Bristol Rovers Community Trust | End of year update
As we come to the end of the year and Christmas, and hopefully time with our families, I thought it the perfect time to update the clubs fans on what Bristol Rovers Community Trust, the charitable arm of Bristol Rovers Football Club has been providing our community.
As many of you are aware the Trust works in 4 key areas, our Quarters. These are Health, Education, Inclusion and Sport and within these areas we deliver numerous projects.
This year has seen our highest ever student intake onto our BTEC course with over 60 students and 15 degree students studying here at the Memorial Stadium. Thanks must go out to all our tutors for their passionate commitment to helping our students achieve so highly.
I am delighted that Bristol Rovers Women’s FC, AKA the Gas Girls, incredible season continues. The squad go into the Christmas break with an incredible 10 wins and 1 draw. A tremendous record considering this is their first season the South West Regional League. The girls are also passionate about what they do in the community and you can regular see them volunteering to help us throughout the year. Huge congratulations must go out to all the staff who volunteer their time to make this such a special team.
This week saw the completion of our most recent Fit Pirates cohort. I was amazed at the dedication shown by the female participants who over 3 months on the programme lost over 110kg in weight between them. Well done all of you. Our next male cohort begins in January so please sign up.
I would also like to mention 2 new staff members who have joined the team this year. Hayley Wallace has joined us as events and fundraising executive and has already delivered a fantastically successful Halloween Party and has organised this year’s children’s Christmas party. Next year she already has a Mental Health Awareness evening planned along with a quiz night, Sleep where you Stand fundraiser and an Easter event. Costa Chard has joined us as our match day coordinator and has been extremely busy offering young fans the chance to be mascots as well as delivering our new mental health support sessions. Welcome to the Gas Family. I must also add a huge thanks to Bristol Rovers Supporters Club, John Kayes and the Tote End Old Boys whose support and funding for these events has made them possible.
After a tough year for everyone, I would like to highlight one of the fantastic positives that came out of 2021, The Martin Belsten Memorial Match that took place on Sunday 26th September. This charity football match, organised by Ash Belsten, featured an incredible line up of Bristol Rovers legends, who travelled from across the country to support the fundraising event. My personal thanks go out to each of them. The match raised an incredible £32,500 that was donated to Bristol Rovers Community Trust and will enable us to expand the projects we deliver across our communities. We are delighted to announce that some of this funding will be used to support our new Mental Health football sessions, Recovery with Rovers, as well as being used to expand our wide ranging disability football provision.
We were also all absolutely overwhelmed by the incredibly kind donation from our President and owner, Wael-al Qadi, who agreed to match the £32,500 donation from the match, enabling us to further expand our charity work and support those within our community most at need. Some of this funding has already been used to purchase new playing kit for one of our partner charities, Sands United Bristol as well as develop our mental health fitness group, Talk Club Bristol Rovers, whose sessions are run by dedicated volunteers Jack Newcombe and Tom Edwards.
Whilst talking about the incredible support our charity receives from the football club, all of us at the Trust were also delighted at the appointment of Tom Gorringe as the new CEO. I have personally had the pleasure of working closely with Tom over the past 4 years and am fully aware of how important Tom sees community within the future of our Club. He has always fully supported our award winning work and has highlighted numerous areas we hope to work together to help unlock the potential of our football club.
Finally I am delighted to announce that in recognition of our work over the past year, Bristol Rovers Community Trust were awarded the Bristol Life Charity of the Year 2021 as well as the 'Your Move Community Club of the Year 2021', South West and Wales Region.
I am incredibly proud to work for a football club that truly puts our community at the heart of everything it does. I would like to personally thank the Owner, CEO, Manager, Players, Academy, Rovers Staff and each and every fan, without who, none of what we do would be possible.
I wish you a Merry Christmas and thank you all for your continued support.