After successfully delivering an important summer programme for local children, AFC Wimbledon Foundation staff are ready for a hectic half-term – and to spread the word about our new stadium!
During July and August, the Foundation’s work focused on the Phipps Bridge Estate, Mitcham, and the Hazlehurst Estate, Tooting, making a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged children by providing opportunities to participate in sports and other activities. Since September, Foundation staff have returned to delivery of their school sport, player development, and social inclusion projects.
AFC Wimbledon Foundation Director Philip Rudling said: “Our comprehensive schools’ programme – focusing on the delivery of high-quality PE and games sessions through the Premier League Primary Stars project – has been in full swing. Our sessions have been adapted to take account of COVID-19 requirements and to ensure pupils remain socially distanced, avoiding direct physical contact. We remain committed to working with as many schools as possible in Merton, Kingston, and Wandsworth. Ultimately, when the time is right we want to invite children into our new stadium to give them a proper taste of the Dons experience!’’
A notable achievement for the Foundation during the Autumn has been its popular Player Development Centre – for children aged between 4-15 years – that reached 120-plus players on recent Saturdays. Walking Football for men and women aged 50-plus is also back! It takes place every Wednesday night from 6.00 pm-7.00 pm with more information available by contacting Greg on 07504454870.
Foundation staff are also currently planning for a very busy October half-term with multi-sports camps on the Hazelhurst and Phipps Bridge Estate, an NCS programme for 50 seventeen yr olds and PDC holiday coaching!
The holiday courses for children aged between 8-15 years start next week at the Aspire Centre, Southfields. Book online by visiting the recently relaunched AFC Wimbledon Foundation website , where you can also find out more about the wide range of activities provided for people of all ages.
Of course, the Foundation is continuing to work very closely with the Dons Local Action Group – our fantastic fans-led community project. DLAG provided food donations to Foundation summer camps and supported the 15-17 year-old students taking part in the National Citizens Service (NCS) programme. There are opportunities for Year 12 students to take part in social action projects and adventurous activities during the Autumn. You can book places at www.wearencs.com.
Our Foundation had excellent feedback about its ‘Dons Active Summer Programme’ for 2020.
In partnership with AELTC Wimbledon Foundation and Clarion Futures, the aim was to provide a stimulating environment for referred local children in safe and secure venues. For those who had been in lockdown since March, it provided a range of educational, sporting and arts activities, to support their personal, social and physical development.
The project followed on from last year’s fantastic work on the Phipps Bridge Estate, Mitcham. The focus continued to be children from the Phipps Bridge and Hazlehurst Estates, and the intention is to follow up this work with a year-long project over three years that provides support for residents linked to the football club.
The activities were delivered at Liberty, Smallwood, and Fircroft Primary Schools with children taking part in a range of sports, arts classes, themed literacy and maths sessions, and a drama workshop with Irene Forester (from TINA the musical, The Lion King, and more).
A summary of the programme’s achievements is below:
- Engaged with 115 children from over 10 schools
- Worked with multiple community partners including Work and Play Scrapstore who provide recycled art materials, Alison ‘the Story Teller’ and dance workshops with Irene Forrester from BAET Arts & Education Training
- Provided 200 hours of engagement
- Connections and new friendships were made
- Presented lots of branded prizes throughout the week including for ‘Player of the Week’
- Gained lots of new AFC Wimbledon fans by the end of all the programmes!
Doruk Ahmet, our Foundation Coach, said: “‘The Kids were superb, full of energy. We had loads of activities on offer, such as sports, dance, drama, arts and crafts, and even a guest storyteller. The children really had a great time meeting new friends and engaging with all activities, while learning new skills.”
One parent said: “When I spoke to the Foundation team they were very friendly and professional. My son loved his time there and was very well looked after. I would highly recommend it to anyone because their kids will love it.”