A review of the Trust’s activities (part two)

A Spire Right

A Spire Right is our substance misuse recovery project, which won best intervention programme at the National League Trust Awards. 

The project supports people in recovery from substance misuse by using a combination of physical activity and discussion sessions to improve participants physical and mental wellbeing. 

The group attended the annual National Recovery Games held in Doncaster and the Recovery Football Festival, held at St George’s Park, playing with teams from across the country. 

A Spire Right group works in partnership with Unit 1, a company that specialises in martial arts and kickboxing. 

They deliver sessions at the HUB every Wednesday, designed to support improving physical activity and is also used to help with anger management. 

On average 18 participants attend a weekly session for 12 weeks. Towards the end of a cohort, the group celebrates their achievements by attending a group day out.

Boots on Ground – Youth Engagement/ Youth Diversionary Programme

Chesterfield Community Trust collaborates with multiple organizations, including the Police Crime Commissioner, Chesterfield Borough Council, Derbyshire County Council, Blend Youth Project, Community safety teams, and Chesterfield Police, to address Anti-Social Behaviours and reduce criminal damage costs in Queen’s Park, West Bars, and Market Place. 

Our partnership focuses on keeping youth safe on the streets and connecting them to local community services. 

The Boots on Ground project operates on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings from 6-10pm in Chesterfield town centre.

Our dedicated teams patrol the areas, offering assistance to establishments like McDonald’s on West Bars, where gangs of youths can create issues for staff and deter families from dining with their children. 

The project has been successful in decreasing Anti-Social Behaviour and criminal damage. In addition to our regular outreach youth work, we organized themed events every Friday during the school summer holidays in Queen’s Park, thanks to funding from the Police Crime Commissioner. 

The events included multisports, carnival, football skills, and the participation of the Mercian Regiment.

Senior Spireites

Senior Spireites, the Trust’s chair-based exercise group for individuals aged over 55, resumed in October 2021 following the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The group now sees a consistent participation of over 40 people each week. Apart from exercise sessions, the group members enjoy socializing over a cup of tea, engaging in chats, and playing bingo. 

They also organized a sponsored walk that raised over £1000 for local charities this year. To emphasize the social aspect of the group, an enjoyable day trip to Crich Tramway Museum was organized, promoting not only physical health but also combatting loneliness and supporting good mental health. 

Due to the increasing number of participants, we have expanded the Senior Spireites to include two weekly sessions and have planned more day trips. 

The Trust’s Senior Spireites were recognised as the BrightLife Charity Champion 2022 for their efforts in reducing loneliness and isolation.

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI)

Chesterfield FC Community Trust prioritizes inclusivity in all its endeavours, striving to make football accessible to everyone in Chesterfield. 

This year, the women’s and girls’ project expanded with the successful introduction of two new Wildcats sessions and a women’s Walking Football group. 

Additionally, over 100 participants are involved in PAN-Disability initiatives. The Trust’s commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion is further evident through activities like Black History Month assemblies and Anti-Discrimination workshops conducted in primary schools. 

Through both practical and educational sessions, the Trust continues to promote Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion within our community.

Spireites Affected by Cancer

The Spireites “ABC” – Affected by Cancer project was launched by club legend Tony Lormor in partnership with Macmillan. 

Initially a coffee morning style session, the group has grown significantly in 2021 and 2022. With funding received from the National League Trust, the group now offers morning, afternoon, and evening sessions, as well as a weekly walking group. 

The project has also been launched in secondary schools, to work with young people who have been affected by cancer. 

The group has also taken a day trip to Skegness, to give the group the opportunity to improve social inclusion and mental health.

“It’s great for people to know that Macmillan can help with advice and support issues so that no one is on their own.” 

“Totally changed my outlook on life affected by cancer.” 

“It’s good friendship, a place to give encouragement as well as receive it.” 

“Well run, excellent group for the community, keep up the good work.”

Community Engagement

In 2021, the Community Engagement team was established to foster closer connections between the local community, Chesterfield FC Community Trust, and Chesterfield FC. 

Community tickets were offered to various groups including schools, grassroots football clubs, Camp Inspire families, Senior Spireites, Affected by Cancer, and more. 

This resulted in over 5,000 local residents attending Chesterfield FC fixtures who may not have otherwise been able to attend. 

Furthermore, Community fixtures were organized to celebrate LGBTQ+, Remembrance, Women at the Game, Chester’s Christmas fixture, and the NHS. The Community Engagement team also actively engages with the community at local events, accompanied by Chester the field mouse, to share the positive impact of the Trust and club on the lives of local residents.

Spireites Soccer School

The Trust’s Spireites Soccer School has experienced significant growth in 2022, with over 1,100 participants throughout the year. 

The addition of a girls’ camp and goalkeeper sessions led to the largest provision ever in October 2022. Held at St Mary’s High School, the full-day program offers a mix of fun games, tournaments, skill sessions, and opportunities to build connections. 

With a focus on football, emphasizing fun and friendship, the camps attracted 350 different youngsters, many of whom returned for multiple sessions. Rob Stevenson, the Trust’s physical education lead, expressed satisfaction with the lasting memories created for both staff and children. 

Alyss Jackson, the women, and girls’ inclusion officer, highlighted the success of the 2022 Girls Soccer School, emphasizing the joy and enthusiasm despite challenging weather conditions. 

These accomplishments demonstrate the Trust’s positive impact on the local community and the growth of girls’ football.

Football for Life

Spireites Football for Life, a long-standing project of Chesterfield FC Community Trust, has been providing mental health support for over a decade. Initially a weekly football training session, it has evolved into a team participating in the Flourish League, competing against other Community Trusts. 

In 2022, the team leveraged their club affiliation to engage in charity fundraisers and foster connections with other teams, including training sessions with Courage Lions FC. 

Nathan Khan, the team’s coach for over five years, highlighted the importance of regular sessions and matches in supporting players, especially during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Football offers a respite from life’s problems, and the team believes in making a significant difference in people’s lives by providing support for 90 minutes a week. 

With recent successes in winning the Flourish League and local five-a-side competitions, the team welcomes both long-time participants and new recruits to their inclusive and enjoyable weekly sessions. 

These sessions offer a non-judgmental and compassionate environment where individuals can improve their physical and mental health through the power of football.

Planet Super League

Chesterfield FC fans triumphed in the Planet Super League Spring Season, securing victory in all 11 matches, and lifting the trophy. 

This unique tournament involved fans scoring goals for their club by engaging in planet-friendly activities such as having meat-free meals, reducing car usage, and taking cold showers. 

The dedicated Chesterfield FC fans accumulated an impressive 33 points, surpassing 23 other clubs to claim the championship. 

Their perfect season included wins against notable teams like West Bromwich Albion, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, and MK Dons.

Winter Pressures

The Warm Hub and Feed Chesterfield Together are initiatives in partnership with the local authority to support vulnerable families in the town. 

The Warm Hub provides a welcoming space for families each weekday evening, addressing winter pressures faced nationwide. 

The BBC highlighted the efforts of football stadia and Trusts opening their doors to help the most vulnerable members of their communities during the challenging winter. 

Feed Chesterfield Together funds have supported local food banks with additional resources, easing the burden for families in need. 

Lisa, a volunteer at Gussies Kitchen, expressed gratitude for the generous food donations during Christmas, as many families struggle to afford even the basics due to rising food costs.

2022 Year in Numbers:

1,600 Entries into senior Spireites chair-based exercise class.

22,000 Total entries to Chester’s Den.

200 Children taking part in primary education football tournaments.

100 People taking part in walking football each week.

154 New girls playing football with PL Kicks.

500 Hampers sent to families at Christmas.

2,500 Weekly Visitors to The Hub.

Over 300 Children attended Camp Inspire in 2022