Cambridge United Community Trust

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Generous donation allows members of the local community to join first team players Christmas dinner

Thanks to a generous donation from Dennis Rawlings, a number of local deserving people in the community were warmly welcomed to the players Christmas dinner this year. They have all served the local community in Abbey Ward over the last year in a number of ways and it was great to recognise and reward their involvements.

Stuart Wood, Minister at Barnwell Baptist Church, said “It has been a real privilege for us to have been offered places at the CUFC Christmas lunch for the past 3 years and for us to give these to both volunteers and those who are deserving from the local community. I know that everyone who has attended has been really pleased and, as one lady commented this year, to have a night out was such a thrill and change. Can I, on behalf of the local community, thank the sponsor who makes this available – it does make such a difference.”

Lorna McNeur said, “The Abbey Orchard Volunteer Team was delighted to be invited to the CUFC Christmas dinner. Five of us in total. We all had a really lovely evening. Good company, good fun, and good food! The vegetarian and vegan options were not only delicious but exemplary! Many thanks from us all!”

Cambridge United first team players hand out Community Awards

Cambridge United's first team players Piero Mingoia and Harrison Dunk were at Coleridge Community College to support their annual sports awards. The players handed out the federation blue awards to 29 students from year 9 and year 11 on the day. The half Blue award recognises two years' commitment to playing competitive sport for two teams over two years, while the full Blue is for those competing for four years.

Ian Dixon, Head of Sport, said 'In the past we've done these awards through assemblies but over the recent years we've done it more on a personal scale. Getting a local sportsperson like we have today just takes it up a few notches and makes it that bit more special.'

Andy Farrer, Health and Inclusion Officer for Cambridge United Community Trust, said 'The first team players are always very supportive of the visits to the local community. It was great to see the students interacting with the footballers who provide positive role models in a sporting environment. We look forward to supporting Coleridge Community College in the future.'

Cambridge United support Street Child United partner project in India with kit donation

Cambridge United are privileged to support the work of Karunalaya Centre for Street and Working Children across the world in Chennai, India by donating football kits for their young people to use for their sporting projects.

Karunalaya are supported by Street Child United, a partner charity of Cambridge United who aim to change negative perceptions of street children across the world.

John Wroe, Co-Founder and CEO of Street Child United, said: "Street Child United was founded in Cambridge and we're delighted to strengthen our bond to the city by partnering with Cambridge United. Both Street Child United and the Cambridge United Community Trust are committed to tackling inequality and promoting inclusivity, whether that's in Cambridge or Chennai, and we look forward to working together to make a big positive impact in the lives of vulnerable young people everywhere."

Street Child United put on international sporting events where street children from around the world take part in and represent their country. Individuals from Karunalaya in Chennai have taken part in the Street Child World Cup 2014, Street Child Games 2016 and will be involved with future events with the organisation. Karunalaya Social Service Society is a non-profit organisation which was founded for the care, protection and rehabilitation of runaway street and working children in Chennai city.

N. Paul Sunder Singh, Secretary of Karunalaya, said: "For street-connected young people in Chennai, wearing the kits sent by Cambridge United elevates their confidence, motivation and promotes a professional attitude. Karunalaya has a special connection with Cambridge and the club - although we are in different countries, we are united."

Andy Farrer, Health and Inclusion Officer for Cambridge United Community Trust, said: "It is incredible to see the amazing work that is going on in Chennai with Karunalaya. After visiting Paul and the team back in 2015, it is brilliant to see Kayunalaya continue to protect the rights of some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children and women in Chennai."

For more information about the work that Karunalaya and Street Child United do please read here: http://www.karunalaya.in/about/ and https://www.streetchildunited.org/what-we-do/

Cambridge United share memories in local care home

100 Years of Coconuts, in partnership with Cambridge United Community Trust, continues to spread the story of the U’s to all sectors of the community, including older people.

One morning last week saw Coconuts volunteers and Trust employees visit Brook House care home in Cambridge to chat to residents about their memories of United, football in general, their lives and their memories of Cambridge.

They took with them photographs, memory cards and other aids to reminiscence, including pieces of football kit from yesteryear – goalkeeper Rodney Slack’s 1950s boots proved especially popular.

Andy Farrer, Health and Inclusion Officer at Cambridge United Community Trust, said 'It was a brilliant morning hearing stories from the past, singing songs and laughing about old memories with the football club and Cambridge in general. We are looking forward to sharing these memories with other care homes in the local area.'

CUCT and Coconuts will be visiting more care homes and independent living schemes in months to come.

Cambridge University students work with Cambridge United Community Trust

Students from Cambridge University have supported Cambridge United Community Trust by completing a six week Social Innovation Programme in partnership with Cambridge Hub who co-ordinate Cambridge University students’ charitable activities.

The students were challenged to provide an evaluation of the Disability sports sessions that Cambridge United run each week. The project involved attending sessions, interviewing participants and taking surveys in order to gain a good understanding of the impact that Cambridge United Community Trust are having in this area. Based on this, recommendations on how the programmes can be improved in the future were presented to involved members of staff.

Andy Farrer, Health and Inclusion Officer at Cambridge United Community Trust said: ‘It was brilliant to have a group of such hard working students provide us with recommendations on how we can improve our existing sessions. We would like to thank the students Kayan, Sinead, Toni, Lucy and Regan along with Cambridge Hub for making this project possible.’

The Social Innovation programme that Cambridge Hub run encourages students to address challenging issues that are taking place with local organisations, allowing the students to provide innovative solutions to tackle real ongoing challenges. Cambridge United Community Trust aim to continue working closely with Cambridge Hub and Cambridge University in the future.