FARE Scotland and Easterhouse FA are working together to ensure they get Stepford Football Centre re-open for the benefit of grassroots football after it was closed due to Covid-19.
Both organisations are being supported by Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council to ensure local teams have facilities they need within the Greater Easterhouse area to meet the ambitions of the teams on the park.
The move comes after local teams backed by the local community called on the council for help to resolve the closure issue. Glasgow Life and the Council have now agreed to work with both organisations and finally get Stepford Football Centre re-open.
Easterhouse FA will manage all the footballing matters, while FARE will assist with the day-to-day business side. Both organisations have worked in the community for many years with FARE successfully establishing their own community facility “Bannatyne House”.
Danny Cameron, Director of Football at Easterhouse FA, said: “so happy after all the uncertainty of Covid-19 and lockdown were families were locked up for months and thinking Stepford might not re-open. This decision now gives us a place for the kids to grow and develop their love for football again.
Easterhouse FA could not have asked for a better partner in the opening of Stepford, than FARE! A superb well run organisation that is trusted and respected in Easterhouse and beyond for all the community work they do.
All the football clubs in Easterhouse and the surrounding area now have a home for football again thanks to Glasgow Life and local politicians. I must say a special thanks to our football development officer Steven McGee for all the hours and hard work he does to help the teams in Easterhouse, also all Easterhouse football clubs and FARE, working together, bringing a new bright future”.
Details of when the pitches will re-open to the community have still to be decided, however both organisations are hoping it will be week beginning October 5th.
With the addition of FARE’s expertise, both organisations will now manage the centre as a social enterprise. As such, the core vision will be to help people by promoting an active lifestyle regardless of age, circumstance or ability. In order to help achieve this, Stepford Football Centre will exist to provide an attractive, accessible and affordable sports and leisure facility for all people in Glasgow East, and for organisations supporting these communities. It will provide sports and leisure, facilities and activities to meet a range of needs, interests and abilities in order to:
- Engage the community in football, physical exercise, and other sports
- Enable community integration
- Improve employability skills of young people
- Generate income to reinvest in the social purpose of both organisations
- Promote other FARE services
Jimmy Wilson, CEO at FARE Scotland, said: “ The new development puts Stepford in the hands of the community by giving people the chance to have a say on key decisions. This is a very exciting development and the organisation is delighted to be working alongside Easterhouse FA. Danny and his team of coaches have years of experience working with grassroots football and they will manage that side of the project. What we both need to do over the next six months is get a business plan together to ensure the long-term sustainability of Stepford Football Centre. We would also hope to use the centre to tackle youth unemployment, giving young people access to employment and modern apprenticeship opportunities”