QPR in the Community Trust Celebrates First Decade
Great work done by trust praised by Les Ferdinand and Andy Sinton
QPR in the Community Trust has begun a round of events to celebrate a decade since their foundation.
Club legends Les Ferdinand and Andy Sinton joined members of the QPR first team and 40-plus partner organisations at Loftus Road earlier this month to mark the special occasion.
The Trust had only eight employees and was involved in just a handful of projects when it was first launched by CEO Andy Evans. The life-long Rangers fan and his team now run 300 sessions every week, as they develop a range of sporting, educational, cultural and social opportunities to help people in the local community. The Trust says that it works with 23,000 people every year across all ages groups with the youngest participants aged three to the oldest being 90 years old.
Andy said: “I began this journey 25 years ago when we started a football in the community scheme at QPR before launching the Trust.
“We have come a long way since then and shown that we are more than just a football club. We’re a community club and we look forward to continuing our work with local residents for many more years to come.”
One of the youngsters to benefit from the Trust’s community work, Kelvin Robinson, who is now a mentoring project officer with the Trust, explained on the night how the charity changed his life. He left college at the age of 17 and found himself unemployed until he got involved with the Trust who ‘believed in him’.
“It’s been a whirlwind journey,” said the 20-year-old. “The Trust has helped me to grow not only as a mentor but also helped me to grow as a person.”
“I love going into schools and helping young people. Football is not just a sport. It’s a way of helping young people in so many ways from their level of English to building their confidence. This is the power football can have.”
Following on from Andy were two extremely moving speeches by two members of the Trust’s staff Kelvin Robinson and James Casling. They explained their life-changing experiences from first being introduced to the Trust to having the pleasure to go on and be employees.
Kelvin has recently been working with local schools such as Phoenix Academy and Latymer Upper, running workshops and sports sessions twice a week to help young people with their confidence, creativity, leadership and team-work skills.
Afterwards, James, 23, explained how the Trust saved his life. At 15, after losing his father to suicide, he was placed in secure mental health care for his own protection.
It was during that time that he discovered QPR in the Community Trust after being invited to play a game of football.
“I was having mental health issues and a simple game of football every Wednesday afternoon made me want to live,” added James.
“It saved my life. I was on a dark path. After my dad took his life, life gave me QPR. They are more than a club and a charity. They are a family who are helping people everyday deal with their problems.”
Les Ferdinand was up speaking about one of the Trust’s biggest but most rewarding challenges – dealing with the aftermath of the Grenfell Tragedy.
Ferdinand grew up on the Grenfell estate and praised the Trust’s response and attitude in dealing with such a difficult situation. He ended by stating that the #Game4Grenfell was special in the way the community came together, and how taken aback he was by the extra mile that staff members from the Trust went to ensure as much money was raised as possible.
The night finished with Club Ambassador Andy Sinton talking about how crucial a role the Trust plays in the make-up of Queens Park Rangers Football Club. He said that regardless of what is happening on the pitch the trust can, and should, always be proud of what they are doing in the local community.
On the night, the charity also announced a two-year extension to its partnership with the Prince’s Trust.
September 17, 2018