Healthy goals: New partnership between South Shields FC and Port of Tyne aims to improve health and well-being in South Tyneside

The boat has come in for South Shields Football Club’s community programme.

By Tom Patterson
Saturday, 04 May, 2019, 09:44
Port of Tyne head of operations Graeme Hardie (left0 with South Shields FC player and Foundation coach Blair Adams and SSFC Foundation Head Steve Camm and children at the club's Let's Play Thursday session.

The South Shields FC Foundation and Port of Tyne have announced a new partnership that aims to be a major boost to health and well-being in South Tyneside.

The port is to become the Foundation’s main activity partner - providing financial support for the creation of an activity programme that plans benefit local people of all ages.

Youngster Hayden Lowdon is on the ball.

The partnership is the latest development for the Foundation as it seeks to extend its role as part of the football club’s ambition to reach the Football League as a sustainable community club by 2023.

It comes on the back of its successful schools match day experience for Year 5 and Year 6 children - dubbed the class of ‘23 - who will hopefully be supporting the club in the Football League - and a PHSE programme in schools.

This initiative with the Port of Tyne seeks to extend the club’s impact in terms of the contribution it makes beyond the 500 children it works with each week to include parents, grandparents, carers and supporters of all ages.

Steve Camm, Head of SSFC Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Port of Tyne, who share our vision of making a difference in the local community.

South Shields FC player and Foundation coach Blair Adams directs children at the club's Let's Play Thursday session.

“The port has been hugely supportive of what we are trying to do as a Foundation and their support will help us to grow.

“When we talk about health and well-being we don’t just mean football and physical activity.

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“There are many things that affect it too, including learning new skills or gaining a qualification, volunteering, participating in social activities, and taking an interest in what’s going on in the community.”

Graeme Hardie, head of operations at Port of Tyne, said: “We are really excited to be part of this project, which will deliver huge benefits to the local community.

Port of Tyne head of operations Graeme Hardie watches on at South Shields FC Foundation's Let's Play Thursday community programme.

“We hope that our support will enable the club to expand and improve the amazing work that the Foundation is doing in the heart of our operating area.”

The first part of the project includes a new physical activity programme at Westoe Crown Community Hub, a Futsal programme for parents and coaches at Temple Park Centre and a new development centre for young players at Harton and Westoe Miners’ Welfare.

The second part of the programme, which is being launched today, calls on parents, children, fans and employees of the Port of Tyne helping shape the remainder of the activity programme.

Steve added: “We want people to tell us about the activities they would be interested in adding to our activity programme.

“In this way we can create a programme that adds to existing activities already delivered elsewhere in community settings rather than displacing them.

If you’d like to take part please email Foundation@southshieldsfc.co.uk or watch out for posts on the club and Foundation’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.