The PFA are committed to raising the profile and awareness of the extensive work and participation of players in support of Community and Charitable activities. PFA Community involvement extends across many areas such as: Health, Education, Social Inclusion, and Equalities, underlining our commitment to make a positive difference in society.
As a department we continue to be proactive, continue to raise standards of support to players, and encourage greater support from Football Clubs to adapt their philosophy toward Corporate Social Responsibility.
Key objectives of the PFA Community department:
- To facilitate and implement a co-ordinated and structured approach to increased player support for community initiatives thus raising the profile of the PFA and its continued commitment to Community work.
- To provide representation for the PFA on National Committees and Working Parties, such as the premier League/PFA Community Fund, Football League Trust, Football Foundation, The Princes Trust, The National Literacy Trust, Kick it Out, etc, to re-enforce the PFA’s unique commitment through it’s members to Community/Charitable initiatives.
- To collate and present a statistical analysis for the PFA in support of all Community player involvement linked to a number of designated themes: - Health, Education, Social Inclusion, Anti-racism, Disabilities, Girls/Women, and Schools, with Safeguarding Children a strand running through all activities.
- To evaluate player involvement in those organisations where the PFA have pledged significant financial support i.e. The Princes Trust, The National Literacy Trust, Kick it Out, Show Racism the Red Card, etc.
- To maintain a strong PFA presence out at the Football Clubs through regular visits and meetings with Chief Executives, PFA Delegates, Press Officers and Community Officers.
- To raise the profile of player involvement at Clubs through its own PFA publication ‘Profile’ and Website contributions.
- To engage with other National Governing bodies and specialist agencies to promote the benefit of sport, exercise, and healthy lifestyles.
Player engagement has once again pushed new boundaries during the 2010/11 campaign but there is a continued need for football to show the importance of everybody working together. Inspirational leadership, integrity, respect and moral values have been shown to be lacking more recently in our society but positive role models and a willingness to effect real change must continue to be our benchmark within the game. Footballers can continue to be a catalyst to motivate and inspire the youth of our country, which in turn can encourage greater hope, expectation and opportunities.
“Players take a keen interest in the many Community projects that are constantly ongoing and in the welfare of the youngsters whose lives we can affect. The dynamics of player appearances has changed dramatically and totally for the better. The involvement of the lads up and down the country, at all levels, is absolutely outstanding”.
Clarke Carlisle, PFA Chairman.
It has also been really encouraging to see many of our foreign players supporting their own charity work especially during the close season with Mikael Sylvestra, Efe Sodje, Johan Djourou, Jason Roberts, Michael Essien and Craig Bellamy to name just a few.
In conclusion, monitoring, evaluation and a focus on impact rather than profit are key to continued success as we encourage communities to come together. We all have a responsibility for the good of the game and society as a whole and I look forward to a collective football partnership approach during the current season.
This may sometimes contradict the negative media publicity, but with over 37,000 player community appearances last season, the PFA are proud of their off-field contributions.