Guiseley AFC Community Foundation – 2021 Review

The Coronavirus pandemic has provided the Foundation with many challenges, but nevertheless, the Community Foundation has had a very successful 2021.

Many existing projects have continued to succeed and grow, whilst a number of new projects have begun throughout the year.

With the announcement of a third national lockdown at the beginning of 2021, the Community Foundation had to change the way it worked once more. Lockdown restrictions saw coaches Ben and Connor deliver sporting challenges via our social media pages as part of the Premier League Primary Stars project. Meanwhile, Community Coaches organised a number of online FIFA tournaments to help keep children socialising. The Foundation also held a number of competitions during this period, with the World Book Day competition proving very popular.

During March, the Foundation began a new, exciting partnership with the NHS. Head Coach Connor Thompson and Community Coach Ross Whitehead have been assisting staff in delivering activities for mental health patients at the Becklin and Newsam centres. This partnership is proving to be a success, with the initial six-month contract since being extended.

With restrictions being lifted in April, the Foundation was able to start operating more like normal once more. During the April holidays, the Healthy Holidays and Football camps returned, attracting record numbers at both of these camps. The very popular Over 12s Wednesday football session also returned, with over 15 attendees weekly.

In June, the Community Foundation launched their Eco Schools project. Community Coach Marcus Wardell began working with Guiseley Primary and Queensway School to help make their school communities more sustainable. This project has helped the Foundation’s relationship with the Friends of Nunroyd Park group develop. Volunteers from the group have worked with both schools since the project began, helping to complete litter picks, as well as building bird boxes and planting trees.

The Foundation is looking forward to working alongside Yeadon Westfield Junior School in the new year to help their school become more sustainable too.

The Summer holidays saw the Foundation’s Healthy Holidays and Football Camps flourish again. For the first time, the Foundation ran a Little Lions holiday club, for children aged three to five, which was also very popular.

Following the Summer, and the removal of all Coronavirus restrictions, the Community Foundation has been very busy. Foundation staff have been working in many different local schools leading a variety of different lunchtime and afterschool clubs. Community Coaches Holly Dawes and Anna Smith ran the Foundation’s very first gymnastics club at Guiseley Primary. Meanwhile, projects such as Premier League Primary Stars have been able to get going once more.

A lack of restrictions has also meant that the Foundation’s Haribo project, aimed at intergenerational work, has been able to restart. Children who completed the Playmaker sports leader course earlier in the year have been able to spend a morning assisting with chair-based exercises at Memory Lane Day Centre. Also, Community Coach Adam Lees has arranged for children from Yeadon pre-school to visit Wharfedale View and sing for the residents.

And with a very successful year coming to a close, an exciting new position within the Foundation has arisen. The Foundation are looking for a Project Manager to join the team, to help manage the many projects the Foundation run, and to help pursue new projects in 2022. Hopefully, the new Project Manager will help make 2022 even more successful than 2021.

You can find out more details and apply for the full time paid position here.