After storms Dennis and Ciara wreaked havoc across the country recently, many football clubs in England were left wondering how they might afford to repair the serious damages done to their facilities.
But many clubs in Herefordshire will soon be back on the mend after the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation awarded more than £50,000 worth of grants from their new Flood Relief Fund across the region.
The Football Foundation is the UK’s largest sports charity and exists to improve the experience of playing football for everyone, by championing fair access to quality facilities.
The fund was set up in the immediate aftermath of storms that devastated large swathes of the country, with playing surfaces rendered unplayable and changing pavilions and club houses left in a state of disrepair.
Within days of the scheme launching, every club in Herefordshire had been contacted to ascertain damages across the county, with several clubs reporting serious issues. Herefordshire County FA worked with the Football Foundation to gain a comprehensive list of damages and will be working with clubs over the coming weeks and months to provide ongoing support over the longer-term, such as developing flood defence systems.
Clubs who received support through the Flood Relief Fund include Belmont, Ewyas Harold, Hinton, Ross Juniors, Tupsley and Westfields, with clubs such as Dore Valley and Pegasus working on longer term projects.
Dan Chance, Senior Football Development Officer of the Herefordshire FA, said: “The HFA would like to thank the Football Foundation for their support, as well as all the countless volunteers across the county who have given up their time to help get clubs back up and running.
“There are more chances to access the funding through the Herefordshire FA and Football Foundation, for further information please email Dan.Chance@HerefordshireFA.com”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “At this level, where finances are more stretched, the likelihood is that few clubs will have been in a position to be able to make contingencies against the sort of weather conditions we’ve seen in recent weeks.
“We’re so pleased to be in a position where we can offer respite to clubs that have been affected by the storms, enabling people to get back to playing football enjoying the benefits that come with it. It’s fantastic news that so many clubs in Herefordshire have been able to take advantage of this fund and repair the damages done to their facilities as soon as possible.
“Thanks to investment from the Premier League, The FA and the Government, via Sport England, the Football Foundation will continue to champion access to high-quality football facilities across the country.”