I have worked at Pompey for over 17 years and am immensely proud of what we have been able to achieve in that time; initially running the Pompey Study Centre and, over time, incorporating the Study Centre into Pompey in the Community (PiTC). Pompey in the Community became a charity in its own right in June 2009 and we now run coaching, education, inclusion and health programmes that all use the PCFC brand to engage and motivate participants. I now head up Pompey in the Community. Each week, during term time, we work with over 6,000 youngsters in the Portsmouth area and worked with over 37,000 individuals last year.
Pompey in the Community was for many years, the community department of the club. In order to secure external funding and protect ourselves from the potential impact of administration we became an independent charity. However, we still function as an integral part of PCFC, run the match day mascots, development and elite coaching centres that feed directly into the Pompey Academy as well as numerous other projects that promote the club within the local community.
I know I am incredibly lucky working for Pompey and having a job that can impact so positively on both individuals and community groups. As you can imagine, it’s not been an easy role over the past few years but as an organisation, Pompey in the Community has not only survived but is now thriving and growing. We have a fantastic staff team, a reputation of quality and excellence and are planning to expand our facilities to include new teaching areas and a cooking classroom.
Pompey in the Community currently work with the Pompey Supporter’s Trust but many of our projects and activities run in parallel with the Trust rather than in an embedded partnership with a common aim; we have no joint strategic plans just both organisations wanting to make a difference for the fans and the local community.
I feel very much that “together we are stronger” and if I am elected to the Board of the Trust I hope that working together will enable more joint work with the local community and that we’ll be able to work towards a more family and young person friendly experience on a match day to ensure youngsters continue to love, follow and belong to their local club. I am very much of the opinion that as long as its’ “Pompey” then whether its PiTC, PST, PCFC or Pompey Ladies and it impacts positively then great – it’s just that all four should be more closely aligned in our community ambitions.
The Trust has achieved some incredible things over the past few years but I feel that it is now the time to deliver back to the community that invested into its’ club. Now the club has been sold, there are beginning to be murmurings amongst fans asking “What is the Trust actually doing now? What difference is the PST actually making now? How can I get involved?”
We can work together to ensure that we continue to put the “community” into Portsmouth Community Football Club.
I also sit on the club's Heritage and Advisory Board.
Clare csn be contacted at [email protected]