Old Chelmsfordians Changing Room Refurbishment

by Jez Crook in Chelmsford, Essex, United Kingdom

Total raised £26,175

raised so far

139

supporters

Old Chelmsfordians are bringing our outdated facilities up to modern standards to support the growing demand from our community

by Jez Crook in Chelmsford, Essex, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 28th April 2024 we'd raised £25,835 with 137 supporters in 28 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

Any funding we receive over the initial £20,000 target will be spent on enabling us to finish the refurbishment to the highest possible standard. If there is anything left after that it will be spent on expanding our community offer so current users can access our facilities more regularly or we will offer our facilities to a wider range of community groups.


The Old Chelmsfordians Association (OCA) was established on the 19th October 1895 when the first Reunion Dinner was held at the Grammar School and shortly afterwards the Old Chelmsfordians Football Club was formed. 

Over 50 years later, in December 1947, as Old Chelmsfordian members returned from serving in WW2, the Association took another leap forward in the expansion of the Sports and Social sections through the organisation of a Memorial Fund. This led to the acquisition of the Memorial Field in Lawford Lane in 1948 and a chicken shed for the clubhouse. This is still our home today, but thanks to the amazing work of our volunteers and the fabulous support from our past and present members, the facilities have improved a lot since the chicken shed days!1708632139_home_page_image.png

Membership is open to anyone and there are now over 1,000 members. Football, Cricket, Tennis, Table Tennis, Summer Hockey, Golf Outings, Indoor Bowls and Snooker are all part of the Association’s sporting profile.

We are desparately keen to ensure that anyone can be involved in sport at our club and we need to improve our facilities to support this. 

Our membership fees are kept low to ensure we're as inclusive as possible, but this means that our income only covers the essential running costs of the club. There is nothing spare for improvements. So here we are ... crowdfunding! 

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As we recover from the impact of Covid restrictions and contend with high running costs, we are going to raise £20,000 which will go towards funding remodelling and refurbishment of the changing rooms. 

Due to financial constraints the changing rooms have not been improved for decades and they no longer meet the requirements for football, cricket, or any sport, in the 21st century. With small changing rooms, and one small, shared, open shower area that sits next to the male toilets (that are not only used by the male footballers and cricketers but also by every male visiting the club) it is impossible to provide suitable facilities for all members of the local community who would like to play sport at our club.1708959238_cricket_awards.png 

Once this project is complete our club will be able to expand provision for all members of the local community who are interested in joining our fantastic club. 

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We have seen a considerable increase in participation over recent years, especially in summer sports that rely less on appropriate changing facilities. By ensuring our changing rooms are suitably refurbished we will be able to offer more sport for  a range of groups. For example, women (such as women’s football), U18s, those with disabilities and others. This is just impossible at the moment so this project is long overdue. Only issue is that we don’t have enough money to carry it out.

If this project is successfully completed we can:

1. Increase opportunities for local players to progress up the football pyramid. We have reached a temporary agreement with the Olympian League (just for this season), to allow our 1st team to play in the Premier 1708959888_football_action.jpgDivision, even though our changing rooms do not meet the specification for this level. Refurbishment would remove this problem and would give local players the chance to play at Level 11. The remodelled changing rooms will meet the specifications set out by the National Ground Grading – Minimum Requirements.

2. Provide appropriate facilities for women and girls. 

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We have a very successful women's cricket team (and lots of girls in our 5-11 year old cricket sessions) but they have never had access to the changing rooms, toilets, or showers when playing at the same time as the men. At least cricket is played in the summer when it is usually dry and warm, but if women want to play football when it is cold and wet then there are no suitable facilities for them. The refurbished changing rooms would meet the England Cricket Board requirements.

We ar1708959345_tennis_members_2.pnge also very keen to start a women's football team and, in the last 6 months, we have been in discussion with a coach who is eager to do this. Following the most recent discussion in January 2024 it was agreed to aim for a women's team to be up and running by September 2024 with a view to playing friendly fixtures in the first year and entering a league in 2025. We are also keen to create a pathway for the female youth players who train at our club to transition to our women's team.

And our women tennis players (seen above) would appreciate a place to shower as well!

3. Expand youth football. Following discussions in November with a local youth coach, it was agreed that the youth players at his club would be encouraged to join the OCs for senior football. He was enthusiastic about this and said that he would be keen to base his youth players at the club. We are also keen to involve the club in the local community so, after discussions with the Headteacher of the nearest primary school, we have arranged a football rally for 6 local schools on 17/4/2024. Though the facilities are not ideal for this, with careful planning we will be able to run this event safely for the pupils. Further events with local schools, (for boys and girls and hopefully their parents) will be planned when facilities make this easier to arrange.

4.1708959598_vets_football.jpg Start a walking football section. The club has a very popular and successful veterans’ section but as yet we have no provision for men's and women's walking football. Having canvassed interest in this, we believe that there will be more than enough players to make this a regular event.

5. Involve other groups including those with disabilities. Conversations with the Services Manager at City of Chelmsford Mencap have been very positive. We have agreed a programme for monthly multi-sport sessions for her students, who are aged 20-70. Though the layout of the facilities are far from ideal for this group, careful planning will enable this to take place until the new facilities are available.

We are so close to achieving our vision of sport for all, so please support our club in this ambitious challenge! 

This Crowdfunder is just one of the steps in our plans for club development, with more exciting things to come. We aim for the club to become the place to be for the local community. 

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This work is not cheap! Having gained planning approval for the project we went out to tender and the cheapest price (including  VAT and fees) was a whopping £332,388. 

We have been actively searching for funding of course. 

  • We are awaiting a decision from the Football Foundation, who we hope will be able to support us with a significant grant.
  • We have applied for a £50,000 interest free loan from the England Cricket Board.
  • We have also applied to Active Together to match fund £10,000 if this Crowdfunder raises our target of £20,000.
  • And we have applied to the National Lottery Community Fund for £20,000. 

Fingers crossed that all of these are successful. We've done an enormous amount of work to the get this far so it would be devastating if we couldn't get the project completed due to lack of funds.

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If all goes to plan, the work will start in June 2024 and finish by September 2024. Just think, in a few short months we could be enjoying the outcome of 4 years very hard work. We're so close!

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There are loads of options for you, all of which will have a fantastic impact on our community: 

  • Donations
  • Using this Crowdfunder page to pay for a special commemoration either for you or a loved one or a friend, such as names on bricks or pavers, or naming the changing rooms 
  • Annual sponsorship deals
  • Fundraising events
  • Prize draws 1708962165_old-new_layout.png

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We've already been working hard to improve the club's impact on the environment and expand our community. Here are just some of the projects that we've already done: 

  • Replaced the bifold doors in the club to reduce heat loss 
  • Increased electricity savings through the use of timers, lighting efficiency improvements and smart switches 
  • Introduced glass, can, and clothing recycling 
  • Planted trees 
  • Installed another defibrillator box 
  • Refurbished the ladies' toilets 
  • Bought new match kits 
  • Bought new training equipment 
  • Invested in our U11 recruitment 

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Thank you so much for your support. If you have any questions about donations, sponsorship or fundraising events, please email Fund Raising Organiser (and past OCA President) Jez Crook ([email protected])

Rewards

This project offered rewards

£150 or more

Engraved brick

Your name or that of a loved one engraved on a brick on the sponsors' wall

£5 or more

3 nights playing tennis

Free attendance at 3 Tuesday evening club nights (Not suitable for beginners)

£10 or more

Dog grooming voucher

A £20 dog grooming voucher donated by Woof Wow Dog Grooming & Home Boarding in Silver End

£15 or more

3 Junior (age 5-18) tennis coaching sessions

Free attendance at three Junior (age 5-18) coaching sessions (needs to be booked in advance subject to available days/times)

£15 or more

Glowments Wellness voucher

Relax the body, soothe the soul and lift the spirit during a visit to the luxury Eden Spa. A £24 voucher to attend a Yoga or Sound Bath experience at the Eden Spa in Down Hall Hotel, Hatfield Heath.

£75 or more

Picture on Wall of Fame

A picture and small plaque on the Wall of Fame for you or a loved one

£100 or more

Club lounge

1 evening booking of the club lounge with bar staff for a party or social event. T&Cs apply.

£125 or more

Cross-stitch

A custom made cross-stitch to commemorate a special event, such as a wedding or christening.

£175 or more

Function hall booking

1 evening booking of the function hall with bar staff for a social event. T&Cs apply.

£250 or more

Company sponsorship

Your company will be advertised at the OCA ground on a 1.8m x 0.6m PVC banner and on the club social media.

£5 or more

Next voucher

£10 Next voucher

£5 or more

Book token

£10 book token

£5 or more

10% off bouquets and flower baskets

This offer was donated by Springfield Florists in Moulsham Street. They stock a wide range of fresh flowers and make bouquets and hand-tied bouquets to order, either while you wait or for later collection or delivery.

£5 or more

Two hour court booking for up to 4 players

Your chance for you and your friends to play on the newly refurbished Chelmsfordians courts (court time would have to booked in advance)

£10 or more

One 4 All Gift Card

A £20 gift card that can be spent in over 170 stores!

£10 or more

Orthosole voucher - customised insoles

£20 voucher kindly donated by Orthosole. Their innovative insoles for sports can help to improve foot stability, absorb excess shock, and fully support feet and ankles through every game.

£15 or more

John Lewis voucher

A £20 John Lewis voucher

£15 or more

Halfords voucher

A £20 Halfords voucher. It must be used by 20th June 2024.

£15 or more

£20 voucher for The Lion Inn

£20 of vouchers donated by The Lion Inn in Boreham.

£15 or more

Amazon voucher

A £20 Amazon voucher

£15 or more

Olio on the Green Restaurant

£20 voucher for a meal at Olio on the Green Restaurant in Writtle

£20 or more

M&S voucher

A £25 M&S voucher

£30 or more

Coaching for your child

5 one hour sessions of coaching for your child (English/Maths/cricket)

£175 or more

2 seater bench

A 2 seater bench plus an engraved plaque with your message for the club grounds

£1,000 or more

Naming rights

Naming rights to one of the changing rooms for you, a loved one, or a company.

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