Cambridge United Community Trust is delighted to welcome HSBC as a partner to its disability sport Inclusion Programme...
Cambridge United Community Trust have an outstanding offer of disability football sessions that makes up its nationally recognised Inclusion Programme and the Trust are thrilled to welcome HSBC on board as an official partner on International Day of People with Disabilities.
HSBC embed supporting charities within their work and one of their three pillars to community investment is ‘getting involved in local communities to support those most in need’. Having HSBC sponsor the weekly Down Syndrome football session for this season does just that by enabling the Trust to engage with individuals and their families that have experienced barriers to accessing physical activity.
The Down Syndrome football session is one of 16 weekly sessions that make up the Trust’s Inclusion Programme. After forming in 2013 as a pan disability football session for adults, over the years it has developed, reformed, gone virtual and is now back in live action with the one common factor being the exceptional delivery from lead coach, Phil Mullen.
Phil’s ability to engage players with various disabilities has enabled the Trust to give over 150 individuals per year the opportunity to play sport, but in addition to that, feel socially connected to others that they can relate to and therefore create a community of support for both the players and families.
Paul Sargent, local director at HSBC, said, "When we heard about the great work that the Cambridge United Trust does in the local community we were keen to find a way to get involved. It was, therefore, great to be able to support the Down Syndrome sessions they run this season.”
Paul, and a number of his colleagues, volunteer at some of the sessions which has allowed them to see first-hand the impact that having a safe, consistent and enjoyable environment has on the player’s overall health and wellbeing.
"Having attended some of the sessions the enjoyment the children taking part get from it is a wonderful thing to see and we are proud to be of support," Paul added.
Vicky Neal, Wellbeing Manager at the Trust said, "Partnerships such as this enable us to put on such specialist football sessions, which ensures players can take part at their own pace, at their own level and can feel a real sense of achievement with how Phil develops them individually.”
Vicky chairs the Trust’s Inclusion Steering Group, who meet every three months to review the programme.
“Players and parent’s share with us how their sessions are going, and the programme is a mixture of pan disability and impairment specific due to the feedback we receive in these meetings," Vicky added. "Without the support from companies such as HSBC we would not be able to have such a unique set of sessions tailored so closely to the needs of the players.”
Cambridge United recently welcomed Paul from HSBC to hospitality before the Wigan game on 23rd November to meet with other supporters of the Trust. Sharing experiences, contacts and a passion for physical activity was evident on the evening and further conversations with Paul and his colleagues about how the partnership between Cambridge United and HSBC can develop are already underway.