Hello everyone and welcome to the latest update from the AFC Rushden & Diamonds Board.
I am delighted to advise you all that the Club has been awarded £10,000 of National Lottery funding from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund. On March 31st, Sport England announced a £195m package to help the sport and physical activity sector through the pandemic, including the £20m Community Emergency Fund of National Lottery money, to deliver immediate funding to cover short-term financial hardship due to the impact of coronavirus. In making the award Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England’s Chief Executive, said: “As the body responsible for the growth of sport and physical activity participation, we want the vital grassroots organisations that make sport and physical activity happen in this country to not just to come through this crisis but to be in a position to thrive again in the future. The £20m Community Emergency fund, made possible by National Lottery players, is part of a multimillion pound package of support we are providing to ease the pressure on a huge number of the organisations who are central to the nation’s health and wellbeing.”
On behalf of everyone at AFC Rushden and Diamonds, we would like to thank Sport England for their excellent support. Thanks also to one of our members, Matthew Taylor, who assisted us with this successful application.
Unfortunately, however, we have not been able to access any of the £25,000 Small Business Grant which was announced by the government in March and paid to eligible business rate payers by East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) in April. This is obviously a major disappointment. As everyone will be aware the publicly funded grants were designed to financially support those leisure operators, such as football clubs, who had suffered financial loss as a result of COVID-19.
In our latest liaison meeting, Rushden & Higham United informed us of their intention to offer AFC R&D a reduced rent at Hayden Road if the football season does not start at the “usual” time. We agreed to re-visit the details of this kind gesture when there is more certainty with regards to when we will start playing matches again. We also continue to work with them on plans for preparing Hayden Road for the resumption of football, including getting the pitch prepared. Thanks to groundsman, Mark Panter, volunteers and contractors, pitch work and associated maintenance continues this weekend. In the coming weeks, and when it is safe to do so, we will be asking for our volunteers to come along and help with the normal pre-season maintenance.
Some reminders for your diary:
- If you have not voted already, you have until Friday 5th June to vote for your preferred choice for our new Home and Away Shirts, here.
- Also, the election process for new Board Members runs from Monday until 6 July. Further details will be available on the Club website shortly.
- The Team Building Lottery Draw for May will be held on the 5th June and the results will be announced as soon as all the winners have been notified.
- Early Bird Season tickets are still available at a reduced price of £175 for Adults and £125 for Concessions, compared to the normal prices of £199 and £145, respectively. Full details are here.
- Neil Champelovier will be answering your questions on our Twitter account on Sunday afternoon in the first of our ‘Ask the Management’ series. If you’d like to join in with any of our social media activities, here’s a list of where you can find us:
For any commercial and sponsorship activity, including our Club2020 package please contact John Gregory either by phone on 07788 102430 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also contact John if you are aware of any organisation who can help the Club. All converted leads will be rewarded with a £30 AFC R&D Voucher. Donations can be made (here), send a cheque, or make a BACS transfer to account number 91508903, Sort Code 40-39-15, Account name AFC Rushden & Diamonds.
Finally, please keep yourselves and your loved ones safe up to date with all the current advice as some restrictions are lifted. The best place to follow the guidelines issued by the Government and Public Health England are updated daily and can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.