Author: Jim Green

Chester FC Community Trust would like to provide an update on its activities and plans in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

During this period, we have each had to adapt to unprecedented challenges and, while lockdown measures are now being eased, there is still great uncertainty about the future.

 

For the Community Trust, this meant stopping physical delivery and suspending normal activities. We are missing these sessions, missing football and missing our participants.

 

We focused on what we could do to support our community through these tough times. This included the Community Contact Initiative that has now helped more than 600 people with telephone befriending, shopping for essentials and collecting prescriptions, creating Chester FC themed education resources for home learning and keeping in touch with our participants, especially those at risk of social isolation.

 

This work will continue for as long as it is needed, but we have now also started to plan for the ‘return to play’ and how we can support schools as more children begin to return.

 

We do not yet know when we will be able to resume delivering football and sport activities, but we do expect these sessions will look and feel quite different for our participants.

 

Although we are desperate to get back to doing what we love, we can only do so when the time is right and we are sure we can provide a quality and positive experience for everyone so we will continue to monitor the latest guidance from the Government, The FA and Sport England, and consult with partner facilities to ensure a safe return.

 

Alongside this, we are exploring new ways to support our community in the post-Covid environment and deliver on our mission 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.

 

The economic outlook means many in our community will find themselves in need and we will be refocusing our efforts to look at how we can work in partnership with stakeholders, charities and community groups to help the most vulnerable.

 

The first part of this is Blues Giving Back, a new initiative to support local charities facing increased demand due to coronavirus. Working with the football club, we will be collecting donations for Kidsbank Chester, Share and West Cheshire Foodbank to help them continue to deliver vital services on the frontline. You can read more about this here.

 

For the Community Trust, the crisis has resulted in a loss of income, both from regular activities and planned fundraising events, and the board of trustees have taken steps to manage its resources and ensure the charity’s financial stability. Those staff members who are currently unable to deliver activities remain on furlough leave in order to protect these roles and we thank our employees for their agreement and understanding.

 

We have been able to secure some grant funding to help us through these challenges.

 

The trustees wish to thank Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Community Response Fund and Westminster Foundation, and Cheshire Community Foundation’s Cheshire and Warrington Covid-19 Response Appeal and Steve Morgan Foundation for supporting our community work in response to the outbreak.

 

We have also secured awards from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund and Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund to help reduce the financial impact of the crisis on our organisation.

  

David Evans, chair of trustees, said: “During these past few months we have seen what a special community Chester is and how the football club can act as a positive force.

 

“Football and sport is at the heart of our charity because we know the profound impact this has on people’s physical and mental wellbeing and we look forward to resuming these activities soon, but we will also be looking at how we can use our reach and resources to best support our communities moving forward in the face of new and increased challenges.

 

“We would like to place on record our gratitude to MBNA, Cheshire West and Chester Council, the National League Trust and our funding partners for their continued support and guidance during this period.

 

“On a personal note I am sad to say that I am stepping down as chair of trustees due to a change in job, but I will be remaining as a trustee”.

 

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 needs 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.

 

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

Chester FC Community Trust has launched a special competition for budding sports journalists.

 
Youngsters are asked to write a match report on their favourite game involving the Blues and the winner will receive a new Chester FC home shirt, signed football and have their report published in a matchday programme when football returns.
 
Dave Powell from the Chester Chronicle and Shane Pinnington of Chester’s Dee Radio will choose the winning entry.
 
Entering the competition is simple – download the match report template here and choose one of the following topics:
 
1) Your favourite ever match involving Chester FC
2) The Blues’ famous 6-0 win against Trafford in 2010 – you can watch the game in full on YouTube here
3) Be creative and make up a fictional report on your dream match – how about Chester FC being crowned Premier League champions?
 
Think about the words and language you could use to describe the atmosphere and the key moments in the match, including goals, chances, injuries and substitutes. You might also mention the attendance and the man of the match.
 
You can email your entries to community@chesterfc.com with ‘Junior Reporter’ as the subject or post to Chester FC Community Trust, Deva Stadium Bumpers Lane, Chester CH1 4LT.
 
The competition is to anyone aged under 16 and entries close at 5pm on Friday 3rd July.

Blues Giving Back is a new initiative from Chester FC and Chester FC Community Trust to support local charities facing increased demand due to coronavirus.

These past few months have been difficult for everyone, but the economic impact of the pandemic means there are more uncertain and difficult times ahead for many in our community.

It is the most vulnerable who will be at greatest risk and the true sense of community is to care for and help those less fortunate.

Blues Giving Back aims to help three amazing local charities responding on the frontline: Kidsbank Chester, Share and West Cheshire Foodbank.

We are asking the Chester FC family and wider community to donate food, clothing, toiletries which the three charities will then distribute to individuals and families in need. All clothing items should be new or in excellent used condition.

A drop-off point for donations will operate at the Deva Stadium on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11am to 1pm on the following dates: June 23rd, June 30th, July 3rd, July 7th & July 10th.

Social distancing will be in place when dropping off items. The Community Trust can also collect donations if required through emailing community@chesterfc.com

Each charity has provided a list of items that will help them in meeting demand for their services:

Kidsbank Chester

A simple £1 donation will make a huge difference as it will enable Kidsbank to purchase cots and high chairs for local families.

Share

Clothing: Men’s (sizes S/M/L) jogging bottoms, shorts, t-shirts, new underwear and socks. Women’s (sizes 8/10/12/14) leggings, jeans, t-shirts, jumpers, summer jackets, new underwear and socks.

Toiletries: Individual hand sanitisers, antibacterial wipes, roll-on deodorants, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo and condition. 

Food: Dried items such as Pot Noodles, rice pots and pasta pots, crisps, UHT milk and cereal.

West Cheshire Foodbank

Food: Cup a Soup, tinned cooked meats, tinned meat or fish, UHT juice or cordial, tinned potatoes, tinned tomatoes, Pot Noodles, instant pasta, pasta sauce, instant mashed potato, tinned or instant custard, tinned fruit, biscuits, UHT milk and instant coffee

Jim Green, CEO of the Community Trust, said: “Blues Giving Back is a way for our football club to help these three charities who are doing vital work in our community. 

“The effects of the pandemic will be felt for some time with a growing number of people likely to find themselves in need of support over the coming weeks and months.”

“In these difficult times, our responsibilities as a community football club are even more important and we hope this initiative contributes to the wider efforts to support those who need help.” 

To request a collection or find out more about Blues Giving Back, email community@chesterfc.com

Chester FC Women has announced an exciting step forward in preparation for football’s return with the formation of a Development Squad.

The successful Under 18s team will move into open age football for 2020/21 to further strengthen the club’s women’s and girls’ programme.

When it is safe to do so, the Seals will be holding open trials and are now inviting prospective new players to register their interest.

Martin Fitzsimons, Chester FC Women’s manager, said: “It’s a massive step forward for everyone involved with the club. Especially in recent times, it gives everyone something to look forward to when we can take to the training field again.

“Personally, I’m really excited about it. Not only does it allow us to further progress the talent coming through our ranks, but it enables everyone to work closer together and gives the first team squad more strength and depth in our bid for sustainable success.”

Ben Richards, Development Squad head coach, said: “It’s been a long process to get to where we are but we now have the foundations in place to continue to have a competitive squad and a genuine pathway for female football from the Girls PDC right through to our women’s teams.”

With support from the club’s principal partners MBNA, the women’s and girls’ section runs through Chester FC Community Trust and has gone from strength to strength in recent seasons.

The first team play in Division One South of the North West Women’s Regional Football League while the new development side will compete in the Cheshire Women’s & Youth League with the Girls Player Development Centre (PDC) provides a pathway from U8s through to U16s.

Jim Green, CEO of Chester FC Community Trust, said: “We are fortunate to have some really passionate and talented volunteers with the women’s section and their input has been key to its recent successes.

“This is a great step forward and underlines our commitment to provide opportunities for the best local talent to represent Chester FC at the highest possible level.”

Players interested in attending the open trials can register here and will be contacted once dates have been confirmed when it is safe to do so.

Follow @CFCWomens on Twitter for the latest news and updates.

Chester FC and Chester FC Community Trust are delivering small treat boxes to local care homes for hardworking staff to choose from at their end of the shift to show our appreciation for their amazing work in caring for some of the most vulnerable members of our community.


Care home staff are working incredibly hard in the most challenging of circumstances during the Covid-19 pandemic. Often staff members are working additional hours to cover colleagues who have had to self-isolate and wearing PPE during their shifts, which can be extremely warm, uncomfortable and exhausting.


To show our thanks for helping to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our community, we are donating treat boxes to care homes in Chester for staff to choose from at the end of their shift. The boxes will contain self care items such as hand cream and sweet treats as a small thank you to these amazing frontline workers. 

Each box contains around £30 worth of treats and we hope to deliver as many boxes as possible to support care home staff through this crisis.


We are aiming to raise £300 towards the cost of creating the treat boxes and any donations towards this target would be gratefully received. Donations can be made through the JustGiving campaign page at www.justgiving.com/campaign/chester-fc-thank-you-carers.


Jim Green, CEO of the Community Trust, said: “I’m sure everyone will be aware of the problems care homes are facing and we can only imagine what the staff are going through on a daily basis.


“The idea for a treat box came from someone who works in a care home and is a small way of showing how much we appreciate what they are doing.”


If you have any questions or would like to donate items for the treat boxes, please email community@chesterfc.com.

The first Chester FC Education Pack for Key Stage 2 children is now available to download.

Following on from the first pack of home learning activities for Key Stage 1 children, this free educational resource aims to support children and families while schools remain closed.

Download Chester FC Education Pack 1 for Key Stage 2

Download Chester FC Education Pack 1 for Key Stage 1

We will be producing further packs for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 with curriculum-linked resources for English, Maths, PE and PSHE.

Remember you can also access lots of free home learning resources and challenges from Premier League Primary Stars at plprimarystars.com/home-learning.

Do you want to make a difference to your community and support Chester FC Community Trust?

The 2.6 Challenge is a nationwide fundraising event to help save the UK’s charities, including Chester FC Community Trust.

The event starts on Sunday 26th April – the original date for the London Marathon – but you can complete your challenge at any time.

We are asking Blues fans to get involved and support Chester FC Community Trust so that we can continue making a positive difference to people’s lives.

Whatever your age or ability, you can take part. Just think of an activity based around the numbers 2.6 or 26, complete your challenge and make a donation or ask your family and friends to sponsor you to help raise vital funds for the official charity of Chester FC.

HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?

1) Create a 2.6 challenge from home. You could run 2.6 miles, complete 26 keep-ups, climb your stairs 26 times or ride your bike for 26 minutes. You can find lots more ideas on The 2.6 Challenge website.

2) Click here or go to www.justgiving.com/chesterfc-communitytrust to make your donation or set up a fundraising page and ask family and friends to sponsor you.

3) Complete your challenge. Please ensure you follow government guidelines on exercise and social distancing.

4) Post a photo or video of your challenge on social media using the #TwoPointSixChallenge hashtag and share it with us on Twitter or Facebook.

WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT

The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on charities across the UK, including Chester FC Community Trust.

The cancellation of fundraising events and the suspension of activities due to the crisis means a significant reduction in our income for the foreseeable future.

During these most challenging times, we are committed to finding new ways to support our community and your help in raising vital funds to enable us continue our work would be greatly appreciated.

The 2.6 Challenge is a brilliant way to make a difference while getting active and doing something you enjoy.

If you require additional support please email community@chesterfc.com.

Chester FC Community Trust is working to support the Covid-19 response alongside Cheshire West & Chester Council and partner organisations.

The Chester FC Community Contact Initiative provides telephone support and practical help including shopping service and prescription collections as well as wellbeing and educational resources.

If you or someone you know would welcome a friendly chat or needs support accessing essential supplies, contact 07512 355396 or email community@chesterfc.com.

There is a huge amount of work taking place across Cheshire West to support those in need.

The Live Well Cheshire West website contains lots of information about local services and support for residents in Cheshire West.

This page contains helpful information about the range of support and services available and useful links.

You can keep up to date with what Chester FC Community Trust is doing on Twitter and Facebook.

HELPLINE

Cheshire West & Chester Council has a dedicated helpline to provide advice and support, and make arrangements for food, medicines and social contact.



Telephone 0300 123 7031 (open every day from 8am to 7pm)

You can also email enquiries@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

MENTAL HEALTH HELPLINE

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership (CWP) has launched a new mental health helpline for residents of Cheshire West, Cheshire East and Wirral. Open 24 hours a day, seven-days a week, it is open to people of all ages including children and young people who need urgent mental health support.



ESSENTIAL INFORMATION

NHS: Coronavirus information and advice

NHS 111 Online: Check if you have coronavirus symptoms

Government: Coronavirus response and guidance

Public Health England: Social distancing guidance

HOME LEARNING

Chester FC Community Trust: Key Stage 1 Education Pack 1

Chester FC Community Trust: Key Stage 1 Education Pack 2

Chester FC Community Trust: Key Stage 2 Education Pack 1

Chester FC Community Trust: Key Stage 2 Education Pack 2

Premier League Primary Stars: Free resources and challenges

BBC Teach: Free daily lessons for homeschooling

BBC Super Movers: Fun resources to get children moving while they learn

KEEPING ACTIVE

The Body Coach: PE with Joe daily workouts for children at 9am

Sport England: Tips, advice and guidance on how to get active at home

The FA: Football related ideas and activities to try at home

SUPPORT SERVICES

Age UK Cheshire: Advice and support for older people

Chapter: Mental health support and advice

MoneyPenny: Money advice service

Open the Door: Advice and support for domestic abuse concerns

Snow Angels: Befriending service and practical support for older people

West Cheshire Foodbank: Emergency food packs for those in crisis

Chester FC Community Trust will be sharing free football-themed education resources to support home learning.

The resources have been designed to provide children and families with fun, engaging activities to continue learning while schools remain closed.

The first Chester FC Education Pack for Key Stage 1 children is now available and can be downloaded for free.

We will be producing further packs for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 with curriculum-linked resources for English, Maths, PE and PSHE.

Remember you can also access lots of free home learning resources and challenges from Premier League Primary Stars at plprimarystars.com/home-learning.

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