Five things you didn’t know about Burnley FC in the Community | Rachel Bayley

Last week I had the pleasure of heading over to Turf Moor to find out more about the amazing work that Burnley FC in the Community does.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 12:30 pm
Burnley Brand Manager Rachel Bayley

I knew bits such as the food bank work and, being a mum of young children, The Leisure Box, but I didn’t quite appreciate just how far reaching and impactful that Burnley FC in the Community really is.

As a borough, we’re already proud of that fact that our football club has given away thousands of free tickets for fans and encouraged them to donate to NHS Charities Together.

But after finding out all the amazing things that their not-for-profit does, we should be even prouder of The Clarets.

Here are five things that I learnt on my visit that I didn’t know before:

1) £3.5 million. That’s how much Burnley FC in the Community reinvested into the community in 2020 as a result of their activities. It’s an incredible amount.

The activities in the community are wide ranging and not to be underestimated.

Just some of the work includes Education and Employability, such as Moor for your Future and Premier League Primary Stars.

Then there’s Community Welfare and Inclusion, including the Veterans Programme and Disability Sport Project.

The Football Development covers the popular Bertie’s Footy Stars and Female Football Programme. And of course, facilities like the Burnley FC in the Community Kitchen.

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

2) They welcome refugees to Burnley. We’re famous for our warm welcome, but did you know that Burnley FC in the Community works with refugees to help settle them into our community?

Called the Clarets Welcome, the project offers free weekly football sessions to young men who have settled in Burnley and East Lancashire from Syria.

In January 2020 there was a football tournament hosted by Jay Rodriguez which involved over 80 refugees at The Leisure Box.

3) They run the Whitehough Outdoor Centre. I’m going to admit here that when I used to visit Whitehough as a primary school pupil from Rossendale, it felt like the coach was taking us all of the way to Wales! I was certainly surprised when I moved to East Lancashire and discovered it is practically on my doorstep.

Despite the fact that I hated getting covered in mud, and getting cold and wet, Whitehough was one of the highlights of the school year. I’ve also recently discovered that Burnley FC in the Community has operated the outdoor centre for a few years now.

I also heard from Ben Bottomley, Partnership Executive at Burnley FC in the Community, that there are exciting plans in the pipeline for Whitehough to be turned into an eco-centre.

So, keep your eyes peeled for developments there.

4) The Burnley FC in the Community Kitchen is above New Look in the town centre. The Burnley FC in the Community Kitchen is home to the food bank, teaching kitchen, community café and a sports retail store, which sells items that are no longer in stock in the main club shop.

During the 2019/2020 football season, a new initiative launched which gave Clarets supporters the chance to donate to the kitchen at every home game.

Fans could pop food into collection bins and the project was supported by Up the Clarets and Burnley FC supporter groups.

Between July 2019 and February 2020, over 400 food parcels were delivered. And that’s not to mention the incredible efforts throughout the rest of 2020 in partnership with Burnley Together, where sadly demand for services increased as a result of the pandemic.

From March to September 2020, almost 7,000 people were fed through Burnley Together, more than 2,500 of whom were children.

5) They will soon have a presence at Burnley Police Station. I loved learning this fact! Many of the people who repeatedly commit crimes have lost their way in life. Ben explained that some of these individuals don’t necessarily engage with police officers, however, are willing to open up when they see someone in a Burnley FC tracksuit.

As such, Burnley FC in the Community will have members of staff based at the police station to try and support those who are stuck in a negative pattern of behaviour and find ways for them to try and get out of it. What a great idea!

Burnley FC in the Community are always keen to hear from potential partners and businesses who want to find out more about the incredible work the not for profit does.

If you want to get some more information, you can contact Ben on [email protected] or 07874 855996.