Barclays Community Football Fund

Working together to make football more inclusive to under-represented groups, particularly girls

After the Lionesses semi-final win in 2022’s monumental Women’s Euros campaign, Ian Wright publicly urged for the tournament to create a lasting legacy for women’s football: ‘If there’s no legacy after this, then what are we doing? Girls should be able to play [football].’

Our work with the Barclays Community Football Fund, in partnership with Sported, is bringing this legacy to life. We’re helping to develop the facilities and experience at grassroots football clubs across the country to include and welcome more young people from under-represented groups, including girls and those with special needs and/or a disability, for them to simply be able to play football and be more active. Here’s what we’ve done so far.

Cheetham Hill Sports Club, Manchester

Our work kickstarted long-term transformation at this club to help them become truly inclusive. We created stud walls to separate current changing and shower facilities to create safe, separate female and disabled facilities where there previously were none. We also created cabinets for sink bases, as well as painting and decorating the corridor area, all with the help of 16 local young people earning accreditations in Carpentry and Health & Safety.

See this project kick off here

Westbury Sports Club, Bury

19 local young people helped revitalise this grassroots sports club, where football plays a big role in the club. We helped to create privacy entrances to create female changing spaces, as well as creating a new entrance for the disabled toilet. All with a fresh lick of club colour redecoration, to instil pride in the young teams, and the next generation of sportspeople.

“Evan enjoyed his time at Westbury Sports Club and loved the hands-on experience, it’s given him a great sense of achievement knowing that he has completed some great work, and he has said that it’s given him some guidance on what to do when he leaves school so thanks so much for the opportunity!”

Mother of a young VIY Volunteer

Sprowston Football Club, Norwich

We’ve transformed their current uni sex changing rooms to create separate facilities for their growing female teams to use (pictured above), including adding a WC cubicle for the first time (replacing their current all urinal line-up!) We’ve also redecorated the spaces to make them more accommodating and welcoming to both males and females, creating a sense of joint pride amongst the teams and ultimately invite more to be included to play in the ‘Ability Counts’ league.

Saltley Stallions Football Club, Birmingham

Saltley Stallions FC was created to help remove the cultural and other barriers for women to play football in central Birmingham. Here we divided the changing rooms, enabled male/female toilets and created social seating areas, all to help existing, new players and their friends and families to feel included and welcome in their sporting environment. All with the help of 20 local young people, including girls and young people with refugee status here in the UK.

Hear what this club means to its young players

Bootle Bucks Inclusion FC, Liverpool

Bootle Bucks is all about engaging young people who might otherwise struggle to access playing football and sport due to disabilities, special educational needs and other barriers/challenges. In autumn 2023, we’ll work to build dividing stud walls for changing rooms to allow them to offer separate male and female changing facilities which currently don’t exist, including seating and redecorating in their club colours, to develop a sense of pride and inclusion for all.