Blackburn Rovers Community Trust
Blackburn Rovers Community Trust (BRCT) is an award-winning charity that continues the wonderful range of CSR activities that have been undertaken in the name of Blackburn Rovers Football Club for over three decades.
Founded as the club’s ‘Football in the Community’ department in 1987 and a registered charity since 2007, BRCT has become recognised as a pioneering organisation with an eye for opportunities that will benefit the local community in an area with many deprived boroughs. The charity works in partnership with organisations as diverse as the UK government, UEFA and national sports governing bodies to create life-changing opportunities for local people, alongside delivering the near full range of centralised projects that English clubs can offer for the benefit of their area in partnership with the Premier League and EFL Trust.
More than 50 projects and over 50,000 engagements
The charity works on more than 50 different projects and enjoys over 50,000 annual engagements at present, focusing on its four key themes of education, health, social inclusion and sports participation, with a growing range of disability participation programmes offering an unofficial ‘fifth key theme’. These are all intended to tie in with an all-inclusive mission statement, which reads:
‘Blackburn Rovers Community Trust is fully committed to offering all members of the local community access to the highest quality programme of grassroots sports, education, inclusion and awareness projects to encourage off-field participation, success and enjoyment.
‘We are at all times keen to use the profile and brand of Blackburn Rovers Football Club to greatest effect, committed to developing a comprehensive and diverse range of community initiatives and partnership working practices to open up new avenues of life chances and make a positive difference to the lives of the people of Blackburn with Darwen and Lancashire.’
Successful education and mental health programmes
Notable achievements in recent years include the management of Blackburn Rovers Sports College, which has helped to educate hundreds of local teenagers to higher education level with a near 100% pass rate and has set new records for enrolment figures every academic year since it opened in 2013, as well as expanding into offering a foundation degree in sports development in partnership with the University of South Wales.
The charity’s Indoor Centre at Ewood Park is also the base for the biggest mental health football league operated by any club in the country (in partnership with care provider Creative Support) and the Community Trust has also recently become only the second football club charity in the country to operate its local authority’s School Sports Partnership, delivering vital playground and classroom sessions for pupils alongside PE and sport development programmes for teachers, enhancing the quality of physical activity tuition in an area of the country with historically low ranking health statistics.
Such versatility and vision has twice seen the EFL name Blackburn Rovers Community Trust as the ‘North West Community Club of the Year’ (2015 and 2018), with the MBNA Northwest Football Awards also naming the charity as the ‘Community Club of the Year’ outside the Premier League in 2015. BRCT was also heavily involved in devising and delivering the fantastic range of matchday activities at Ewood Park that saw Blackburn Rovers named as the EFL’s ‘Family Club of the Year’ in 2018 and ‘Championship Family Club of the Year’ in 2017, alongside securing the league’s ‘Family Excellence Award’ status every year since 2014.