Cambridge United Community Trust

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Disability Sport opportunities

Cambridge United does an excellent job of providing opportunities for thousands of young people to play sport every week. However, there are some groups that require a little more expertise; this is where our Community Trust is so important. One of these groups are those with disabilities. Cambridge United Community Trust has run football sessions for those with cerebral palsy and Down's syndrome for over a year, but we recognise that this is scratching the surface, and that there is a lot more to be done.

The first step in this process has been to appoint Phil Mullen as our Disability Officer. He will now be the lead for all of our Disability Sport, and we hope that this will soon become a full-time role. Over the next few months, he will begin to introduce new sessions into our disability programme. This will begin on 17 November 2015, with a new weekly Tuesday evening futsal session for those with hearing impairment to be run at Impington Village College.

To follow this, we will have a taster weekend for Powerchair Football at the same venue on the weekend of 28 and 29 November 2015. This is being delivered in partnership with the Wheelchair FA, and will introduce both potential coaches and players to the sport with the longer-term aim of starting a regular session. For further information, view our Coaching Powerchair Football Course flyer and our Cambridge Powerchair Football Festival flyer.

We will also begin to deliver football sessions to classes in special schools around Cambridgeshire, which is a natural offshoot of our School Sport programme, and have plans to start a football session for blind and visually impaired players in 2016. These will all be significant steps towards our goal of being able to provide the opportunity to play sport to every person in Cambridgeshire, regardless of age, gender, ability or any other characteristic.

Please email communitytrust@cambridge-united.co.uk for more information on any of these opportunities.

Wheelchair FA coaching

The Tommy McLafferty Cup 2015

Named after Tommy McLafferty, a former Celtic player and member of the homeless community who died in 2009, the tournament is staged annually to help the homeless in Cambridge.

This year's edition saw the Tommy McLafferty Cup played at the Abbey Leisure Complex. Sponsored by the Cambridge South Rotary Club and organised jointly with Wintercomfort and Cambridge Link-Up, the cup saw 5-a-side teams from homeless agencies around the city compete in a football tournament.

The eight teams represented Jimmy's Nightshelter, Emmaus, Wintercomfort, Winston House, YMCA, Riverside, Corinthians and the Cambridgeshire Police. Jimmy's and Corinthians emerged as the respective group winners, and went on to meet in the final to decide who would be lifting the cup in 2015.

In a very closely contested match, Corinthians beat Jimmy's on penalties to take the trophy, while Winston House narrowly took third place by beating Wintercomfort, also on penalties. All the games were very competitive and played in true sporting spirit.

Alan Franklin, President of the Rotary Club of Cambridge South, presented the trophies and medals for the afternoon. As well as the team awards, there was recognition for the Players of the Tournament: Mihai Gilceava of Jimmy's and Clare Jolly of the Police; and the Brian Turner Goalkeeper of the Tournament: John Hunter of YMCA. These individual awards were decided by Emma Hyde, Chair of Cambridge Link-Up.

Mike Smith, of the Rotary Club of Cambridge South, said: "It is very clear that most of us are only a pay cheque and a personal crisis away from becoming homeless. It is a pleasure to work with the homeless organisations to arrange this tournament and see the fun and improved self-esteem from playing in, or indeed even watching, the event."

Meanwhile, Emma Hyde added: "Every year, spectators, players and organisers alike leave this event with a huge smile on their face and a massive sense of achievement."

In addition to the teams and organisers, thanks goes to Food 4 Food for supplying a delicious barbecue, the City Council Sports Development Department for providing the venue, and the David Ball Group for providing additional sponsorship.

If you would be interested in supporting this event in 2016, please contact Cambridge United Community Trust at communitytrust@cambridge-united.co.uk

The Tommy McLafferty Cup 2015

Disability Football sessions

As we move into the new term, it's not just our School Sport programme that is starting back up. Our Disability Sport programme, which had a break over the summer, also restarts in earnest next Saturday. Our Community Trust, which had previously been partnering with Cambridgeshire FA to deliver the sessions, is now taking the lead to provide opportunities for those with cerebral palsy or Down's syndrome, under the continued tutelage of Phil Mullen.

These sessions are extremely well received, but we have plans to do much more in Disability Football. Over the course of this season we aim to start up several more disability-specific sessions, driven by the belief that no one should feel unable to access opportunities to play sport. Obviously this is an ambitious ideal, but one which fits naturally within the Trust's key themes: education, inclusion and health. Everyone should feel they have the opportunity to engage with Cambridge United, and are therefore included in the community that surrounds our Club. Sport is an important step to inclusion, as it can help develop a sense of belonging and commonality.

We want to go even further than this though: as our sessions progress we would like to have disability teams representing Cambridge United in regional and national events. The opportunity to play sport competitively will afford our participants even greater benefits, exposing them to experiences that will be invaluable for their personal development, as well as challenge their technical skills on the pitch.

However, if we are to achieve these ambitions it will require the support of the local community. If you are interested in helping to support our Disability Football programme please contact Community Trust Manager Danny Kerrigan by email at: danny.kerrigan@cambridge-united.co.uk

Our Saturday morning sessions are held at Impington Village College from 10am – 12pm, and will run from Saturday 12 September until Saturday 5 December (with a week off for half-term in the middle). The sessions are focused on fun, with complete beginners welcome, and offer opportunities for parents and carers to socialise and even take part if they wish. We ask for £3 per person per session to help ensure the programme is sustainable. For more information please contact the Community Trust at: communitytrust@cambridge-united.co.uk

Disability Football sessions

Fire safety player visits

Our Community Trust works the whole year round to help to educate the young people in Cambridgeshire and beyond. In July 2015 our project in primary schools, in partnership with Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Fire Authority, saw U's players visit local schools as part of fire safety and arson education. Despite it being such a busy time of year for the Club and schools alike, players even managed to drop in to Fowlmere Primary School and Duxford Primary School in the last week of term.

In these two visits alone the Cambridge United philosophy was clear, as Keith Keane accompanied Robbie Simpson in the trip to Fowlmere before even making his debut on the pitch, while young professionals James Akintunde and Ryan Horne took part in an assembly at Duxford. The older pupils had received some informative resources from the Fire Authority, which they presented to their fellow students. The players then quizzed the children on what they had learned, before the tables were turned and the children were able to ask the players anything they wanted. Sarah Toule, teacher at Fowlmere, said: "It was really good to have the opportunity to speak to the players and ask questions."

This is a great example of the way our Trust is able to extend non-traditional educational opportunities to strengthen the messages our partners want to deliver. Danny Kerrigan, Community Trust Manager, said: "The Year 6 pupils at Duxford and Fowlmere did a brilliant job at presenting to the rest of the classes – they had clearly learned lots about the topic of fire safety. However, opportunities like this are also very important for the personal development of our players, especially young professionals like Ryan and James who took part in their first school visit without a more senior player."

Fire safety player visits

Coding at Cambridge United

As the first team returned to action after their summer break, off the field our Community Trust continued its hard work to positively affect people's lives across Cambridgeshire. On 11 and 12 July, 15 local students took part in a free computer coding course using the IT facilities at our stadium, delivered by Cambridge Coding Academy and supported by Marshall's Charity Fund. The 14- to 19-year-olds learned how to build their own online game, along the way developing skills that will undoubtedly improve their employment prospects in the future.

This project helps to fulfil our Trust's objective of offering non-traditional educational opportunities using the Club's resources, under the key theme of Education. Danny Kerrigan, Community Trust Manager, said: "This project is a brilliant example of our Trust using all of the resources Cambridge United have at their disposal. Most people would associate us with sporting activity, so to highlight the breadth of our work with this classroom-based Coding Weekend is really important. More important, though, are the outcomes for the young people who invested their own time to take part, and we hope the skills they have developed will make a real difference to them going forward."

Coding at Cambridge United