The fund, which comes from admission ticket income and sales of match day programmes at The FA Community Shield, is distributed by The FA among clubs to support community initiatives and charities.
After the success of last year’s programme, which marked the anniversary of England’s World Cup win, each county were given two grants of £2,500 to award to clubs playing a key role in their communities and engaging typically hard to reach groups.
East Oxford United, based at Cowley Marsh, provide football for players from a range of backgrounds with the goal of bringing communities together through the beautiful game. They will be using the money to provide more schools outreach coaching, subsidy for low income families and support for older players to gain their coaching qualifications.
Club treasurer Abdillahi Omar summed up the importance of the grant ‘We are hugely thankful for this grant which will make a real difference to the work we can do within our community. It will provide a real boost to our 85 players and volunteers as we can now do even more for the game in East Oxford’.
Oxford City Casuals provide football for both youth and adult players with disabilities and applied for the money to further develop their school club links. Sessions will engage wheelchair users, amputees and children with learning difficulties providing in-school coaching and linking into their successful casuals sessions back at the club.
Oxford City 1st Team Manager, Mark Jones, was delighted to accept the grant on behalf of the casuals who recently won a National League Trust Community Award for the best disability programme for 2017.
Oxfordshire FA Business and Facility Development Manager said ‘It is fantastic to see the work that’s going on in our clubs who time after time go above and beyond to bring the opportunity to enjoy the game to our communities. I hope these grants go some way to recognising that work and we look forward to seeing the impact they will make’.
This year’s Community Shield will see Chelsea take on Arsenal with The FA, alongside both clubs and McDonalds, hoping to raise in the region of £1.25m for all those so tragically affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.