Staffordshire FA has entered into a partnership with community sport organisation GiveToLocal, in an effort to provide financial relief for grassroots football clubs across the county.
The move sees Staffordshire become the latest County Football Association to enter into a formal partnership with GiveToLocal.
The partnership between the two organisations will seek to transform the grassroots game by securing sustainable funding for local teams across the county of Staffordshire.
And one lucky club in Staffordshire has already benefitted from GiveToLocal’s recent #InspiredToGive campaign, after Werrington Wasps managed to secure £1,000 from one of the organisation’s many giveaways.
The agreement between Staffordshire and GiveToLocal will also further strengthen the latter’s ambition to put £10m per year into community sport across the UK.
Staffordshire FA Communications and Relationships Officer, Gareth Thomas, said: “Sport plays a huge role in society and grassroots football provides millions of people with the opportunity to participate in sport.
“Our initial discussions with GiveToLocal - and the research we have done on the service they provide - shows that grassroots sports clubs could really benefit from embracing their platform.
“It is, potentially, a great way for clubs to provide more to their local sponsors, in terms of increasing their exposure and reach to the local communities who are connected to the club via GiveToLocal.
“I think now would be a good time for clubs to research and consider embracing the GiveToLocal platform and to share this message with their members and the wider community.”
Established in 2019, GiveToLocal seeks to connect grassroots clubs to the local businesses within their community with an aim of helping both to grow simultaneously.
The organisation has already received backing from a number of regional FAs and high-profile Premier League supporters include Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum, Leicester City’s Ayoze Pérez and Newcastle United’s Jonjo Shelvey.
Since its move to support eight additional community sports, GiveToLocal has also secured the backing of sporting icons Les Ferdinand, Steve Harmison and Adam Peaty.
Recently, the organisation launched its #InspiredToGive campaign, with the aim of spreading much needed positivity across the sporting landscape.
And GiveToLocal’s sustainable income model, supported by a user-friendly application and incentivised giving approach, has never been more relevant as the Coronavirus outbreak affects sport organisations across the board.
As a result of the uncertainty caused by the outbreak of COVID-19, the challenges facing grassroots football are greater than ever.
Gareth added: “As well as missing football and all the physical and social benefits that come with it, I think many clubs are finding the financial side of things challenging.
“The current situation, in particular, will be a challenge for those clubs who manage their own facilities or play at a higher level in the football pyramid.
“Clubs with ongoing bills and expenditure, but very little income, are finding this period particularly challenging.Clubs are very conscious that many of the local businesses on their doorstep are also experiencing their own challenges. Hopefully GiveToLocal will strike a chord with local communities across Staffordshire.”
While there are many challenges ahead, Gareth is choosing to remain positive - encouraging everyone involved within the sport to come together to ensure that there is a future for grassroots football moving forward.
He said: “I think any platform which can provide grassroots clubs with some additional regular income during this time is certainly worthy of consideration.
“Grassroots clubs and the local businesses within their communities are facing many challenges at the present time but by working together hopefully they can support each other.
“The GiveToLocal platform is a great opportunity to do that - whether that be in the short or longer term. Many clubs and their volunteer workforces will currently be exploring ways to ensure that happens and we would encourage clubs to consider embracing the GiveToLocal platform and get involved in the #InspiredToGive campaign.
“Grassroots sports clubs are right at the heart of every community and it’s vitally important that we do all we can to ensure that all clubs can survive and thrive when sport is able to resume.”
Gareth’s positive message was echoed by GiveToLocal Director of Strategic Partnerships, Colin Stromsoy, who also believes that now is a time for communities to band together to overcome the current challenges brought about by COVID-19.
“We’re delighted to have entered into a formal partnership with the Staffordshire FA,” said Colin.
“I have no doubt that Staffordshire FA will be an excellent partner for GiveToLocal moving forward.
“Now, more than ever, we need to make sure that we all come together to support both grassroots sport and local businesses. Together they form the backbone of our communities.
“To have the support and backing of an FA like Staffordshire will only strengthen our ability to come together.
“Grassroots football is, in itself, one big family and we share Staffordshire’s vision when it comes to supporting the county’s clubs and local businesses at what is a very challenging time.”
For more information on GiveToLocal and to sign up to their unique service, CLICK HERE