Football Club Receives Much Needed Grants

AFC Henley, Henley’s local football club for boys and girls aged 4 to 18, is pleased to report that it has recently been awarded two grants, one from SODC’s Councillor Grants Scheme, the other from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund.

AFC Henley needed a bigger, more robust ride-on mower for its Jubilee Park site, where the club has six football pitches. The existing mower was proving too small, while maintenance equipment was desperately needed at the YMCA, whose pitch the club took over last October under a 3-year service level agreement.

The solution was to buy a new mower for Jubilee Park and transfer the existing mower to the YMCA site.  The club applied to SODC’s Councillor Grants Scheme and were awarded £2000 towards the cost and last Friday Toad Hall delivered a £2400 machine to Jubilee Park.

Trevor Howell, Chairman of AFC Henley, said, We are extremely grateful to SODC, and especially District Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak, for their generous contribution. The project has killed two birds with one stone, enabling us to benefit from good quality mowers at both sites. Having good equipment makes the maintenance task much easier for our groundsmen. It also means we can keep the grass pitches in much better condition, enhancing the playing experience for our members.”

With the Covid-19 lock-down in place and all sports activity suspended indefinitely, Sport England are offering financial support through its Community Emergency Fund to sports clubs whose fixed costs still have to be paid, even though there is no income to cover them.  AFC Henley are one such club,  faced with a substantial loss of income during the summer term and fixed costs payable of nearly £7000 up to the end of July. They submitted an application and were delighted to be offered a grant of £6800.

Trevor Howell, Chairman of AFC Henley, commented, Whilst we are optimistically preparing for the re-start of grassroots football from September 2020, we are unable to provide our range of football coaching modules during the summer term. These include our Saturday Mini-Soccer Centre, Midweek Mini and Junior Soccer, Player Development Centres, Girls-only session, Mums’ group, after school clubs and holiday football camps. The loss of revenue puts our financial viability at risk, especially if government restrictions on sport continue beyond the start of next season. We are therefore very grateful to Sport England for their generous contribution.”

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