physical delivery for the foreseeable future. While we plan to resume these activities when it is safe to do so, it is expected it will be some time before this is possible.

The Community Trust’s mission is to use the power of sport and appeal of Chester FC to improve and enhance the lives of people living in Chester and the surrounding areas. 

We remain wholly committed to achieving this mission and believe in these tough times our responsibility to the community – and in particular those in most need – is greater than ever.

What are we doing?

Our immediate focus is to provide services that support our participants, the Chester FC family and the communities we serve who have been impacted by this crisis. This includes:

  • Continuing the Community Contact Initiative to provide telephone support and practical help for vulnerable residents in isolation. To date volunteers have made more than 400 phone calls and given assistance with shopping and prescription collections. 
  • Adapting schools resources to support home learning for children and families with free home learning packs for KS1 and KS2 pupils.
  • Creating free online resources to encourage people of all ages to stay active at home to maintain physical health and support mental wellbeing.
  • Exploring ways to help keep participants connected through video and telephone calls with a particular focus on those at risk of social isolation.

We have secured a grant from Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Community Response Fund towards these services and wish to express our thanks to Westminster Foundation for this funding.

The crisis has had a significant impact on the Trust’s operations and finances, including the loss of regular income streams and a major fundraiser with the postponement of the annual Chester FC Community Day fixture scheduled for Easter Monday.

In order to protect jobs and ensure the long-term stability of the Trust, the board of trustees has taken the difficult decision to utilise the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and furlough staff members who are currently unable to deliver activities. 

CEO Jim Green is continuing to work and is managing the daily operation of the charity together with our response to the coronavirus outbreak and progression of the King George V Community Sports Hub and Chester FC Football Education Programme projects, which remain key priorities.

David Evans, chair of trustees, said: “These are incredibly challenging times for everyone and we passionately believe the football club has an important role to play in supporting the needs of our community.

“Chester’s community spirit has risen to the fore and we are proud to be a small part of the amazing network of individuals, groups, businesses and charities working alongside the local authority.

“We are extremely grateful to our funding partners for their unwavering support and understanding during this difficult and uncertain period, and we will continue to use our resources and expertise wherever we can to help develop innovative ways to support our community as part of the council’s coordinated response.”

How can you help?

There are a number of ways in which you can support the Trust’s work during the crisis.

If you wish to make a donation, you can do so through our JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/chesterfc-communitytrust. Any contribution you are able to make is greatly appreciated and will help us to continue supporting vulnerable members of our community. 

If you are interested in volunteering or know someone who is need of support, you can email community@chesterfc.com or contact us on 07512 355396.

You can also keep in touch through our social media platforms Twitter and Facebook. 

Please keep safe, stay positive and continue to follow NHS and Government advice.

Our City, Our Community, Our Club.

The Trustees of Chester FC Community Trust

David Evans, Paul Bodman, Sue Pearson, Chris Robertson, Mike Vickers and Martin Williams