Lancashire construction firm supports AFC Fylde's free disabled football scheme

A grassroots football project for people with a range of disabilities in Lancashire has been given a £7,000 boost.

By Tim Gavell
Tuesday, 8th February 2022, 3:30 pm

The Just Join In scheme, run by the AFC Fylde Community Foundation, is now expanding its weekly offerings of free pan-disability football and multi-sports sessions to children and young adults living with a disability across the Fylde coast.

The extra cash came from Lancashire construction firm Collinson, which recently finished building the 1,850-seat North Stand at the AFC Fylde’s Mill Farm stadium in Wesham, near Kirkham.

Since launching in July, Just Join In has helped more than 50 children from eight local specialist schools, including Pear Tree School, Red Marsh School, Great Arely School, Oakfield House School, Highfurlong School, Red Rose School, Park Community Academy and Woodlands School.

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AFC Fylde Community Foundation's football scheme for young people with disabilities - Just Join In

The club's community foundation said that Collinson’s investment had been crucial in allowing AFC Fylde to run the programme, helping towards staff, facility hire and specialist equipment, while allowing the foundation to deliver more weekly sessions and increase its offer to work with adults.

The funds have also enabled the programme to expand its school affiliations, with a new partnership formed alongside Kirkham-based Pear Tree School to launch two additional hour-long weekly sporting sessions for the school’s students.

Robert Duxbury, managing director at Catterall-based Collinson Construction, said: "Collinson is proud to extend a hand of support to this incredible initiative run by AFC Fylde, which provides an invaluable opportunity for young people living with a disability.

“The scheme not only helps boost physical activity among Fylde children, but also helps improve mental health for the students too. We’re thrilled our support has enabled the programme to expand its offering and partner with even more schools.”

The training and football matches scheme has been supported by a £7,000 donation from Catterall builders Collinson

The project, which has also received funding from Children in Need, hosts weekly Friday evening sessions at Fylde Sports and Education Centre at AFC Fylde’s Mill Farm Sports Village home.

It has now grown to include a new weekly football event for young adults, giving those aged eighteen and over the opportunity to play against other local clubs.

Mick Whittle, community development manager at AFC Fylde Community Foundation, added: "The Just Join in offer which is supported by Collinson Construction and Children in Need is really important for the foundation as it enables us to put on provision for groups where there is not a lot of support across the borough.

“By just having the Friday evening sessions and speaking with parents and guardians, we have realised the demand to do more is needed and that is why we expanded to include other initiatives like a Just Join In half-term holiday activity club.

Just Join In has been expanded to include a new weekly football event for young adults

“The adult pan-ability session launched in January and has been a huge success already, demonstrating the need for this type of activity. The project has already benefited so many people and we are confident this will only grow even more, whilst our partnership work with Collinson can continue making a fantastic impact within the local community."

Collinson Construction is a longstanding supporter of grassroots sports, with the AFC Fylde Community Foundation affiliation marking the firm’s fourth grassroots support scheme across Fylde.

The firm also has sponsorship arrangements with Garstang Cricket Club, Garstang FC and Garstang Rugby Club.

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