Friday 16 March 2012

Beardsley joins Foundation celebration

Magpies legend joins the fun as Newcastle Foundation marks successful year

Peter Beardsley joined the youngsters for the Newcastle United Foundation celebration

Youngsters served up a treat for stars including Magpies' legend Peter Beardsley as the Newcastle United Foundation celebrated another successful year.

Pupils from local schools and colleges provided the catering, invites and – in the case of one enterprising teenager – the photography at the Premier League sponsored event at Newcastle United's Sports Direct Arena.

And the 200 guests enjoying afternoon tea also got to hear from Beardsley as well as former Olympic, Commonwealth, European and World Champion triple jumper Jonathan Edwards and new Foundation Patron Bob Moncur.

"We are proud of what we have achieved so far but there is still a way to go"
- Foundation head Kate Bradley

The Foundation aims to nurture young local talent through its Enterprise Academy.

In keeping with those principles, the catering was provided by pupils of Walker Technology College, invites were designed by St Mary's School enterprise and photography was provided by 14-year-old Samuel Hood - who runs his own photography company.

Claire Goodwill, Advanced Skills Teacher at Walker Technology College said providing the catering had developed the children's confidence, their ability to work as part of a team and taught them how to work to deadlines.

Since 2008, the Foundation has raised £3.3million to re-invest in the local community and fundraising remains a top priority.

Head of the Foundation Kate Bradley said: "We are proud of what we have achieved so far but there is still a way to go before we begin to realise our full potential.

"We hope we can continue to count on the support of our funders and partners to help us change lives for local families through football."

Achievements

The Foundation was celebrating working with 26,000 people last year, an increase of 32% on the previous year's participation figures.

Other achievements during the year included:

  • Coaching 16,000 people on a range of football and multi sports programmes.
  • Exceeding the national average male participation rate on Family Football courses; 52% of learners were male, compared to a national average of 12%
  • Launching Toon Team Days for secondary school pupils with 1,000 students taking part in educational activity days at Newcastle United.
  • Helping 481 young people gain nationally recognised qualifications in business and enterprise.
  • Achieving a retention rate on the men's health programme Premier League Health of 97%.
  • Delivering the Matchfit Programme to 3,350 pupils aged five to eleven across Newcastle and Northumberland. 77% of children showed improved levels of fitness at the end of the six-week course.
  • Launching a disability football programme and creating a project to use football to educate young people with a disability about road safety.
  • Working with 196 primary, secondary and special schools in the region.
  • Keeping its Learning Centre open and expanding the Enterprise Academy despite Government funding cuts.

Next season, the Foundation has set a challenging target of increasing the levels of participation on our existing programmes from 26,000 to 35,000.

The Foundation will use its Learning Centre so it becomes a hub for enterprise, education and learning for local school children and it will explore the possibility of developing a sports facility to enhance its football and multi sports programmes.

With youth unemployment at a record high and young people knocking on the door of the football club every day for work experience, placements and internships, the charity will pilot a new project to help unemployed young people gain the skills, confidence and experience to get into work.

And as Newcastle celebrates its 130-year anniversary in 2011/12, there are plans to launch an exciting heritage education project, bringing the history of the football club to life.

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Key Points

  • Newcastle United Foundation celebrates successful year
  • Programme is sponsored by the Premier League
  • Helps youngsters and adults with a range of schemes in the region