It was a buzz of activity at Brackley town FC on Tuesday 24th October 2017. Outside the clubhouse, Kevin Wilkin, First Team Manager, heading up the fun and well organised half term soccer schools open to both boys and girls aged between 4-11 years old. At the same time the seniors of Brackley and surrounding villages enjoyed their Tuesday morning weekly session of Walking Football for the over 50s lead by Mark Craddock.
Inside the clubhouse there was a clothes show on the go. £310 was raised of which all proceeds were raised for Livability, the disability charity in Brackley that connects people with their communities.
And then Kim Grantham, The project leader of the Saints Community Project for the Elderly walked into a surprise party provided by Pork Farms Pork Pies as a prize for not only being a finalist but winning the Local Community Hero award. Kim was nominated for the award by Carmen Rose daughter of Betty. Betty has been a regular participant of the Community Project delivered at Brackley Town FC by Kim since September 2015. This project runs every Wednesday offering a free coffee morning from 10am with an opportunity to buy a home cooked 2 course lunch for £4. The project sees a continuous growth attracting 50 people each week. The project was set up to build and rekindle friendships for the elderly within the local community of Brackley and reach out to those with a disibility. The project has grown from strength to strength having a big impact of combatting the feeling of isolation with in the community. On a regular 8/10 week basis Kim also organises themed days for the participants to enjoy at the clubhouse. Over the years the clubhouse has been turned in to racing grounds for dog, horse racing and ascot days, seaside, west end musical theatre, pantomime arena, back to the war time and not forgetting a good old knees up at Christmas. Participants have had wonderful times with lots of memories.
At the party, Janene Butters, Managing Director, BTFC,applauded Kim, congratulating on her prize winning " Kim has received this wonderful award, of which there were 100s of nominees and over 20,000 votes. This project grows from strength to strength and this is down to the hard work that Kim puts into the project. She spends endless hours coming up with ideas and creating the scene for these days. She gathers many volunteers and helpers to make these everlasting memories for the elderly within our community. This project has brought many people working together and building strong relationships with local business', funding partners and our local services. On behalf of Brackley Town FC, I would like to personally thank our local superstore, Tescos, for the ever continuous support helping on the days and supplying various produce, our local police for the support they show every week keeping our participants up to date with local community news and helping them keep safe, along with our funding partners, SNVB, in particular their School of Life project which has allowed our project to integrate some of our younger members of the community to integrate with our seniors. Last month our infants from Waynflete School came and sang for us at our Proms themed day, it was delightful. On a regular basis we see our local Town Mayor, Don Thompson and previously Fiona Baker who comes and chats with our community, not forgetting Caryl Billingham MBE who personally supports the project. The project does heavily rely on funding. The main funding partner for this project is the National League Trust of which a heart felt thank you goes out to them. Since 2015 they have donated a huge contribution of £15,000. The project won the Most Innovative Project 2016 and was awarded prize money of £5000 of which again came from the National League Trust. Other partners contributing to the project have been the Brackley Town Council, School of Life and South Northants council. Without this funding and Kim, the project would be the success it is today" Janene finished with commending Kim as our unsung Local Community Hero.
Guests at the party Francis Oliver, Chairman BTFC, Mick Hawes, Stadium Director BTFC, Kevin Wlkin, First Team Manager, Don Thompson, Town Mayor, Caryl Billingham MBE, Debbie Dale on behalf of Tescos, all of Kim's friends, volunteers and participants that support the project
Photo supplied by Brackley Photographic : Kim Grantham, Kevin Wilkin and Janene Butters