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Oxford United Rolls Out Community Trust Plan

Wed 19th Aug 2015 | Football Club Management

League Two club, Oxford United rolls out Premier League community plan

Oxford United is a football club that is going places – both on and off the pitch.

After a strong end to the2014/ 2015 campaign, Michael Appleton’s young squad have enjoyed a promising pre-season and promotion to League One is a very real possibility. 

Off the pitch though, the signs are just as good. Over the past 12 months the club has worked tirelessly to develop its Community Trust, a pioneering development programme and registered charity designed to touch and improve the lives of as many Oxfordshire residents as possible.

Fully operational from last month (July 2015), the Oxford United Community Trust is set to be one of the most progressive and comprehensive football community programmes in the country. The football club might currently be in League Two, but this really is a ‘Premier League’ community programme.

Two exciting initiatives have already been announced. They are:

The Oxford United Community Trust gala dinner

Happening on the evening of Thursday 29 October at Oxford United’s Kassam Stadium, the club is hosting a glamorous, celebratory and star-studded gala dinner to officially launch the Community Trust. 

As well as the current playing and coaching staffs, and famed friends of the club – including Sky Sports football anchor David Jones, and ex-ITV commentator Jim Rosenthal – plus current England manager Roy Hodgson also set to attend, along with a number of other high profile established luminaries from the worlds of sport, entertainment, politics and culture.

Attendees on the night will be treated to an exquisite three course meal, top drawer entertainment, and they’ll also have the opportunity to bid for a number of money can’t buy prizes to raise money for the Trust, including signed football boots from some of the world’s top players.

30United

30United is the club’s flagship fundraising initiative for the new season. Heart warming, inspiring and altruistic, 30United will see 30 individuals take on different, daunting personal challenges to raise money for the Oxford United Community Trust.

At the end of 1985 /86 football season Oxford United upset the apple cart and achieved a dream by lifting the Milk Cup – the club’s first and only major honour in English football – and this season marks the 30th anniversary of that landmark event.

With 30United, the Community Trust is encouraging people to realise their own dreams, take on challenges they’ve perhaps shied away from in the past, and raise £1,500 for charity while they’re doing it.

While the Community Trust has committed to help and support people complete their challenges, only 30 can be undertaken – a list the Community Trust trustees will finalise in early November. 

However, the entry pool for challenges is open now, and Caroline Robbins, Operations Director for The Trust, is issuing a rallying cry to the county: “The whole purpose of The Trust is to empower and inspire our fans, their families and people in the wider Oxfordshire community to reach their full potential and achieve their dreams.

“30United is a great way to get the ball rolling. We want to make people’s lives better across the county, and there are some people that desperately need help. I’m urging everyone to throw their hat into the ring for 30United.

“Put yourself forward for a challenge, do something you never thought you’d do – win your own Milk Cup.”

Leading from the front, a number of Community Trust trustees have already put themselves forward for challenges, including football club CEO Mark Ashton, who’s committed to do a triathalon, and Commercial Director Kevin Smith, who has put himself down for a half marathon.

In addition, the club’s new shirt sponsor Liontrust has vowed to play a significant role in the scheme, and they are looking to support at least one of the final 30 challenges.

Simon Hildrey, Partner and Head of Marketing and Distribution Strategy at Liontrust, said: “We’re fully behind 30United. We signed up with the football club, in part, because we share its ambition to bring about positive social change in the community.

The fact that we’re less than a month into our sponsorship and already have the opportunity to get involved in such an inspiring initiative is fantastic.” 

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

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