MOTHERWELL are top of the league when it comes to community involvement - after they became the first current SPL club to hold the SFA Quality Mark Award.
The scheme, run in partnership with McDonald’s and sportscotland, recognises proactive clubs and schools working to increase youth and community participation.
’Well general manager Charlie Bennett said: “I think we have a commitment to quality at Fir Park to ensure that young children coming along to the coaching programmes have a great time within a safe and healthy environment.
“We try to develop the young people as football players and at the same time build their confidence, self esteem and friendships, and the quality mark is all about providing that opportunity.
“We also have a wide range of community programmes that never involve kicking a ball, such as numeracy with primary children, employability - including a weekly work club - and health and wellbeing for anyone over the age of five.
“We are working with dementia groups, including the football reminiscences programme and the dementia cafe on the first Friday of every month, both in partnership with NHS Lanarkshire.
“The Motherwell Football Club Community Trust became a registered charity in 2011, allowing us to seek out funding that would not have been available previously to boost the number of courses on offer to young people and adults.”
Charlie said charitable status is ‘a big thing’ for ’Well, adding: “We are currently running a programme funded by Comic Relief to help families through the language of football.
“We would never have achieved that funding if we hadn’t become a charity so it has opened up a lot of partnership opportunities.
“I think the next step is to do more of what we are doing - creating more community benefits, setting up more partnerships and getting more people active too.
“Just 40 per cent of participants are Motherwell supporters, so while we are completely inclusive and it doesn’t matter who you follow, by working with people from a young age, hopefully, we can help them feel part of the club and in turn aid the building of the fan base.”