Sport in the community

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


I write this description as a trustee, director of the operating company & chairman of Aylsham FC, AVIVA Commercial Combined Insurance policyholder and employee, but most importantly someone who cares about his local community.

The charitable trust (The Youngs Community Sports Trust) was set up by volunteers in 2014 who raised £1m (FA grants, local fund raising & S106 money through a supportive landowner / property developer) to create a sports & community building with 11 football pitches and car park..

The trust owns the facility (building & Land) and the operating company (Young's Park Premises Committee) are all run by volunteers with the support of Aylsham FC (an FA Community Charter Club - one of only eight in Norfolk). We have no employees.

We opened Nov15 & now have multiple user groups from the community including karate, slimming, Aerobic, running & football club, with many contracted to use the facility 52 weeks per annum. The community room & venue is also available to hire by the community with all profits (after paying running costs) reinvested into sustaining & developing this facility for future generations in our town.

This project was defined & deliver by the people for the people in the community (spearheaded by Aylsham FC, supported by Norfolk FA & the Young's family), with Town Council & County Council support. AFC are the primary user of the site with 25 football teams and an increasing demand - 21 teams are boys & girls from age 5-19 years old, 1 ladies & 3 men's team's. They will be announced Norfolk FA Club of the year on 14Nov16 and their Youth Chair will receive a "Local Hero" award for services to the Community by Radio Norwich on 12Nov16.

We have been open for 11 months and will break even in our first 12 months of operating thanks to the drive and determination of a few great people and the support of local businesses and the wider community who have invested emotionally and financially in this amazing facility.

Year 2 is likely to be equally challenging - its all about managing our costs more effectively and increasing our community usage & revenue footprint to ensure the trust starts to build a sink fund to pay for maintenance, future unknown repairs and improvements for the longer-term.

We have identified that one of our largest regular costs is grass cutting the 20 acre site and currently employ a local groundsman as a contractor to do this. Its takes over 8 hours and c£200 per week to cut the grass during the growing season (>25-35 weeks).

With a grant of £5000, we can purchase a quality second hand ride on mower and a 30-40ft reconditioned container including delivery & locking mechanism. We are desperate for more on site storage to enable us to have a place to securely lock away 1) maintenance equipment & materials & 2) store club user equipment.

We believe that we can reduce our grass cutting costs by 30-50% per annum by using volunteers and have the support of the locally contracted Groundsman who will provide oversight & support in maintaining the machine.

The money saved by this grant will be re-invested each year & help to support our drive to make this community based project even better for future generations (creating legacy for our town).

If we were successful with the grant, we believe we can secure a container and mower within 4-6 weeks. the impact would therefore be immediate.

The Youngs Community Sports Trust

Moment of Pride

+ We raised £1m for this project & created a fantastic sport & community facility for the town. (Resilience - 8 years from vision to delivery)

+ Professionally run by volunteers (no employees) for our community (break even yr 1)

+ Community usage exceeding all expectations in year 1

Location: Aylsham