The Football Foundation - football's biggest supporter

Football Foundation logoThe Football Foundation is the UK's largest sports charity and grassroots football's biggest supporter.

The Government, Premier League and English FA each invest £15 million per year to the Foundation, who use the funding to improve facilities and create opportunities for people to play football throughout the country.

"We are trying to remove the obstacles to a quality experience at grassroots level," Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, told Club Website this week.

"We want everybody who wants to play football, no matter what standard, to have the opportunity to play."

Since it's launch in July 2000, the Foundation has helped fund thousands of projects and, alongside it's partner organisation, the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, have succeeded in delivering over £1 billion worth of investment into football in this country.

The Foundation's funding has led to a 21% increase in grassroots football participation where projects have been completed, so not only are they improving facilities out there but they are getting more people to take part in the beautiful game.

Can the Football Foundation help my club?

If your football club or community group require help in financing a facilities or community project, or if you are short on funds for any project that will help grassroots football in your area, then the Football Foundation may be able to help.

If you have raised as much funding as possible for the project you are working on but have been unable to meet your target, then the Foundation could be just what you need.

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football FoundationThere is help available to fund large projects such as the installation of new changing rooms or floodlit pitches should you require something on that scale but, as Paul Thorogood told us: "It's not just about the huge facility projects."

The Foundation has a number of grants schemes to help with the smaller projects that may sound more familiar, such as a broken set of goalposts or a lack of decent kit.

Their small grant scheme, according to the Chief Executive, covers "anything from transport fees to payment of facility hire - anything that is required to get football activity going."

How do I apply?

The whole application process can be completed on the Football Foundation website - www.footballfoundation.org.uk - which also contains tons of information on the work of the foundation and the type of grants they offer.

For those people who may be put off by a potentially long and arduous application process, the message from the Foundation is clear. According to Thorogood, the whole process "couldn't be simpler."

"The whole thing is on the Football Foundation website. If for some reason there is a problem, there are contact details on the website to help you speak to right person at the Foundation."

Your local County FA should also be able to help with any queries you have about setting up a project or applying for help from the Football Foundation.

To read more on the work of the Football Foundation, including a more detailed account of Club Website's interview with Chief Executive Paul Thorogood, check out December's edition of The Club House, Club Website's monthly newsletter.

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