Darlington FC last week launched the Darlington Football Club Foundation, which will be their new official charity partner.
The aim of the Foundation is to improve the lives of people in Darlington and surrounding areas, especially their health, by promoting positive activity and lifestyles through education and engagement of young people and their families for the benefit of the whole community.
The specific principal objects are to encourage and advance the education of children and adults within the community with the purpose of promoting a healthy lifestyle; and to promote community involvement in healthy recreation by improving facilities and education in their use for the playing of sports, especially to people and communities who have limited access to such places.
Darlington Chief Executive Officer David Johnston said; “Darlington Football Club, through its Foundation, is delighted to undertake an innovative and forward-thinking project with our partners in the town of Darlington and surrounding communities.
“The football club wants to take a strong lead in promoting a healthy and beneficial lifestyle for everyone and cement our place in the centre of the community.”
The Foundation will be chaired by Steve Rose, who is the CEO of Catalyst, Stockton-on-Tees Limited and a Rotarian. He brings a wealth of experience in the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector and said; “It is a great pleasure to be associated with the new Darlington FC Foundation and we are looking forward to improving lives within communities that are served by the Football Club.”
The Foundation through its delivery partner, Sporting Futures, will be working with schools within the town and surrounding areas to deliver football coaching and other sporting activities. The Foundation will also be taking over the responsibility from the Football Club for running the successful ‘Football in the Community’ holiday soccer camps.
The Foundation is working on opportunities to collaborate with other organisations in the area to deliver community projects that will deliver outcomes that are consistent with the objects of the Foundation.
Funding for the Foundation is expected to come from surpluses arising from the coaching and soccer camps, grant funding from the National League Trust and donations from the business community.
Whilst Darlington FC Supporters Group, as a Community Benefit Society, and Darlington Football Club each have constitutional obligations to engage with and to benefit the local community, it was felt that the creation of a dedicated charitable foundation would be far more effective in being able to meet those obligations, both from an operational and funding perspective.
The Foundation’s first event will take place on Saturday 14th September (the day of our home match with York City) and all Darlington FC fans will be invited to take part. Further announcements will be made shortly.