South Shields Youth under-12s football club is entering a new league thanks to a Co-operative Membership Community Fund award.
Paul Wood, Club Secretary at South Shields Youth in Washington, Tyne & Wear, became a member of The Co-operative Group in 2009 and was introduced to The Co-operative Membership Community Fund soon after.
"I thought it was great idea because it’s about local residents pulling together for the good of everyone," says Paul. "The fund supports a wide range of community-led projects in our area and it’s vital because, for many, the fund is their only source of income. For us, the added bonus is being able to open a Co-operative Bank Community Directplus account so we get free banking* and every penny counts when you run a voluntary organisation."
South Shields Youth offers boys from the neighbourhood the opportunity to participate in a football coaching programme under the supervision of coach, Paul Crake. "We’re a close-knit team of two! But we’re committed because we agree that sport is great way to reach young people and it has so many benefits," says Paul Wood. "Getting them involved at an early age can assist their development and sense of well-being. Plus, it gives them the opportunity to get regular exercise, learn about teamwork and develop social and sporting skills – all while having fun."
Since the club was set up in 2008, 32 boys have been put through their paces and three have gone on to be signed by professional clubs. "I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved so far. And, it’s good to see the boys taking the skills they learn here and applying them in their everyday lives," says Paul.
Paul intends to use the donation to buy more training equipment. "This award means a lot to us. Without the donation it might not have been possible to carry on. But now thanks to The Co-operative Membership Community Fund, we can continue to help more boys develop their sporting talent and that’s what makes this job so worthwhile."
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*Free banking relates to standard transactions. The Co-operative Bank reserves the right to review the account tariff for customers whose credit turnover exceeds £1m per annum, who deposit more than £100,000 cash per annum, or who deposit more than 5,000 cheques per annum. The Co-operative Bank reserves the right to decline any application.
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