Wembley is the national home of English football. It is therefore important that our grant making reflects this country-wide remit.
We have formed a partnership with the EFL Trust, which oversees the work of the community trusts of the clubs playing in the English Football League (i.e. below the Premier League) to run a major three-year programme of disability football activities.
WNST is providing more than £1m to fund 25 of the club community trusts up and down the country to help them each to fill a gap in disability football provision in their area. This encompasses a wide range of needs for people with physical disabilities, wheelchair users, children with autism, people with sensory impairments, adults with enduring mental ill health or those with learning difficulties.
The club community trusts are at the very heart of their local communities and are able to identify where their priorities lie, according to local needs.
The EFL Trust is providing day-to-day management of the programme and co-ordinating the collation of monitoring and evaluation information on behalf of WNST.
A full list of the grants awarded can be found here.
The first year of the programme was very successful, exceeding its targets. Overall, we saw more than 3,500 participants across the 25 clubs, which is a fantastic achievement. Player retention rates are also excellent, with 57% attending more than ten sessions. We also know from what the players are telling us, that taking part is so beneficial to their quality of life – their physical and mental well-being, social connection and learning new life skills. We hope that year 2 will deliver an even greater level of impact.