STATEMENT ON SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
"Football in the Community really means something
to West Ham United. They're one of the most socially aware
clubs in the country and I'm very proud of them".
Tony Banks (Minister for Sport 1997-99)
The club supported three charities during the year, all of which
received money from our Charity Shield fund:
Â· The Bobby Moore Fund for Imperial Cancer Research
Â· Richard House Trust Children's Hospice
Â· Winged Fellowship - a local charity for disabled people
We also supported The FA Premier League's NSPCC day and organised a Football Aid match on 28th April 2002 which raised £12,675 for Field of Dreams and our own nominated charity.
FOOTBALL IN THE COMMUNITY
Our Football in the Community scheme is part of the Footballers' Further Education and Vocational Training Society and nine full-time staff were employed by the scheme this season.
During the past year we have provided 6,930 sessions for 137,980 participants as detailed below through each of the respective initiatives.
Thames Gateway Youth Football Project
This is a Single Regeneration Budget funded project run in conjunction with Leyton Orient, Millwall and Charlton Athletic which covers the boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets, Havering, Barking & Dagenham, Waltham Forest, Thurrock, Dartford, Lewisham and Redbridge, tackling social exclusion, juvenile crime and truancy in some of the most deprived areas of London. Through this project we work with 8-19 year olds providing:
Â· After school clubs
Â· Coaching sessions on housing estates with particular problems of deprivation and crime
Â· Probation programme
Â· Truancy programme
Â· Coach education programme
In the last year 2,980 young people participated in 740 sessions.
North East London Probation Service (NELPS)/F.O.T.E
Our partnership with NELPS and Barking College targets young people across five London boroughs who have offended or are at risk of offending by offering coaching sessions and an accreditation scheme which enables students to become coaches and sports administrators. Issues such as truancy, unemployment, alcohol dependency and drug abuse are confronted by crime diversion strategies using football as a vehicle to progress users from "offending to employment". This year the project has concentrated on accreditation and so far 43 young people have obtained qualifications which will enable them to return to training and employment. We are also working alongside Newham youth offending team helping young students through their reparation order and into secure employment as a result. 680 sessions have been provided for 2,520 referrals.
In partnership with Railtrack, we provide a visiting officer for schools in accident hotspot areas, giving talks highlighting the dangers of living near railway lines and covering subjects such as criminal damage and trespassing.
Coaching is provided in partnership with Local Authority Summer Play Schemes at local parks, allowing young people access to football coaching in their immediate neighbourhood.
4,040 sessions have been provided for 96,720 participants throughout Hertfordshire and Essex.
Holiday Football Courses
33 week long courses were attended by 3,510 participants.
Girls' and Women's Football
Girls only sessions are provided in Tower Hamlets, Newham and Redbridge in order to introduce young females to football both as players and coaches.
Learning Through Football
This initiative targets local schools and educates children in anti-racist attitudes, integration, fitness, diet and nutrition. 120 sessions, which include football training at our stadium, were provided for 1,200 children.
STUDY SUPPORT CENTRE
This season our Centre, which is jointly funded by Newham Council, the DfEE and ourselves, moved to a purpose-built space in our new stand. Each primary school Playing for Success session was attended by 20 pupils drawn from two local schools. Each secondary school session was attended by 15 pupils from one local school. The pupils attended two two-hour sessions a week (after school) for 10 weeks, giving them 40 hours of study support. All pupils were collected from their schools and transported home after their sessions.
THE PRINCE'S TRUST VOLUNTEERS PROGRAMME
The Prince's Trust is the UK's leading youth charity, enabling 14-30 year olds to develop skills to move forward with their lives. Through a nationwide network of programmes, The Prince's Trust offers young people a range of opportunities, including training, educational support, personal development, business start up support, mentoring and advice.
The Prince's Trust helps young people who are unemployed, under-skilled, within or leaving the criminal justice system, leaving care, disabled, parenting alone, facing discrimination or lacking in confidence, support and motivation.
The club has formed a partnership with Newham College, who deliver The Prince's Trust Volunteers Programme in Stratford, Plaistow, Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham areas. The programme is a twelve-week personal development course for young people aged 16 to 25, enabling them to learn new skills, gain qualifications and develop confidence to help them through life and into work. The programme has a focus on team-building and community involvement and each programme usually has between 10 and 15 volunteers and is led by a full-time team leader.
The percentage of volunteers who went on to employment, further education or training after completing their programme in the London area was 70%.
Under the guidance of Art Project Management we have collaborated with the London Borough of Newham and the Campaign for Drawing to devise a three year education and outreach project to run in conjunction with the commission of the bronze sculpture 'Champions'. The aim is to "show how drawing can play a bigger part in everyone's lives, not for its sake but because it helps us to see". A resident artist, James Pyman, has worked in schools, community groups and the club to develop a series of small projects which address various concepts of mobility and identity, using drawing, football and community as conceptual springboards.
COMMUNITY LEARNING & EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT NETWORK PROJECT
This project was established in partnership with Newham College of Further Education and provides facilities to assist local residents to acquire skills and qualifications using ICT as a principal medium of training. A Community Learning Centre was set up in the stadium offering flexible learning to suit each individual's pace of training and time commitment. The new Dr Martens stand will provide a permanent classroom for a new Government initiative - UFI LearnDirect - which offers an online opportunity to access the main hub at Newham College where Learning Skills Council funded courses in ICT, basic skills and business can be accessed.
ASIANS IN FOOTBALL
This project is run in partnership with Sport England to encourage Asian participation in football. The scheme provides opportunities for young Asian players of all abilities to progress from grass roots to excellence through the club and 1,350 sessions have been provided for 31,050 participants. The project continues to be extremely effective and attracts positive national media coverage as a model of good practice for addressing issues of social inclusion and integration. The project also provides Coach Education opportunities for players from Asian communities in addition to tutoring courses for local teachers to gain the FA teaching qualification. The scheme has attracted a grant from the Home Office in recognition of the integration work carried out within the borough of Newham.
Schools PE Programme
At grass roots level a structured programme of coaching was provided which was consistent with National Curriculum Key Stage 2/3 requirements within existing PE lessons. The sessions were structured in such a way that beginners could learn football skills and techniques in a supportive environment.
FA Teaching Certificate Courses
Provided for local teachers, these courses were designed and delivered to increase technical awareness and to generate confidence and enthusiasm to promote football within local schools. Gaining the FA qualification encourages teachers to be involved in the overall process of progressing young Asian players.
Coaches Development Scheme
The scheme enables young Asian players to develop the appropriate skills required to progress and attend the FA coaching certificate course. Once qualified the trainees are able to function independently and provide well organised and structured coaching.
Technique Development Performance Coaching
These sessions operate in conjunction with the PE programme to enable players who demonstrated potential to develop further. Players attending such courses were referred to local amateur teams, thus enabling them to benefit from coaching and competitive matchplay. Ultimately, promising Asian players will be integrated into the Club's mainstream structures via the existing performance squads.
The Canary Wharf Group once again sponsored a tour from Bangladesh. Chittagong Abahani FC played a game against a West Ham United XI made up of players from the under-19 and under-17 teams at the Terence McMillan Stadium.
DEALING WITH RACIST BEHAVIOUR
To deal directly with racism at the Boleyn Ground we promote the Kick It Out hotline in our match day programme and work to a common strategy with the local police force to tackle racist behaviour. Our ground regulations prohibit racist behaviour and if we receive a report of such behaviour we ask plain-clothes stewards or police officers to examine the situation and provide evidence if necessary. If such behaviour is confirmed the offender is arrested and subsequently banned.
FACILITIES FOR DISABLED SUPPORTERS
Tickets for our disabled supporters are available from the ticket office. Gina Allen deals with all enquiries and also works in the disabled area on match days. Gina can be contacted on 020 8548 2725 or via email at [email protected] and full details of our facilities can be found on our website.
Tickets for fans in wheelchairs, the ambulant disabled and visually impaired are available at a cost of £15. Tickets for carers are free of charge. There are 119 wheelchair spaces and 102 seats provided for the ambulant disabled. As recommended by the Task Force, visiting supporters in wheelchairs are situated with their own fans. Supporters who wish to travel to away matches by coach can do so on our official coaches knowing that our stewards will help with access and that the vehicle will be fitted with a lowered platform. Stewards working in the areas of the ground reserved for people with disabilities are trained in disability awareness. If carers are not able to purchase refreshments, either our staff or stewards bring refreshments to the fans on request. Last season we canvassed opinion from our disabled supporters on the new development, sending out 200 questionnaires. As a result a mini-com has been installed in our new ticket office and microport headsets provided for our visually impaired supporters and commentary is provided specifically for them by an experienced commentator. The microport facility can be used anywhere in the ground.
CONSULTATION AND INFORMATION
Our bondholders meet at the club on the third Thursday of every month. Either a director or senior manager attends on a quarterly basis to discuss issues raised by the group.
We consult supporters through local forums and The Premier League annual supporter panel. The club also takes part in The Premier League fan survey each season.
We expect and require all our staff to conduct themselves in accordance with the highest ethical standards both on and off club premises. Our staff, supporters and all applicants for employment are regarded equally and are given equal opportunities irrespective of their race, colour, nationality, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability or ethnic origin.
West Ham United remains committed to meet the demands of spectator comfort and safety and the demands of team building under the umbrella of a secure financial base.
Click here to read the Chairman's Annual Statement.