Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

As a mum of two young footballing mad boys, wife of a volunteer football coach, smelly kit washer, muddy boot cleaner, avid supporter and club fundraiser - I appreciate how pivotal Bishopthorpe White Rose Junior Football Club has become to our community. Bishopthorpe is 3 miles from York city centre and home to numerous Aviva employees and families.

Over the years, I have watched with pride from the sidelines just how far our village football club has come and the huge impact it has on our community. Established in 1999 with 19 players, the club has grown to over 400 players. We provide opportunities for everyone and anyone to participate. We welcome girls and boys in all our age groups, ranging from ages 5 to 19 and we support 2 disability teams. In recognition of the club’s work, we were awarded both the Yorkshire and North East Region FA Charter Standard Club of the Year 2017.

Each season, our pitches become flooded with new players, and it has been a joy to watch as these timid new starters flourish; making new friends and growing in confidence. But here’s the thing.  We have no home to call our own and we are running out of space.

Our success has become our biggest issue.  Word has spread fast as to the type of club we are – friendly, inclusive, where winning isn’t everything but being part of a team is. And we have reached saturation point. There is no more room for new teams to train and the poorly drained pitches are being destroyed with overuse.

Our 80 volunteer coaches, passionately supported by an army of mums, dads, grandparents and siblings play on 5 different sites scattered across York – on hired pitches and short-term rented land – including a caravan site and school field. At training and on match days, many families, like mine, are split across different locations. It is a testament to the enthusiasm of our players, volunteers and parents that the club has flourished in these nomadic conditions.  

We have been given a once in a generation opportunity to have our own purpose-built pitches and clubhouse. We have been offered land by City of York Council, and have support and funding agreed in principle from both the council and the FA. However, to secure this, we need to raise £80,000.

Together, we believe we can make it happen. Our programme of fundraising-activities welcomes everyone from the whole community to engage and mobilise with us so we can achieve this goal. With monies already raised, the £25,000 Aviva award would secure sufficient funding for the clubhouse/changing room/café build.

What Will This Project Bring To Our Community?
• Much-needed pitch space at one location and enable us to provide more opportunities for more children to participate
• Enable the 2 disability teams to train and play matches alongside the rest of the squad – it will be fully accessible (including disabled-only access road/car parking)
• Enable us to nurture our young people in a friendly and supportive environment
• Create a focal point in the community – where everyone in the club, and beyond, can come together to congregate and celebrate
• Benefit the wider community with facilities to hire and use
• Enable us to start self-financing our club. Who will be able to resist the smell of fresh coffee and a bacon butty drifting from the clubhouse!
• Foster a whole club team spirit
• Encourage players to become stakeholders in our community and create a lasting legacy. We would love nothing more than the young players of today to be the coaches of 2030.  

To kick start our fundraising, our players are taking the lead and are attempting to ‘Run To Wembley’. The players have challenged themselves to run sponsored laps of a football field equal to the 198 miles from Bishopthorpe to Wembley Stadium, faster than the 3hrs 11 mins it takes by car.

With the whole community behind our project and with the support of our neighbours Aviva, we could be playing matches on our very own ground by 2019.

Project Video

Bishopthorpe White Rose Junior Football Club

Moment of Pride

Our community pulling together to raise funds. It is heart-warming to hear of all the offers of help flooding in from parents, villagers, local businesses and the local school. Not to mention our coaches who invest so much of their time – including Simon Morgan, Aviva UK Life Compliance Director.

Location: Bishopthorpe