AFC Fylde Community Foundation played host to former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson as it celebrated growing participation in its health, wellbeing and educational outreach and intervention programmes by 25 per cent.
The Foundation’s new home at the £5 million Fylde Sports and Education Centre, provides the opportunity for the charity, supported by Cuadrilla, to engage more members of the local community in its programmes than ever before.
It is estimated that over 8,500 residents will benefit from access to the centre’s facilities, which include an IT suite, classroom space, six seven-a-side football pitches, and an 11-a-side pitch, by the end of the year.
During the event, Mark participated in a variety of the Foundation’s programmes and saw first-hand the positive impact that the centre is already having on the local community.
The Foundation’s principal sponsor, Cuadrilla, was also in attendance, with CEO, Francis Egan, joining Mark in the celebrations – meeting service users from within the Fylde community.
Commenting on the event, Mark Lawrenson, said: “I’m a big advocate for taking a holistic approach to improving skills and ability on the pitch, teaming-up classroom- based education sessions with practical skills coaching. Sharing experiences from my professional career with the children on the ‘Train Like a Pro’ programme today was a real pleasure.”
In addition to the ‘Train Like a Pro’ programme, the celebration event saw the Foundation’s futsal team take part in training, with adult learning programme participants involved in a positive communications education session.
CEO of Cuadrilla, Francis Egan said: “It’s wonderful to see the Education Centre open to the local community. We are committed to supporting the education and ambitions of people on the Fylde coast and look forward to seeing the results in the years to come.”
As a result of funding from Cuadrilla, the Foundation has helped 7,000 people via its successful outreach programmes so far this year, with schemes varying from mental health and wellbeing resilience-based activities to disability focused intervention schemes.
Speaking at the event, AFC Fylde Director, Tom Hutton said: “The Foundation will continue to grow through the support of Cuadrilla. Within the next three months we will be setting up a brand new, health, wellbeing and social inclusion based programme, Extra Time, which will use the power of football to engage and motivate adults who are at risk of social isolation.”
Image: Middle L-R – Francis Egan, CEO, Cuadrilla Resources, Mark Lawrenson & Tom Hutton, Director at AFC Fylde Community Foundation