we're OVERFUNDING !
With YOUR help we can deliver a brand new, first-class community pavilion to serve all of the local community and, in particular, to provide safe and secure changing facilities for the girls and boys who play sport in Collingwood Recretation Ground, Sutton.
Thank you, everyone, for helping us to reach our target. But there's still time to push on and we have until Sunday 8th June to see how far we can go, every little extra we raise will make it easier to secure the necessary funding we need from the Football Foundation. Can you help us get to £25,000 ?
Just three years ago Collingwood Recreation Ground resembled a wilderness. After the local authority stopped maintaining the park all sport there stopped, the grass grew so high that even dog-walking became problematic and the general downtrodden appearance of the park led to local people avoiding the area, particularly after dark. The recreation ground was unwanted, uncared for and unloved.
With council agreement Sutton United’s junior section then took on cutting the grass at their own cost, preparing pitches for boys and girls to use at the weekend and almost overnight the perception of the park changed. The local council improved other aspects of the park and the Friends of Collingwood Recreation Ground not only gave us their suport but took practical steps to make a difference. Not only do the youngsters play football at the weekend, various teams train during the week, local people now walk their dogs, play and even picnic in the park and the cut-through to Sutton is once again busy and safe. The transformation has been dramatic.
The next step is to build a community pavilion that will not only provide a clean, safe environment for the boys and girls to change and shower but will also provide a cafe and other facilities for use by all of the local community. The ultimate goal is for the pavilion to become a fulcrum of community activity on the borough. It will be a great space where meetings, teaching, training, functions, volunteering and social events can all take place, not just for us but the entire community. We want to use sport to promote social awareness, healthy lifestyles and education. With your help we can deliver a facility the whole borough can be proud of.
Read more about our community programme here
At Sutton United we believe that football clubs hold a special place within the communities where they are located and that they can play a valuable role that goes beyond entertainment and sporting opportunity. We are a Football Association Charter Standard Community Club and in 2013 were named as the Community Business of the Year in the Sutton Business Awards and were also named as overall Business of the Year; not bad for a business run in its entirety by volunteers.
The club does not generate profits for its shareholders, all profits are put back into the business to support our teams and to maintain and improve our facilities. Our shareholders are all supporters, they do not receive dividends and shares are not traded and they buy shares because they want to own a piece of their club. We have an active Supporters’ Trust that has an excellent relationship with the football club, indeed the Trust owns shares in its own right and has representatives on the club management committee and the board of directors.
Through our Football Development Programme we run almost twenty teams for boys and girls at different age groups and have plans to grow this over the next few years, with an emphasis on more teams for girls of all ages and for players with disabilities. We also provide coaching opportunities and summer schools for young people but our community interests go far beyond football. We believe that sport can be a key to engage the community and young people in particular in many other basic aspects of life, including:- diet and nutrition, good health, education, careers advice and social responsibility.
Our stadium in Gander Green Lane is a large arena leased from the local authority, to whom it was donated as a community asset by Edwardian philanthropist Sir Thomas Wall. The stadium lies adjacent to Collingwood Recreation Ground, which had been unused for several years until the club took on responsibility for cutting the grass and preparing football pitches, which are now used by our junior boys’ and girls’ teams. This simple transformation rejuvenated the park, which is now used by the local community for a range of activities from picnics to dog-walking and the club has a long-term lease to use it for football and other sport and community projects.
However, the recreation ground has no facilities and this project is a proposal to reconfigure the amenities inside the stadium, relating to the football club and matches on the main stadium pitch, in order to free up space within our stadium that can be used to construct a new community pavilion. This pavilion would contain facilities to serve the football pitches in the recreation ground, including changing rooms, showers and toilets but would also include refreshment facilities and ancillary rooms that could also be used by the community, with plans in particular to arrange events for the local elderly population.
This project has already been included within the Borough’s Strategic Development Plan as a priority project and has support from the Surrey County Football Association. We are hopeful of getting grant support, essential to undertake the project, but must also raise a significant proportion of the capital ourselves. The football club and Supporters’ Trust have committed funds to this project but we would like to raise a further £20,000 towards the scheme to ensure that the maximum amount of grant support can be leveraged to complete a high quality facility. We also have a second aspect to the project, having been donated the steel frame and joists from a “pop-up” building used during the London Olympics of 2012. This building would cost around £50,000 to erect and fit out but would provide additional facilities to support the community pavilion, with one goal being to include an endless pool that could be used for rehabilitation from injury and also as a training venue for elite swimmers, including paralympic athletes. If we can exceed our target of £20,000 and get closer to £50,000 then the additional revenue could be put towards this phase of the project.