Sunday 22 Dec
Updated Monday 23 Dec 06:18

Foundation delivers Community Hub Schools

Carlton Cole with schoolchildren at Brentwood

Over 2019 the West Ham United Foundation has worked with nine local schools to deliver the Community Hub School model.

The model sees a member of Foundation staff permanently based at each school to become an integral part of its environment. This includes mentoring and supporting them whether it's in the classroom or across a number of sports activities. 

Most recently Brentwood County High School hosted an inter-generational Christmas party with pupils joined by the Any Old Irons. Pupils who have benefitted from the Community Hub School model attended, sat alongside members of the group. 

Any Old Irons is a programme tackling social isolation and loneliness with supporters of West Ham United aged over 60. Any Old Irons uses football as a hook to engage, to provide them with a new network of people to keep in touch. The programme is designed to encourage social participation, activity and digital inclusion set against the backdrop of their beloved football club.

The event included bingo, music and dance performances by the school students and even a Christmas sing-along. All attendees were served a delicious Christmas dinner and enjoyed pulling crackers.

Across the room children were engaging with the generation of their grandparents in an easy-going and relaxed manner. Also joining the party was West Ham United legend, Carlton Cole. 

Carlton Cole spoke about his time with the group, saying: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the any Old Irons and Brentwood County High School. There were activities going throughout the day which highlighted the inter-generational mix between Any Old Irons and the school children."

Speaking about the event and the programme, a parent of a Year 6 pupil at the school also said: “We had no idea that being part of the Foundation was going to be so rewarding for the students involved. My son thoroughly enjoyed the party and meeting Carlton Cole. Thank you to everyone involved in making the day happen.”