A pioneering new charity has been launched which aims to improve the quality of lives of young people in communities across Shropshire.
The Crossbar Foundation’s vision is to engage with local children and young adults through sport and a host of other activities – including music.
Andy Smith, the community development manager for the Crossbar Foundation, said he is looking forward to reaching out to as many people as possible, initially in Telford and Shrewsbury, in the coming months – and making a difference.
He said: “I’m really excited about the launch of the Crossbar Foundation. From running projects in the past, I’ve really seen a difference in a lot of the young people I’ve worked with. It’s just about investing time in them. We’ve got lots of ideas in place to make a difference moving forward.
“We want to run fun, engaging activities such as fitness camps to help educate young people in a safe environment whilst tackling health risks such as childhood obesity and diabetes. The activities will also look to promote positive relationships and teamwork.
“We intend to work with different councillors and resident groups, so they can tell us what the issues are in their own communities. We’ll consult with them before setting up clubs that we will look to make sustainable.
“I’ve got ideas about music projects, enviromental projects. The main crux of what we do will be centred around sport, but we also want to reach out through different routes as well.
“We will also be taking our Crossbar Foundation inflatable and community speed shot challenge, which is always popular, to different communities, into deprived areas as well, so some of the children that wouldn’t be able to go on holiday courses or attend football academies can come and use it and have a fun afternoon.”
The trustees for the Crossbar Foundation are Mark Hignett, the vice-chairman of Shropshire Schools & Colleges FA, James Watkins, from the Football Association, and two former Shrewsbury Town footballers in Sam Aiston, the deputy headteacher at Pontesbury Primary School, and Gavin Cowan, the director of Crossbar Coaching Education in Sport.
Andy added: “It’s a great team and it helps that we all have the same passion about what we want to achieve and that we all have the same goals. The Foundation is a charity and everything we do is all about the community.
“While we’re a separate entity from Crossbar Coaching, we will be able to utilise their connections with so many different schools and different agencies.
“Youngsters like to go to things that are current, they love brands, and Crossbar is probably the biggest brand in Shropshire that’s currently engaging young people.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of people locally and they know the whole ethos of Crossbar is in doing things properly – they know we will offer a professional service and hit targets. Things will get done, so there’s a lot to look forward to.”
To find out more about the Crossbar Foundation and how it might be able to help you, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured: Andy Smith, community development manager for the Crossbar Foundation, pictured with Thomas Penswick and Shakila Khan, is excited by the launch of the new charity.