In October, the Community Development Team supported two grassroots community sports clubs in Leicester City, FC Belgrave and Cossington FC, in applying for the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner (OPCC) and Violence Reduction Network’s “Grants for Diversion from Crime and Violence”.
Belgrave Ward, where both football clubs are based, faces a significant lack of provision for local clubs/organisations that people can access to engage in sports. FC Belgrave and Cossington FC are two of just three community sports groups in the area, all of which are run on a fully voluntary basis, and a lack financial resources has significantly hampered these groups’ ability to meet local demand.
After meeting with the managers of Cossington FC and FC Belgrave, we were able to learn about the barriers they’ve faced in meeting community need. We agreed to support them in applying to the OPCC-VRN Grant scheme, which funds initiatives across Leicestershire that can help tackle violent crime.
With this new funding, we are very excited about the year ahead and anticipate it will be put to great use. There are so many projects we’ve always wanted to set up but couldn’t, and this grant makes all the difference! It goes without saying that none of this would have been possible without the help and support of Leicestershire Cares. Thank you so much!FC Belgrave
In December, we were informed by the OPCC that both applications were successful!
With this funding, FC Belgrave plan to expand the number of weekly football and boxing training sessions they provide and to hold them in a wider variety of venues. They are also planning to organise community outreach events at their facilities, e.g. health information events to give young people advice on healthy lifestyles, exercise, and addiction.
Meanwhile, Cossington FC will also be expanding and improving their football and boxing sessions, including through hiring new coaches and finding a permanent venue. They hope that the OPCC-VRN grant will also enable them to build new connections with other local organisations, e.g. schools with after-school weekday sessions, in order to reach more young people.
All you guys at the Community Development Team did such an amazing job, thank you. What you did for us is on another level. We’re so excited to receive this funding and I don’t know how to thank you for taking the time out to help us. Everyone at Cossington FC has the utmost respect for you guys – what you’re doing is really brilliant. We need more people like you, going out of your way to try and help groups like us.Cossington FC
This expansion in grassroots youth sports provision will have a great impact in reducing violent crime in the wider Belgrave Ward community. These initiatives are vital to creating friendly community relations, providing young people with responsible adult role models, and providing them with a safe space where they can talk constructively about personal struggles.
We would like to thank the National Lottery Community Fund for backing the Power to Change project. Your support enables us to deliver work that makes a lasting positive difference in our communities and build a safer, more inclusive Leicestershire where no one is left behind. Thank you!