Burnley FC in the Community has been awarded £19,200 from East Lancashire freemasons to expand its delivery of the Premier League Kicks programme in Burnley and Pendle.
Kicks is one of the Premier League’s flagship community programmes and has been delivered by Burnley FC in the Community since 2014.
A youth engagement initiative, the programme uses the power of football and the value of sports to help hard-to-reach youngsters aged 8-19 years old living in some of the most high-need areas.
The East Lancashire freemasons’ grant will see £19,200 given over two years to allow Burnley FC’s official charity to expand the reach and offer of the Kicks programme in the local area by delivering Kicks Plus.
Kicks Plus will incorporate additional sports to the programme as well as add new venues to engage young people who haven’t previously taken part in the provision.
A period of consultation with young people living in Burnley and Pendle has established that cricket, dance and boxercise sessions would be welcomed.
As a result, the new Kicks sessions will now offer these activities, with the particular hope that this will engage more female participants and young people from the BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) community.
BFCitC delivers its Kicks sessions at times when young people are most at risk of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour and crime; primarily at evenings and weekends.
Sessions are delivered, where possible, from venues situated in areas where youth crime and ASB have historically proved an issue.
As well as physical activity, Kicks also offers education and life skills workshops, and external agencies work with the young people in attendance.
The grant from East Lancashire freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Neil Hart, chief executive officer of Burnley FC in the Community said: ‘’I extend my thanks to the East Lancashire freemasons for this grant which will allow us to expand our current Kicks offer.
"The programme is extremely popular, running across 13 venues and this funding will now help is reach up to 1000 young people every week.
"This is such an important programme to our local community. It's getting young people active, giving them purpose and helping them create positive new networks. The fact it's completely free of charge also means its accessible to young people living in some of our most deprived areas."
John Farrington, the deputy provincial grand master for the East Lancashire Masonic Province said: “The Province is very pleased that through the Masonic Charitable Foundation we are able to help Burnley Football Club with their outstanding work with young people at risk of becoming involved in crime and anti-social behaviour.
"If these young people can be reached early enough their lives can be turned around. We wish the BFCitC Kicks programme well for the future.”
Further information on the Burnley FC in the Community Premier League Kicks and Kicks Plus programmes can be found at www.burnleyfccommunity.org/inclusion/premier-league-kicks/.