Newcastle Town reap rewards of community boost

Newcastle Town are using a vital cash injection to add a disability section to their ever-expanding community offering.

The Pitching In Northern Premier League Division One West outfit are among the latest recipients of a grant from the Trident Community Foundation, which has awarded over £430,000 to support more than 100 projects since being launched in December 2020.

The club’s youth system is going from strength to strength and chairman Gavin Appleby is looking forward to seeing their latest initiative develop.

“Getting people playing disability football is the overarching aim,” he said.

“It will be a mix of delivering sessions on our site, going into schools, putting on festivals or tournaments – just any method we can use to get disabled people into the game.

“We have tried to get one or two things off the ground in the past but the good thing about this grant is it allows us to cover the cost of participation, coaches and facility hire, so there won’t be any barriers to access.

“We have reached out to local schools for people with disabilities and we’re hoping we get quite decent numbers, so we can get some teams out to start a cycle again.”

This is the second time The Castle have benefited from a TCF grant and they used their previous funding to establish a food bank at the club during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

On the pitch, Town sit 15th after an inconsistent campaign but Appleby hopes brighter times lie ahead under manager Neil Baker, who took charge in December, while attendances are on the up.

“Neil is a very good manager so we were delighted to get hold of him,” he said.

“We started the season well, plummeted a bit and now we have kind of revived. We are mid-table, which is about what we expected.

“Crowds have increased, a lot of my counterparts across the league have said they’ve seen a decrease but our numbers have gone up.

“From about 166 to 230, something like that, so still small crowds compared to most but a decent increase.

“That is helped by our a big community programme, with boys’ teams and more girls getting involved now.

“But we haven’t had the disability offering and this funding will definitely help us achieve that.”

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