sports gazette

CPFC Foundation: Helping the community

Soye Briggs, staff and members of the CPFC Foundation
Published: 6 Jun 2017

Power, inspire and better. Now more than ever these words resonate around the streets of London. With so much negativity in the minds of communities in the capital it is important to keep remembering that there is still so much good fighting against the bad.

More specifically, in South London the CPFC Foundation work tirelessly to ensure that the young people of the surrounding areas have the best possible help and support network to achieve and to avoid unfavourable situations.

The CPFC Foundation help young South Londoners grow through the power of sport, inspiring them to find a better path in life, for a better life. They believe that everyone matters, irrespective of race, religion, beliefs or background. By giving extra support to the most vulnerable, they aim to help create a better community and society.

Rev Chris Roe has been the football club’s chaplain since 2005. He is integrally involved in chaplaincy in many other key areas in Croydon, including the college and the council. Via his links with the Croydon churches forum and many other connections, he has his finger very much on the pulse of community life in Croydon.

Chris has been actively promoting the Foundation’s “One Club, One Community” vision in the wider Croydon area, leading the way in establishing an organic partnership between the Club, Church and community with the ultimate aim of doing good for Croydon and surrounding areas.

He spoke to the Sports Gazette about his role within the foundation and his aims and ambitions.

He said: "My interest is in the person as a person and that gives it a different perspective.

It means doing things that benefit the community, which upbuilds people and increases their identity which draws out their gift and talents and abilities.

It means doing things that benefit the community, which upbuilds people and increases their identity which draws out their gift and talents and abilities."

Chris feels that it is important for the sporting element to work alongside the heavily-influenced religious community to see the best results.

"I have this crazy vision to see the football club and the church working in partnership to serve and bless the community."

The foundation channels their efforts on programmes where the ‘Power of Palace’ makes a difference and sets themselves apart from alternative providers.

Their difference programmes include; Primary Stars, Women and Girls, Disability, Community football / Kicks, Route to employment, Targeted interventions for young people at risk, Enterprise skills, Re-engagement in sport, Holiday courses and elite centres, Football academies and Active Eagles: adult health.

CEO at Active Communities Network Gary Stannett MBE, who has an affiliation with the area, believes he had no choice but to help get involved.

He said: “I moved to Croydon a few years back and got asked to be involved. You always have to put back where you live!”

The CPFC Foundation look to encourage active, healthy young people who they hope they can put in a position to be ready for work and ready for life. They target a safer, more inclusive community.

Soye Briggs is the Community Development Director at the foundation and has been an integral link between those who need help and those that can offer it.

Soye has always been passionate about endorsing equality and diversity with the Crystal Palace FC Foundation, promoting inclusion among the boroughs the foundation work in and more broadly among the wider footballing world. This is reflected in the programmes and schemes of work the Community Development team deliver across South London and will continue to be forefront in the thinking for the future.

Soye said: “The power of the brand brings a lot and changes lives. Football is that thread. The borough sees us as a beacon and as an important factor in the community."

He added: "We won the business awards and that award was won by having a direct effect on people's lives."

The foundation has had many success stories, and with light of what has been happening in recent weeks regarding the events in London, it is moments like these where communities have to work together and help each other to achieve the maximum.

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