Ahead of the FA’s Play Safe Weekend, in partnership with the NSPCC, Grimsby Town Football Club wanted to highlight the on-going relationship between the Club and the NSPCC.
Since June 2021, the two organisations, supported by Grimsby Town Sports and Education Trust and the Mariners Trust, have worked together on several initiatives which benefit both Mariners supporters and the wider community.
Under the guise of ‘Together for Childhood’ (TfC), the NSPCC’s 10-year community partnership project in Grimsby to support children and families, they have helped the Club distribute complimentary tickets to people in the town to every home fixture since August 2021 as part of the fan-led ‘We Are Fan’mly’ initiative. So far this has seen over 750 people attend games at Blundell Park who might not otherwise have been able to come.
After our fantastic supporters, fans of other clubs and Vanarama raised over £45,000 in response to the price of tickets for the Promotion Final at the London Stadium in June 2022, the NSPCC’s TfC helped to identify the families who would benefit most from the funds raised and provide them with 360 tickets to the game.
The Club also worked with the NSPCC’s TfC on the ‘Warm Space’ project which saw young children get access to the facilities at Blundell Park and free food every week during Autumn and Winter last year.
In addition to these projects, the NSPCC has also provided up-to-date safeguarding research and resources and the Club has often been used as the venue for many other community-focused initiatives.
The relationship between the two organisations was symbolised back in April when the NSPCC’s CEO Peter Wanless was a guest of the Club at our game against Crewe Alexandra; the same game which saw hundreds of children from the East Marsh attend the game free of charge and perform their new anthem.
Speaking of the partnership, Debbie Cook said, “The NSPCC’s ‘Together for Childhood’ project is doing great work in North East Lincolnshire and we are delighted that they have been able to help us engage with people within our community and offer them tickets to home games.
“Over the last couple of years, the Mariners Trust and Grimsby Town Sports & Education Trust have worked closely with the NSPCC on several projects, and we are delighted that the relationship between the two organisations continues to strengthen.
“As a football club we are looking forward to working even more with the NSPCC to deliver community-focused activities over the coming months. Watch this space!”
Lisa Smith, NSPCC Strategic Service manager, continued: “As a proud Grimbarian and Grimsby Town Football Club fan, this represents a proud moment for me personally as we pause to celebrate the relationship between the Club and the NSPCC.
“Grimsby Town FC is a long-standing pillar of the community in this part of the world. We’re taking great strides together and we will continue to build on our already very strong relationship.
“We are thrilled that the Club is embracing our ‘Together for Childhood’ campaign as it heads into its 5th year in the town and that it takes the development of its safeguarding pledge seriously. This tells us that Grimsby Town FC wants to provide a modern, safe and welcoming environment for all.
“Without the help of sporting institutions like Grimsby Town FC, which regularly supports our awareness campaigns and fundraising efforts, we wouldn’t be able to keep children safe as effectively as we do. The NSPCC is looking forward to many happy and progressive years together with Grimsby Town Football Club.”
Building on this work, we have once again teamed up with the NSPCC’s TfC to help us develop a new Club-wide safeguarding pledge as part of the ‘Play Safe’ campaign. We are committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all individuals involved in our football programs and we recognise the importance of safeguarding the wellbeing of our players, coaches, staff, supporters, and volunteers. As a member of our football community, we pledge to:
Prioritise Safety – We will prioritise the safety and wellbeing of all players, staff and supporters in our club, academy, and the wider football family.
Promote Inclusivity – We will foster an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere where everyone, regardless of their background, abilities, or gender, feels valued and respected.
Working Together – Continue to build on our strong connections with partner agencies to enhance the safeguarding and inclusivity offer within the club and wider community.
Across this weekend, the managers and captains of our First Team, Women’s Team and Youth Team will all wear special armbands and pin badges promoting the Play Safe campaign message.
On Tuesday night, at our home game against Barrow, representatives from NSPCC will also be at Blundell Park to promote their follow up campaign, ‘Keeping Your Child Safe in Sport Week’ which urges parents to recognise negative behaviour at sporting events can impact children and their enjoyment of sports and activities.
The football club holds an important role within our community, and we are proud of the partnership we have already formed with the NSPCC and excited by its future.