South Shields FC Foundation steps in to secure future of Harton and Westoe Miners Welfare
A new collaboration between two charities is set to secure the future of a once thriving South Shields facility.
South Shields FC Foundation has announced its partnership with the Harton and Westoe Miners Welfare, in order to help stabilise the financial position of the Welfare and improve the community impact of both organisations.
South Shields FC chairman Geoff Thompson, club managing director Keith Finnigan and the Head of SSFC Foundation, Steve Camm, will join the board of trustees of the Miners Welfare to work alongside the group of existing volunteers.
The Foundation will offer support to the day-to-day operational management of the site, as well as focusing on securing its future financially.
“We approached the football club a number of months ago to explore the possibility of working together to secure the future of the facility,” said John Watson, Chair of Trustees at Harton and Westoe Miners Welfare.
"We looked at a number of options and an agreement has now been reached, with the blessing of the Charity Commission, for the Miners Welfare and South Shields FC Foundation to work together to secure the future of the Welfare."
To increase usage of the site on Low Lane, South Shields FC first-team and academy are now hiring the ground for training purposes alongside the Foundation's junior football teams and community programmes.
The Welfare is also the home of a number of sports clubs and community groups and the two charities are seeking investment to refurbish the facilities.
Steve Camm, Head of SSFC Foundation, commented: "Harton Welfare is a brilliant facility that at one time was a thriving hub of community activity and participation.
"Our shared vision is to stabilise the financial position and restore the site to a multi-sport centre of excellence with wider participation by people of all ages in activities that support their health and well-being.
"That might be sport and fitness, learning a new skill, volunteering, social interaction or taking an interest in what's going on in the community.
"I am very optimistic about the future and believe that together the Miners Welfare and the Foundation have the potential to deliver the vision.”