AFC Fylde Community Foundation’s long-standing partnership with BAE Systems and Veterans’ Foundation has been recognised through the charity’s Armed Forces Community Programme being shortlisted for Community Initiative of the Season at this Armstrong Projects Northwest Football Awards.
Held at Emirates Old Trafford on Monday 6th November, the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club, the awards evening celebrates the best in the game across the region.
The Foundation’s Armed Forces Community Programme, jointly-funded by BAE Systems and Veterans’ Foundation, supports serving and ex-service personnel, and their families living in Fylde.
The borough of Fylde has a strong connection to, and a high population of the Armed Forces Community, this is due to the location of Weeton Barracks, many ex-service personnel deciding to reside in the borough and BAE Systems being an employer of choice for reservists and ex-service personnel.
The programme is led by an ex-serviceman of 22-years, who left Weeton Barracks and started as a volunteer at the Foundation, gained full-time employment and is now supporting over 250 members of the Armed Forces Community per-year.
In addition to providing funding for the programme, we also work closely with employees from BAE Systems and their employee resource group, VetNet, which supports and connects their ex-service employees with the local community. Members of VetNet regularly attend the Foundation’s programme and we have signposted participants to BAE Systems for suitable job roles from our other provision.
Ian Willey, VetNet lead at BAE Systems said: “We’re delighted to hear that AFC Fylde Community Foundation are finalists at the Northwest Football Awards for the work conducted through their Armed Forces Community Project. BAE Systems is dedicated to protecting those who protect us and we are proud to have supported this project for three years now.
"We recognise the important work the Foundation is doing to supporting service personnel, veterans and their families in the Fylde area and we have been delighted to watch as the project has gone from strength to strength, making a meaningful difference locally.”
David Shaw, Founder and CEO, Veterans’ Foundation, commented: “The Veterans’ Foundation have been very proud to support AFC Fylde’s Armed Forces Community Programme and we are delighted to hear that they have been nominated as a finalist at the 2023 Northwest Football Awards. Programmes like this are absolutely vital for the wellbeing of our ex-servicemen and women all around the UK and it is fantastic to see AFC Fylde gaining such recognition for their great work.”
Wesley Partington, Foundation Director at AFC Fylde Community Foundation, added: “This unique partnership between BAE Systems and the Veterans’ Foundation enables us to address a local need in the Fylde community and we are delighted that both organisations have agreed to jointly provide an additional two years of funding for the programme.”
AFC Fylde Community Foundation would to place on record our thanks to BAE Systems and the Veterans’ Foundation for their continued support of our Armed Forces Programme.