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Funding from Abbeycroft Scores Big For Churchill School’s Football

The New Croft Foundation proudly announces the tremendous growth and success of the Churchill School football programme, made possible by funding from Abbeycroft, Suffolk’s largest independent health and leisure social enterprise.

This funding has provided the resources needed to expand the programme, offering more students the chance to engage in football.

Churchill School, a Special Educational Needs (SEN) school located next to The New Croft in Haverhill, has seen participation in weekly football sessions jump from six students to 15-20, thanks to Abbeycroft's contribution. These sessions, delivered every Thursday by Lois Balfour, Head of The New Croft Foundation, include structured football activities and matches as part of the students’ enrichment time. 

Miss Webb, Teacher & Personal Development Lead from Churchill School expressed the profound impact of the funding, stating, “Thanks to the Abbeycroft funding, our students have become more engaged in our football programme. The opportunity allows our students to have football throughout the year and has led to the creation of our very first Churchill football team.

“The funding has provided us with our very own Churchill kit, which the students wear with pride. Already, we have recently expanded this to two football teams that range in age from Year 4, through to Year 10. Our teams are inclusive of genders and have allowed our students to thrive in a safe, competitive environment.

“The funding has supported Churchill to be able to provide a football programme that contributes to the outstanding personal development curriculum that we can offer to our students.”

Notably, this growth includes an increased number of female participants, enhancing the inclusivity of the programme.

The funding has not only increased participation but also strengthened the partnership as the foundation also hosts Churchill School’s football matches and supports the organisation of mini SEN football festivals at The New Croft.

The Foundation has also sponsored Churchill’s first school football kit, proudly worn by students when competing against other SEN schools. 

Lois, Head of The New Croft Foundation, expressed her enthusiasm about the programme’s success, stating, “Thanks to Abbeycroft, we have been able to provide these amazing kids with the opportunity not just to play football, but to thrive in it. The joy and confidence they gain from being part of a team are truly inspiring.”

Charlie Potter Abbeycroft’s Active Communities Manager said: “We’ve been very happy to support this worthwhile programme in partnership with New Croft Foundation, through funding directly from our Membership Inspire Card. Income from the membership card is ring-fenced for community projects such as this and it’s been a pleasure working with them for the last three years.

The New Croft and Churchill School are committed to continuing this successful partnership, ensuring that the football programme remains a cornerstone of the student's physical and social development.


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