With lots of people reporting back to work today we asked the Oxford United in the Community team to bring us up to date with what they have been doing.
"Happy New Year to everyone on behalf of the team at Oxford United in the Community.
It has been another action-packed year at the club’s charity with our team delivering fantastic football programmes and wider charitable works in our communities.
Oxford United in the Community uses the power of football, combined with engagement and education to help youngsters to reach their potential and improve their health and wellbeing.
Our community-based football courses have gone from strength to strength this year, with the number of participants growing. Our courses encourage youngsters to lead healthier lifestyles, work together and learn life skills including problem solving and interpersonal communication.
One popular course has been delivered in partnership with Premier League Primary Stars. Our community coaches have helped inspire local children through the specialist football course. They combine football sessions with therapeutic intervention to help build participants’ self-confidence. The course also provides support in key subjects including English and Maths.
This year we launched Soccer Tots, a brand-new Saturday morning club for children aged 18 months to five-years-old at the Oxford Academy, Sandy Lane West, Oxford. The three-month trial proved popular and we are planning to launch Soccer Tots again in 2019.
It is a fun, child-centred introduction to structured activity for toddlers and young children. The sessions help children develop and improve their basic movement patterns, balance and motor coordination. The course also includes activities to support literacy and numeracy in a fun environment.
In partnership with Sport and Thought we have also delivered a fantastic social enterprise at Rose Hill Primary School on a weekly basis. Sport and Thought is a landmark football-based mental health intervention delivered by Daniel Smyth that is delivering some encouraging results. It combines football-based intervention with a psychodynamic therapeutic structure to help children in one of the most deprived communities in England.
The Manor Club has also seen a growth in attendees in its second year. It meets on the first Wednesday of every month at the Cowley Workers Social Club. The Manor Club was formed by Oxford United in the Community in partnership with Oxford Brookes to provide an outlet for older residents in the Eastern Arch of the city and United fans to meet and socialise. Club legends from Ron Atkinson to James Constable have been special guests this year.
Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of Oxford United launching its first community programme, and ten years as a charity. It is a fantastic achievement and one everyone at Oxford United in the Community is proud of.
We are planning a series of events and projects to celebrate our landmark anniversary across 2019. We would like to build on the platform that has been built over three decades and make our work in the communities we all share even better!
To help us achieve our aims we will be launching a special fundraising campaign in the new year to help us develop. Additionally, we will be delivering some events for fans, staff and community partners to share together to celebrate our anniversary.
By working together we can be stronger and continue to support our communities for another 30 years.
Happy New Year!