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Feb
9

Wycombe Wanderers Supports “Football United Against Domestic Violence”

We would like to bring to your attention an exciting new 3-way partnership that has recently been formed between the Football Club, Wycombe Wanderers Sports and Education Trust (“WWSET”) and Wycombe Women’s Aid.

For those that aren’t aware Wycombe Women’s Aid are the local branch of the National Women’s Aid charity who help women and children who are experiencing or trying to escape domestic violence, as well as those who are dealing with its effects and consequences.

As part of this new partnership Wycombe Wanderers FC have last week signed up to the “Football United Against Domestic Violence” campaign being championed by Women’s Aid, and which aims to raise awareness of domestic violence and battle the sexist attitudes that underpin abuse against women.

By pledging our support, we as a football club are sending a clear message that domestic violence is completely unacceptable, and we are actively encouraging the football community to speak out publicly against domestic violence in society in order to make football a place where perpetrators of domestic abuse are not welcome.

Wycombe Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth holds up a signed Football United Club Pledge poster during Wycombe Wanderers Training at High Wycombe, England on 4 February 2016. Photo by Andy Rowland / PRiME Media Images.

Wycombe Wanderers Manager Gareth Ainsworth holds up a signed Football United Club Pledge poster during Wycombe Wanderers Training at High Wycombe, England on 4 February 2016. Photo by Andy Rowland / PRiME Media Images.

Whilst signing the pledge on behalf of WWFC, manager Gareth Ainsworth threw the full weight of his support behind the clubs involvement by saying:

“Everybody involved with Wycombe Wanderers recognises that domestic violence is an abhorrent act which causes immeasurable damage to victims, both physically and mentally. We are a football club who want to achieve results on the pitch and also want to help achieve results off the pitch in the local community as well. If the clubs support of this campaign helps even one person escape domestic abuse then that would be considered a great result!”

The “Football United Against Domestic Violence” campaign also has the full backing of the FA. Upon the launch of the charter, then FA general secretary Alex Horne had this to say:

“Football has a key role to play in tackling such a serious problem and The FA is proud to back the campaign. Domestic violence affects all of our society and football has the potential to reach a huge proportion of the public. We can all make a difference by signing up to the Football United Against Domestic Violence campaign – clubs, fans and players – to bring domestic violence out from behind closed doors.”

In addition to WWFC signing the charter, WWSET have also teamed up with Wycombe Women’s Aid to design and deliver educational workshops in local schools. The workshops aim to provide an interactive and interesting way for children to learn about healthy relationships, the dangers of domestic abuse and ways to keep themselves safe. Following the workshops all children should be able to identify types of abusive behaviour, understand what behaviour is healthy and not healthy, and know where to get help should they ever be at risk.

Hopefully in the future these educational workshops will make a small difference in improving the frightening statistics around domestic violence in the UK:

  • Domestic violence will affect 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetime
  • Domestic violence leads to on average two women being murdered each week and 30 men per year
  • Domestic violence accounts for 16% of all violent crime, however it is still the violent crime least likely to be reported to the police
  • Domestic violence has more repeat victims than any other crime (on average there will have been 35 assaults before a victim calls the police)
  • Domestic violence is the single most quoted reason for becoming homeless
  • Approximately 400 people commit suicide each year who have attended hospital for domestic abuse injuries in the previous six months, 200 of these attend hospital on the day they go on to commit suicide 

So, if you’re involved with a school who may be interested in taking part in the free educational workshops please get in touch with the WWSET team and they will be happy to organise something for you.

Alternatively, if you are currently suffering at the hands of an abuser please know that help is out there.You can contact Wycombe Women’s Aid in the strictest of confidence on the following number: 01494 461367

Jan
24

More Great Work in the Community from WWSET

Mental Health Football Sessions

WWSET 2Beginning on Monday 29th Feb Wycombe Wanderers Sports and Education Trust (“WWSET”) are going to be running football sessions catering specifically for people who suffer from mental health issues.

It’s accepted that one in four people will experience a mental health problem in any year, and over 10% of the population has depression at any one time. It’s also accepted that sport can help in people’s recovery, help to manage symptoms and can radically improve the quality of people’s lives.

So, if you or somebody you know suffers from any type or degree of mental health problems please keep checking the WWSET website for further detailed information which will be released very soon.

In summing up WWSET’s current and growing provision of Health & Social Inclusion activities, their lead staff member in this area, Aqeel Akram, had the following to say:

“WWSET are very excited about our upcoming projects. We want to remove all barriers and allow everybody regardless of their personal circumstances the opportunity to participate in and enjoy sport, and take advantage of all the related benefits that sport can offer.”

So, fingers crossed, we are going to be making a positive difference to the lives of some local people over the course of the coming year…please keep on checking the WWSET website for updates!

Jan
13

‘Just Play’ Football Sessions

WWSET 2Also just in from Wycombe Wanderers Sports and Education Trust (“WWSET”) :

Just Play Sessions (replacing what was known as ‘Street Soccer’)

Continuing every Saturday evening for the rest of 2016, WWSET are running an FA Just Play session up the road at Cressex Astroturf. The aim of the Just Play session is to provide any local person over the age of 16 the opportunity to come and play football in an affordable and relaxed environment. The sessions are staffed by fully qualified WWSET coaches but the content of the sessions are dictated by the participants and usually consist of organised matches or tournaments.

So now is the perfect opportunity to get your boots back on and join us for a kick-about. The sessions are for all abilities and perfect for those who haven’t played in a while.

There’s absolutely no commitment; the Just Play sessions are great for when you want to play without committing to a weekly game, a complicated league or fancy team strips. Sessions are flexible and sociable and our coaches will ensure you have fun on the pitch whatever your level of fitness or ability.

If you would like more information or would like to get involved, please do not hesitate to contact the Social Inclusion Manager, Aqeel Akram on 01494 455734 and aqeel.akram@wwfc.com 

Jan
12

‘Walking Football’ for the Over 50s

This message from Wycombe Wanderers Sports and Education Trust (“WWSET”) was published in the programme for the Aston Villa FA Cup tie on January 9th.

Walking FootballWalking Football Sessions

As the name suggests, Walking Football is a slow-paced version of the beautiful game which is often aimed specifically at the over 50’s age group (but here at WWSET can be played by anybody)!

The game is a great way for those who are no longer willing or able to play the game they love at full speed, still stay active and keep fit.

It’s generally accepted that as you get older the opportunity to participate in team sports lessen – ironically at the age when you most need to keep active, both physically and socially.

Walking Football is designed to help people keep an active lifestyle despite their age or physical condition, as well as getting those back playing football who have previously had to stop for whatever reason.

Despite the fact that no running is allowed, the walking format of football is surprisingly tiring, and you certainly work up a sweat. Simply playing 1 hour a week for 3 months enables players to cover 30 miles and burn 4,200 calories!”

In addition to the physical benefits gained from getting involved there are huge social benefits as well. The sessions run by WWSET, which are done in partnership with our local Berks & Bucks County FA, are extremely relaxed and the guys who already attend are a very friendly bunch, who love nothing more than a laugh and a joke.

So if you would like to come and give Walking Football a try please get in touch on 01494 455736 or via email on community@wwfc.com. The sessions run on Tuesday evenings from 7.15pm – 8.15pm at Stokenchurch Community Centre in the indoor hall until March before they switch to an outdoor venue.

Dec
7

Trust Directors back Supporters Direct report

Today, Trust Directors Dale Jenkins and Nigel Kingston will be at the Palace of Westminster, backing Supporters Direct’s initiative to encourage tax breaks for supporter owned clubs.

The Supporters Direct statement can be seen below:

TREASURY URGED TO GIVE TAX BREAKS TO COMMUNITY OWNED SPORTS CLUBS

*** Clubs deliver more than £125,000 of volunteering a year – report ***

Democratically owned sports clubs could bring a big net benefit if they were given tax breaks, a new report from Supporters Direct argues.

The proposal recommends creating a new tax status for democratically owned clubs that meet strict criteria, including reinvesting surpluses and protecting assets for community use. Clubs would benefit from Gift Aid on donations, receive 80% rate relief and have exemption from Corporation Tax.

If adopted it would be a landmark in the development of democratic ownership of sport in this country and make a step change that will help community owned clubs overcome many of the barriers they face.

The report will be launched at an MPs’ briefing in Westminster this afternoon, which will bring together MPs, leading sports bodies and sports clubs and will feature an address from Jesse Norman MP, the chair of the Culture, Media and Sport Select.

James Mathie from Supporters Direct said:

“With the right model, sports clubs can be central hubs of delivering benefits in their community – and community ownership provides added value that other forms of ownership cannot. We believe it’s time to help clubs that embrace democratic ownership, binding community benefit functions, and protect sports assets”.

Adam Brown from Substance, an architect of the proposal and the research behind it, said:

“We have demonstrated the very significant value that supporter and community ownership can bring in terms of public benefit. The proposed tax changes would be cost effective and enable existing community owned clubs to be more sustainable, increasing the public good they deliver. We have shown that this applies beyond football into lots of other sports”.

The proposal will also be addressed by the Governments Expert Working Group on Football Ownership and Engagement which will be published in January 2016.

About the report

• A full & summary version of the report can be downloaded from those links or from www.supporters-direct.coop
• It advocates that Community Owned Sports Clubs should qualify for – Gift Aid on donations, exemption on Corporation tax, and rate relief at a minimum of 80%.
• The research looked at 6 semi-professional and professional sports clubs
• It found that were the scheme to be implemented, an average club would:
o cost the tax payer £25k per year
o attract volunteering and investment valued at £294k per year

About Supporters Direct

Inspired by Brian Lomax – the first supporter elected director at an English professional football club – Supporters Direct has been working since 2000 to help supporters gain influence in the running and ownership of their club. Their work now spans 23 countries.

Dec
2

Football Governance (Supporters’ Participation) Bill is Published

parliament-uk-logoThis Bill is now expected to have its second reading debate in the House of Commons on Friday 4th March 2016 having been deferred from the 4th December 2015.

The Bill aims to “Require football clubs to offer for sale to their supporters a specified percentage of shares in the club upon a change of ownership; to require that a minimum number of places on the club’s board be set aside for election by a qualifying supporters’ organisation; to define what constitutes a qualifying supporters’ organisation; and for connected purposes.”

This Bill was successfully introduced to Parliament on 7 July 2015 under the Ten Minute Rule.

Click here to read the bill (it’s not that long!)

Oct
8

There is Work for More Volunteers Now!

When the Trust first took over ownership of the Football Club in 2012, there was a rush of fans and members coming forward offering to do various things both on match-days and at other times.

Due to existing contractual arrangements, not all of these offers could then be taken up and many fans may have wondered why they put themselves forward.

However things are gradually changing and the ‘time and talents‘ of our fans will be required if we are to continue to stabilise the club and move it forward towards a successful (fan-owned) future.

Much has already been achieved around the ground under the watchful eye of John Derben and his band of volunteers.

IMAG0326In two recent weekends some of the overgrown grass banks around the car park have been cut back. This team have two more dates planned:

Sundays 25th October and 8th November (now cancelled due to Halifax FA Cup tie)

A few more volunteers are required to help on those dates. If you have not already given John your name please let him know if you can come.

Also Sandie is looking for 2 additional car park money collectors on match days on the upper car park.
They need to be in place by 12noon leaving by 2.50pm in order to see the kick-off, so stewards then take over.
You receive a food and drink voucher and a suitable jacket will be provided.
If you can help please contact Sandie through this e-mail  j.derben123@btinternet.com or by phoning 01494 441145

Many thanks

Aug
15

Views of an Adams Park Visitor

Adams ParkLevel Playing Field encourages disabled supporters to leave feedback following their match day experience. They always pass the comments (good or bad) onto the club itself with their offer of help and advice if required.

We have recently received the following comments from a York City fan who is a wheelchair user:

“I previously ordered tickets over the phone directly from Wycombe and also requested a wheelchair car park space but was told it was on a first come first served basis.

Prior to match we had a meal at The Blacksmiths Arms, a Harvester pub.

Arriving at the ground we were shown to a disabled car park space, there weren’t many left.

I collected our tickets from the blue pod in the car park.  We bought a program from a seller in the car park. The club shop was accessible but we didn’t go in.

On entering the ground a steward checked our bags & tickets and then opened some large doors for us to go through.

There were disabled toilets just inside the entrance but I never saw a refreshment bar.

There were about 5 wheelchair spaces each with 2 seats pitch side, in front of our own fans.

A steward checked to see if we were ok & said to call him if we needed anything, and then said if we wanted to move out of the sun, he would take us to other seats in a different stand.

Everyone from the fans to stewards were very friendly.

It did take us a long time to get out of the car park after the match, and the car park steward did warn us when we parked.”

Level Playing Field – Promoting Good Access For All Fans | Level Playing Field provides expert Access Audits – designed specifically for sports venues- please click this link for more information   <http://www.levelplayingfield.org.uk/access-audits>

PS We have also had great feedback about the Fulham game as well

Aug
5

Anthony Mooney – R.I.P

Ant & GazIt is with sadness that we report the death this week of long time Wanderers supporter, season ticket holder, legacy trust member and hard working volunteer, Anthony Mooney.

Here’s a picture of Anthony and Gareth from the end of season bash a few years ago when we were celebrating our promotion.

Anthony had been a valuable member of the volunteer force, supervised by John Derben, often giving up his time to work around the stadium including helping with the seat cleaning last year.

His brother David Mooney has advised us that:

“Anthony has not been well. I think it was just before we were cleaning seats last year when he was diagnosed as having what they believed was a benign tumour in his neck. Unfortunately when it was removed they discovered that in fact it wasn’t benign and had spread. There was little they could do and sadly he passed away yesterday at his home. I saw him the night before he died and updated him on all the Wycombe pre-season news.

He did manage to get to the play-off final, it was just sad the team didn’t quite manage to give him the send off that we were hoping for. Wycombe Wanderers had a special place in his heart and some of my best memories will be of the times we shared at football (even cleaning seats and weeding).”

Our thoughts go out to David and all of the Mooney family at this sad time.

Jul
28

Great Work By The Volunteers!

Since the 5th of July the volunteers working on the stadium have amassed a total of 120 days ( averaging 6 hours a day )  that is 720 hours of voluntary effort

John Derben says:

“I cannot begin to express my appreciation and grateful thanks on behalf of the Football Club for this significant contribution. Well done all those supporters who have worked so hard to get the stadium ready for kick off on the 8th of August.

There are some extra bits we would like to do over the next 9 days involving painting, weeding and strimming the bottom of the banks. We will continue to work on Tuesdays and Thursdays but have set a work day on the 1st of August to finish things off.”

Please let John know whether you can make any of these dates asap on 01494 441145 or by email to j.derben123@btinternet.com

Thanks again for all your valuable help.

May
24

Wycombe Wanderers Helps to Reopen Youth Club

Good news from our Community Team:

GXYCWycombe Wanderers Sports & Education Trust (WWSET) is delighted to announce a new and exciting partnership with Gerrards Cross Youth Centre (GXYC) which will see the currently closed facility reopen its doors to local youngsters between the ages of 10 and 15 years old in early June 2015.

GXYC has been in existence for over 60 years and during that time has always been considered a valued asset and major contributor to community activity in Gerrards Cross.  However in recent months the club has been seeking a solution to its problem of locating suitable staff and it believes the partnership offers the ideal solution due to WWSET’s experience of working with young people, and also the appeal that the football club brand has with local youngsters which can be utilised to engage with them.

This partnership opportunity was first spotted by Gerrards Cross resident of 35 years and WWSET trustee Mr Ian Keizner who has seen at first hand the benefits of the GXYC due to the fact his own children used to attend the youth centre when they were growing up.

Along with Mr Keizner, the former Head of WWSET Gerald Kelly was instrumental in taking the partnership forward and before he moved on,he had this to say about the impending opening of the centre.

“We are delighted to partner with GXYC and to enable the club’s facilities to be made available once again for young people in Gerrards Cross.  Our overriding aim is to provide an all-inclusive facility which runs an exciting array of imaginative activities and informal education that encourages and facilitates the learning and development of the young people who spend time there. We strive for high standards of delivery with all projects we are involved with and GXYC will be no exception”.

The Management Committee of GXYC is also extremely excited about the upcoming reopening of the centre. Anthony Aston, who has dedicated a large amount of time and effort to ensure the centre successfully reopens, had this to say:

“We are delighted to be joining up with WWSET to produce what we anticipate will be a top quality youth club experience for young people in Gerrards Cross.  While the Club anticipates that WWSET’s sports focus will be a major attraction for young people in Gerrards Cross it also looks forward to providing balanced youth club activities for all members, both boys and girls.  The Club will be re-opening after the summer half term on Tuesday 2nd June and will hold sessions on Tuesdays from 6.00pm to 8.00pm for children in Years 5 and 6 and on Thursdays from 7.00pm to 9.00pm for Years 7 and 8 youngsters, with the possibility of further sessions being added later.  Details of on-line registration through the WWSET website (www.wwset.co.uk) will be announced shortly.”

For more information about the Club and its activities, or to talk to a committee member about helping to run or manage the club, please contact gxyc@gmail.com “

Dec
15

Message from Kenya

Blooms and Pastor WilliamI have today received a nice message from Pastor William Othieno the director and Pastor of the Mama Kerry Project in Nakuru-Kenya.

Wycombe Wanderers is the only team who has cared and contributed most to our project.

You have made us proud with all volunteers like Matt and others to our project.

Thank you for your management and all the donations at Mama Kerry.”

Click here if you want to recall the 2013 trip to Kenya by Matt Bloomfield, plus a number of club staff and fans.