Kingstonian Football Club are now working together with Kingston Carers’ Network (KCN) as “Community Partners”. Kingstonian are a local community based non-league club who play in the Bostik Premier League. Kingston Carers’ Network provide information and advice and a wide range of support to carers and young carers and are affiliated to the Carers Trust. The football club and “Carers Centre” are working together to raise awareness of the needs of carers and young carers in and around the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.
To help improve carer awareness in the community Kingstonian FC now offer:
- All young carers "Kids for Free" under 18 season tickets.
- An annual Young Carers Day at a home match. The first was held at a match on 18 March 2017 against Billericay Town as our first joint event. 11 Young Carers from KCN were match mascots. The club normally charges a fee to be a mascot but this was offered free as part of the partnership. The match was also attended by the Borough’s Mayor and dozens of Kingstonian youth team and women’s team members. There was also a bucket collection at the match to raise money for young carers work. The event was very successful and resulted in Kingstonian’s highest attendance of the season up to that point and also helped boost subsequent gates. Another young carers day is planned for the 2017/18 season and will be on 21 October 2017 vs Wingate and Finchley.
- Concessionary entrance has been offered for adult carers (So parents who are carers and other adult carers can come too).
- The Kingstonian website now has a link to the Kingston Carers’ Network as their Community Partners.
- The young carers service will be highlighted to youth team members (there are currently 12 teams ranging from under 11s to under 18s) as the club wish to make sure that any youth team members who are young carers are aware of the support that is available.
- Further carers and young carers’ events are to be held at future matches.
The club is continuing to highlight to its supporters that if “you are a carer or young carer or other family members are carers please do contact Kingston Carers’ Network and their Young Carers Project”.
KCN have been promoting the partnership to carers via their website, newsletters and Twitter account and advertised the young carers’ day. A special membership card has been created for adult carers who wish to claim concessionary admission (shown below).
Replicating this approach
We think this approach of linking Carers Centres to their local team is very straight forward and a great way of reaching into local communities, raising awareness of carers needs and providing a fun day out for young carers. It also provides clubs with some good publicity.
Other “Carers Centres” may wish to follow and build on this initiative by approaching their local club and Kingstonian raised the idea with the Surrey FA to help disseminate the approach. Football is hugely popular in England and the bigger the club “carers centres” are able to attract, the greater the potential impact.
For more details contact:
Kingston Carers Network by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 020 3031 2757
or Kingstonian FC: see website http://www.kingstonian.com/