Stevenage FC Foundation have today (2nd October) launched their 2016-17 annual review, looking back at the work the charity has delivered over the past twelve months in Stevenage, North Hertfordshire, Welwyn Hatfield and East Hertfordshire.

The Foundation, who are the official charity of Stevenage Football Club have been registered as a charity since January 2011 with the vision to provide opportunities for people in the local community to realise their potential.

Based at The Lamex Stadium the Foundation have just increased their number of staff to 19, including two apprentices in partnership with Stevenage based Sporting Futures Training, and have delivered over 5,500 hours’ worth of activity in education and community settings over the past year.

Since 2016 the Foundation has been going through significant change to make sure that it is in the right shape to support the local community across a wide array of topics.

Head of Foundation, Joe Goude details some of the charity’s work

We’ve continued to grow our primary and secondary school programmes, deliver National Citizen Service to over 500 15-17 year olds and support the football club with the delivery of all their holiday programmes. In addition to that we’ve now begun to invest time and resource into delivering a variety of community based projects including Walking Football, Active Tots (an introduction to physical activity for 2-4 year olds), Young Carers rest bite and the hugely popular Kicks and Girls sessions that are funded by the Premier League.

With the increased activity and more funding being made available from the Premier League and English Football League, Goude highlights the need to evidence the work the Foundation is doing and generate some awareness of what the charity is all about.

He said:

Since joining the Foundation, I noticed that despite being active for nearly 7 years, I found that the majority of people that I met did not really know what the Foundation did and what it was trying to achieve. We wanted to create something that opened the doors to the charity and told people exactly what we are about, as well as showcasing some of our highlights from the last twelve months.

As with any charity we are dependent on the support of the people we come into contact with and we’re very fortunate to benefit from the amazing fanbase that Stevenage FC have locally and we hope that the annual review will give others in our local community an understanding of what we do and make them aware of ways they can get involved.

Stevenage FC First Team Manager, Darren Sarll, has spoken out in support of the charity’s work:

Here at Stevenage FC we are very much aware of our role and responsibilities off the pitch and nowhere is that more apparent than with our Foundation department.

The game has changed a lot over the past few years and it is crucial now that the football club is a leader in our local community every day of the week. It is not just about what we do on a Saturday.

As our official charity, the work they do across all sections of the community is of real pride to everyone at the club and as First Team staff and players, we are always on hand to help and show our support.

You can download a copy of the 2016-17 Stevenage FC Foundation Annual Review by clicking here