West Ham United's community department is celebrating its 25th year of service in east London and Essex. To mark the momentous milestone, the Club is delighted to announce its re-launch as the West Ham United Foundation.Ever since its inception in 1990, West Ham's community wing has sought to promote the Club's core values through its many ground-breaking outreach programmes. Its development over the past two decades has been vast and now sees the Foundation working with more local people than ever before.
West Ham United Foundation Chief Executive, Joseph Lyons, hailed the landmark anniversary and is excited by the Foundation's future.
"We are all enormously proud of what has been achieved thus far and are inspired by the change we see around us. The launch of the West Ham United Foundation is a massive moment for us and the perfect start to our 25th year.
"We are ambitious and rightly so. We strive to have an influence that is life-changing. I'm confident that the coming years will be our best yet as West Ham United make the move to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. This is an exciting time for all concerned and I look forward to a bright future."
As a newly-launched Foundation, its key aims comprise of breaking down barriers to sports participation and, in doing so, uniting the local community through the power of football. Additionally, the Foundation seeks to create life-changing opportunities for its participants, as well as facilitating the West Ham player pathway for those who excel.
The past 12 months have been exceptionally busy for the Foundation, with several key partnerships established. Among them, the Club proudly launched its new official principal charity, the West Ham United Moore Family Foundation. In honour of the late, great Bobby Moore, some 18,000 Year 6 students will receive a healthy school intervention, additional academic support and enjoy a West Ham United matchday experience.
Elsewhere, a ground-breaking Leadership Through Sport (LTS) programme is helping the Foundation to tackle social mobility in east London. Having launched the partnership earlier this year, an apprenticeship programme is now well underway, one that reaches young people who employers may otherwise struggle to find.
Looking further afield, the Foundation is in the midst of creating a brand new international model. It will initially focus on South Asia and is set to begin with a Premier League Goals programme in Kolkata in February.
The Foundation has also proudly unveiled its very own Foundation Degree in partnership with University of East London; the first cohort will start in 2015. Its creation will establish new academic pathways for young people and open doors for them as they seek to settle on a suitable career.
Looking ahead to an important year for the West Ham United Foundation, Mr Lyons concluded: "Our re-launch will enable us to extend our influence still further and offer support to many more local residents in 2015. This is a key time for us and I sincerely hope Hammers fans will continue to show us the support that we have always had and will always need."
To promote health and wellbeing through community participation in sports, tackle exclusion and poverty and advance the education of children and young people.