Our Club, Our Community
Our Club, Our Community
Glentoran Football Club initially established the ‘Our Club - Our Community’ Programme in 2006 with the aim to make a positive cultural, social and educational contribution through all facets of football.
Now in 2017, we have embarked on the next phase of our journey to broaden our ambitions and to build on the highly acclaimed and successful initiatives delivered in recent years. A major addition to enable us to deliver these ambitions is the creation of the Glentoran Social Partnership as a registered Charity and through which we will seek to focus on this aspect of Our Club. Working in partnership with our local community our ambitions are to deliver a wide range of initiatives to help address issues such as intercommunity prejudice, social inclusion, education and training as well as health and crime prevention.
It also works towards enhancing Glentoran’s relationships with its local community and help create an inclusive and family orientated atmosphere at Glentoran that promotes good relations in East Belfast and the community at large.
We have an integrated set of Club Policies which take account of the interdependencies of the various strands of Our Club Our Community e.g. Community Engagement, Communications and Volunteering
Glentoran Football Club Community Engagement Policy (extract)
The Overall Purpose of the Glentoran Community Engagement Strategy is to build or rebuild a vibrant community at different levels with the objectives of:
- Building a strong and vibrant community proactively engaged with and supporting the club personally and practically through active support, finance and volunteering.
- Engaging with the local community to pursue mutually beneficial activities in the areas of health & wellbeing, education & employability, sport and leisure as well as arts and social enterprise activities.
- Creating a ‘virtual Glentoran community’ through social media initially with Glentoran supporters and stakeholders but with a longer term view of building a wider fan base.
Glentoran Football Club Volunteer Policy (extract)
Glentoran like so many semi-professional clubs rely on the goodwill of supporters and their families to provide many of the essential services in the areas of administration, stewarding, merchandising and entertainment that enable the club to create a safe and welcoming environment for all fans.
A major force to keep the club going, has been the involvement of people from the community and further afield both on the playing side but perhaps more importantly from the many stalwarts who have held voluntary positions to help manage and attend to all of the tasks and duties required.
This is also reflected in our Community Engagement Strategy Policy which has been fully endorsed by the Chairman and Board as we seek to use our position of influence to engender harmonious community relations and to encourage the involvement of the community in activities beyond football such as health and social wellbeing, people in poverty, youth development and unemployment as well as associated historical aspects.
- Glentoran Football Club values the involvement of volunteers in our work because they help reflect the interests, needs and resources of the community we aim to serve, and bring a unique perspective on all our work.
- Glentoran Football Club benefits from the skills, experience and enthusiasm of volunteers and we believe that volunteers should also gain personal benefits from the experience too.
- Glentoran Football Club strives to create a diverse and inclusive organisation within a diverse and inclusive community. Therefore, we are committed to ensuring equality of access to high quality volunteer opportunities and equality of treatment for our volunteers in all our policies and practices
Glentoran Football Club Communications Policy (extract)
The Overall purpose of the Communications Strategy is to provide effective communications to all of our stakeholders with the objectives of
- Provide greater awareness and understanding of current activities and issues on an ongoing basis as well as build engagement in the Clubs future plans
- Ensuring each of our stakeholder groups is provided with relevant information for them to increase their involvement and contribution to the future of Glentoran
- Receiving feedback and ideas from relevant stakeholder groups to inform future plans and policies as well as the ongoing commercial viability of the Club
- Communicating and reaching out through our community engagement strategy and building relationships with the community at large.
Our Club Our Community – Key stakeholders:
Glentoran Football Club - Glentoran Academy - Glentoran Ladies
Glentoran Football Club was formed in 1882 and has competed in senior football for its entire history.
Our Club is based in East Belfast but has a province wide reach. Our Academy draws young people from across Belfast and from every county in Northern Ireland. Our Club also has an active and successful Ladies section. As an iconic feature of Our Community, The Oval is at the core of Our Club and with proposals for a new stadium under consideration will become the hub of Our Community initiatives.
Glentoran Social Partnership
The overarching aim for the establishment of the Glentoran Social Partnership is to create a structure and build resources that will enable the greater wellbeing and social inclusion for the people and groups of our community through community engagement in recreational activities such as sport, recreation, community interests and leisure time. A full description is provided click here
In addition to these organisations we have an affiliated organisation Glentoran Community Trust and along with many of the official Glentoran Supporters Clubs are actively involved in community initiatives and charitable activities.
Our Club Our Community: Volunteer Involvement 2016 – 2017 Review
Formally formed in 2008 in order to formalise the grass roots activities ongoing since 2002 when the previous Glentoran Community Initiative catered for the underage team. Our Academy was established to give something back to the community that has supported the club for over 130 years.
The Glentoran Academy caters for children from 3-19 years of age
Review for season 2016/17
450 members and rising – more children than many primary schools, including
50 girls at different age groups
40 young people with disability
20 Polish team run by qualified Academy coaches
340 young boys and teenagers
The ambition is to grow to 700 participants with a programme of Education, Life Skills Employability, Citizenship plus Health & Wellbeing
10 Volunteers involved with Academy Management Committee
85+ Academy coaching staff.
Total Volunteer hours of Calendar year 2016 approx. 58,000 averaging around 11 hours per week per volunteer. 2 Head Coaches give 15/20 hours per week
All coaches qualified through accredited coaching programmes
10 coaches work in local primary schools
Significant cross community and cross cultural impact
Senior section Under 12-Under 17 won 12 trophies
Junior section won c 30 trophies
Senior section won 5 major trophies e.g. NIBFA cups and league
Number of Internationals including girls and 3 who train with the NI Cerebral Palsy squad is 61
Players have had trials with 8 Premier league teams in England, Glasgow teams Rangers and Celtic, and 6 teams in lower leagues in England
10 different venues for training sessions across 4 council areas
Conversations ongoing re how we can integrate Syrian refugees into the club using a similar strategy to that of the Poles.
Child Welfare Officer role carried out by volunteer
Academy have educated 45 coaches through grassroots coaching courses and above (to UEFA level).
70 coaches through safeguarding training
40 coaches through mental health awareness and anti-bullying training
To fulfil the above many days are taken as annual leave from work
We have approximately 200 family members actively involved in volunteering through providing practical support to the teams on match days, training sessions and fund raisers.
The Academy also provide education programmes aimed at young players
Approx. 100 children received anti-racism and anti-sectarianism training
Plans to roll out a drug/alcohol training course and coaches to provide nutritional and health and fitness guidance to the Academy players and also parents through documents which Senior Academy staff have produced and distributed to coaches.
15 Volunteers looking after 50 in the Ladies section noting that in total there are close to 100 female players overall in the club structure
Recently Glentoran Ladies celebrated winning the Co Antrim FA Womens Cup, defeating East Belfast Ladies in the final at Seaview.
Glentoran Football Club
Through difficult times in 2011 the club faced difficult financial times however during this time drastic action was required leading to the fact that volunteers keeping the club alive.
The current numbers are set out below.
The following roles are undertaken by volunteers club wide;
10 Board Members
A Club Secretary & Company Secretary
Safety Officer supported by 20 volunteer stewards
8 staff who work in “The Milk Bar”, selling coffee, tea, soft drinks, food on match days. Also take time during the week to carry out stock taking
4 staff who work in Club Shop selling replica kits and other club merchandise. Match days and Thursday evening
8 staff who produce the match day programme – winner of Programme of the Year in Irish League for over 17 years consecutively
3 staff who support the Finance Director
10 who volunteer on a weekly basis to work on facilities and maintenance
5 volunteers who work on website and social media
Glentoran Associated Volunteers
GCT Carry out community initiatives – 10+ Volunteers
Supporters Club Management Committees 15 clubs x on average, 6 who meet on a regular basis and who support the club by their efforts
Additional roles carried out by volunteers also includes everything else from picking up litter after matches to helping with arrangements for Presidential Visits (President Higgins goodwill visit 2016) and initiatives with the likes of Princes Trust
Total number of volunteers across whole club is c190 on average
GLENTORAN SOCIAL PARTNERSHIP
The ‘Objects’ of the Glentoran Social Partnership
The overarching aim for the establishment of the Glentoran Social Partnership is to create a structure and build resources that will enable the greater wellbeing and social inclusion for the people and groups of South & East Belfast through community engagement in recreational activities such as sport, recreation community interest and leisure time. In establishing the GLENTORAN SOCIAL PARTNERSHIP it is envisaged that each of the Objects and Purposes will integrate and support each other as a progression or as a pathway to achieve healthier lifestyles and social wellbeing in the South & East Belfast Area.
Further information is provided on an object by object basis
(A) To promote community participation in healthy recreation, particularly in South & East Belfast, without reference to sex, sexual orientation, race ethnicity, creed or social background, by providing and assisting in the provision of facilities for the playing of football and other sports capable of improving health
Under the object and purpose set out above, The Glentoran Social Partnership will set in place a Community Engagement Strategy which will be used to guide all activities such as
- The communication with and promotion of health improvement through participation in sports, especially football but not restricted to in the South & East Belfast Area through various channels e.g. face to face, print and noon print media, social media and advertising associated with the general and specific activity
- The provision of facilities both indoor and outdoor which are suitable for the participation in a range of sporting activities.
- The provision of awareness and education associated with and in the pursuit of healthy living and healthy lifestyles
- The provision of all levels of participation from entry level, playing for fun, playing for fitness through to participation in competitions.
Those who will benefit from these activities will primarily be associated with the involvement and playing of football across a range of age groups such as the Glentoran Youth Academy, The Glentoran Ladies Football Section and The Glentoran Legends for example. These groupings will be used to provide the platforms to expand sports activities which involve young people and adults alike in ‘playing for fun and health’.
Going forward GSP will create opportunities for our community to engage and participate in a range of sports related activities that will lead to greater fitness, healthier lifestyles and community wellbeing.
The GSP (Charity) will be structured in a way which supports the above purpose as a ‘hub’ which will coordinate all of these activities.
Evidence will be demonstrated through the range of activities provided and the level of participation by age, gender and interest
(B) To advance the physical education of young people by coaching in and providing facilities for the game of football and other sports and recreational activities so as to develop their physical, mental and spiritual capabilities to enable them to grow to full maturity as individuals and members of society
The Glentoran Social Partnership will actively pursue football and sports related activities that will initially utilise existing resources of Glentoran Football Club (GFC) both in the infrastructure (physical) and in our staff (qualified coaching team) to develop sports related programmes which will enhance
- Physical Fitness through participation in and progress through active involvement supported by well trained and knowledgeable coaching staff
- Mental Wellbeing through improved lifestyles and associated development activities in terms of personal awareness, personal effectiveness, personal health, team working, problem solving, communication skills, leadership and citizenship. Such programmes will run alongside the physical activities
- Spiritual awareness through both of the above along with the development of values such as commitment, integrity, accountability and community spirit. In addition to the Physical Fitness & Mental Wellbeing aspects there will be an extension of the GFC programme of community involvement, reaching out and helping others
GSP will seek to provide public benefit for the people from South & East Belfast in activities, education and training which contribute to
- Intercommunity Prejudice and Social Inclusion
- Community Coaching and Sports Development
- Education and Training
- Health and Well-Being
- Disability and Mental Health
- Drugs and Alcohol
- Crime Prevention
The benefits will be provided by the numbers of people participating in such programmes and from qualitative and quantitative feedback.
(C) To provide and assist in providing facilities for sport, recreation or other leisure time occupation of such persons who have need for such facilities by reason of their youth or social or economic circumstances or for the public at large in the interests of social welfare and with the object of improving their conditions of life.
The GSP will seek to provide through the current infrastructure or acquire the use of appropriate facilities for the pursuit of sporting, recreation and leisure time occupation such as
- Sports and fitness activities that are outdoor in nature
- Sports and fitness activities that are indoor or are a blend of outdoor and indoor activities
- Facilities for use in the pursuit of recreational activities
- Facilities for use is the pursuit of leisure time activities and interests
In terms of Public Benefit, all of the above will be provided to all age groups and interest groups associated with their social welfare and improving their conditions of life, especially those who are in need of such facilities. Benefit will be demonstrated through levels of participation and range of activities provided
(D) To advance community development by promoting co-operation and joint activities between community, voluntary and statutory organisations
The GSP in association with GFC have a commitment to the development of the community in South & East Belfast and will seek to pursue this through collaboration and partnership work with community groups, youth groups, schools, voluntary organisations, charities and relevant statutory agencies.(see *1).
Collaboration will be based on the ability of all parties to generate mutual benefit both for the organisations involved but primarily the ‘participants’ involved in pursuit of the aims of physical fitness, mental wellbeing and spiritual awareness. Through these partnership GSP will be able to provide greater range of relevant activities (Object b. above) and increase access to people and groups in the South & East Belfast Community to become involved.
Evidence will be demonstrated through individual activity reports and a Yearly Report of Activities.
(E) To promote equality, diversity and religious and racial harmony
Glentoran FC and The Glentoran Social Partnership have a commitment to promote equality and diversity across all of their activities in sport, recreation, arts and leisure time pursuits.
- The GSP will build on the existing platforms that exist across the Glentoran Academy which include boys, girls and disabled football teams, Glentoran Ladies Football Section and the senior teams.
- In addition GSP will build on existing relationships as well as expanding their activities in cross community activities and programmes at a number of different levels e.g. The Princes Trust Youth Employment Scheme (Cross community cross gender) Cross Community Football interest Groups i.e. Belfast Celtic Historical Society and cross community activities such as quiz evenings and joint interests.
- Through the establishment of GSP there is a greater opportunity to reach out to a growing ethnic population in South & East Belfast both for specific community interest activities leading to greater cross community (ethnic) relationships. Through the Fighting Food Poverty Activity (The Larder) GFC already have reached out to a diverse group of communities and will seek to build on this.
- The GSP will provide the structure that will enable greater reaching out to the increasing diverse nature of the South & East Belfast Communities and inclusion in cross community activity. All of the coaching, education and training programmes offered through GSP will include a ‘good relations’ element
(F) To promote other charitable purposes as may from time to time be determined.
The Glentoran Social Partnership will seek to promote charitable activities both as a single venture and in partnership with others. In particular the GSP will work with GFC to promote the nominated ‘Charity of the Year’.
The Glentoran 2017 Charity of the Year is
In all of the above there is no aspect of the GSP that will provide any private benefit other than incidental through the provision of professional or accredited services in pursuit of the aims of each activity and each area of interest. In addition there will be a requirement for appropriate and identified individuals to achieve relevant accredited qualifications in order to carry out their duties.