A joint scheme by Mansfield Town Football Club’s community charity and Notts Police that aims to get more young people into sport has had £5,000 donation from the Nottinghamshire Freemasons.The £5,000 cheque was presented by Robin Wilson, the Provincial Grand Master and Roger Garrett, the Provincial Charity Steward, during half-time at the Mansfield V Exeter game, held at the One Call Stadium on Saturday 17 January 2015.
The Freemason Fund donation will support ‘Widening the Net’, which provides 6–14-year-olds in Mansfield with football training on Saturday mornings with the Community coaches.
During school holidays, those children also get to play many other sporting activities including table tennis, pool, day trips to premiership football grounds and cycling in Derbyshire.
Notts Police has been working with Mansfield Town Football in the Community on ‘Widening the Net’ since 2011. By steering young people into positive activities, learning team-building and communication skills and increasing their confidence, the project aims to cut crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) locally.
Notts Police Youth Issues Coordinator, Kathleen Faulconbridge, who received the cheque on the day, is responsible for much of the fund-raising for ‘Widening the Net, as well as organising its education days about staying safe and making the right choices.
Commenting on the latest donation, she said: “We rely on funding like this to run the project, which has made such a difference to so many young people. The football coaches offer so much support and are excellent role models.”
“The hardest part of the project is not the delivery of the activities, but the fund-raising,” explains Mansfield Town Football in the Community Manager, Mark Hemmingray. “This is where Kathleen Faulconbridge has excelled by helping us with successful funding bids. Our partnership with Nottinghamshire Police has been a real plus. The project has benefitted all the children who attend, giving them the opportunity to make friends, improve their football skills and grow in confidence and self-esteem.”
Since it began, 130 young people have had the opportunity to take part in sporting activities with the project.
During half-time, Robin Wilson and Roger Garrett and two members of the Broxtowe Freemason Lodge met with some of the children who work with ‘Widening the Net’. Robin was thrilled to see the charity at work. “It’s inspiring for us to see how we can further support for ‘Widening the Net’ and other similar schemes in future,” Robin said.