Duke of Cambridge offers his backing to United's Gameplan
Cambridge United are adding 12 programmes to their community outreach work over the next three years.
The club’s community outreach arm, Cambridge United Community Trust, has announced a three-year strategy, Gameplan 2020, that will deliver 30 initiatives across health, education and inclusion that aims to “help create a fairer and more prosperous Cambridge for all”.
It includes new projects for mental health, literacy and loneliness and will enhance the club’s disability sports and science in schools work.
Ben Szreter, chief executive of Cambridge United Community Trust, said: “We’re really excited about being able to launch our mental health work early next year, and I think that is something that Prince William picked up on.
“I think we’ve got a special group of people at the club now and we’re embedded in our community and we’re really open and aware of the needs in our community. Things have come together and I think over the next three years you’ll see a lot of exciting things from us.”
In his foreword to Gameplan 2020 Prince William said: “Cambridge United is the epitome of a good community-based club. The ambition of the Cambridge United Community Trust, on behalf of the club in the local community, is one that many other football clubs – big and small – could learn from across the country.”
Bar Hill Primary School head Al Mistrano told of how his pupils have benefitted from sessions the club has led in partnership with AstraZeneca. AstraZeneca Active Science aims to inspire interest in science through physical education, and has reached 800 children. He said: “The lessons I’ve seen involve some really impressive kit that schools wouldn’t be able to get hold of.
“We have £60,000 funding last year – we’re not able to afford that stuff. AstraZeneca and Cambridge United are able to help us enrich the curriculum, and that’s absolutely fantastic.”
Alessio Verrecchia, 20, a star player in the United cerebral palsy team, told how the trust organises football for people of all ages and abilities. Alessio is a coach and helps to run a Down’s Syndrome session.