Parents in Southport Get on the Ball with Action for Children

Southport Football Club has joined forces with leading UK charity Action for Children to launch ‘Parents on the Ball’, an innovative and fun community programme which will equip participants in Sefton with new parenting skills and confidence.

The programme, based at Southport’s Merseyrail Community Stadium, will offer mums, dads, grandparents and other carers from Southport and the surrounding area the opportunity to learn more about healthy family living.  The 12-week course will kick-off in September.

Action for Children works in local communities across the UK to support children, young people and their families at the earliest opportunity.  Services in Merseyside include Liverpool Young Runaways, Merseyside Junior Mentoring and St Helens Life Story Project.

John Egan, director of children’s services at Action for Children, said: “We believe that sports clubs like Southport FC are very much at the heart of their community, contributing to the health, well-being and self-esteem of young people and parents across Merseyside and beyond. We’re very proud to partner with Southport FC to further our vision to improve the lives of young people and families. We look forward to developing this innovative partnership in the forthcoming months.”

Community and Commercial Director Haydn Preece said “We are delighted to be working with Action for Children and hosting this family based, exciting, worthwhile and stimulating programme at the Merseyrail Community Stadium. I would like to thank Susan O’Brien of the National League Trust for linking us up with Andrew Giltrap and his Action for Children team.”

Lesley Stopforth, Children’s Services Manager at Action for Children, added: “Being a parent can be one of the most rewarding, but also one of the most challenging things, we ever do. Our ‘Parents on the Ball’ programme has supported many parents across the UK to increase their knowledge, share their experiences, connect to their local communities and have lots of fun.”

The programme adds to the range of partnerships that Action for Children has developed with National League football clubs – including Guiseley, Barrow, Gateshead and Bradford Park Avenue – through close involvement with the Football Conference Trust.

Action for Children’s ‘Parents on the Ball’ programme operates across the UK with partnerships already in place with a range of football and rugby clubs including Manchester City, Burnley, Queens Park Rangers, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Heart of Midlothian , Greenock Morton , Newcastle Falcons and Washington.

Left to right are David Barron (Southport FC Director), Action For Children staff including Andrew Giltrap and Lesley Stopforth, and local children together with Southport Chairman Charlie Clapham and Operations Director Liam Watson

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About the Author : Sue OBrien