Have you ever watched a football match at Broadhurst Park, home of FC United of Manchester? Read about how Portsmouth Football Club got back on an even footing having struggled with their finances? Ate a ‘Home Baked’ steak pie at half-time at Anfield? Seen Kasper Schmeichel and Juan Mata pledge 1% of their monthly salary to the ‘Common Goal’ campaign?
Well, then you may know more than you realise about social enterprises in football. Social enterprises are businesses that are changing the world for the better. Social enterprises are in our communities, on the high street, and most definitely now growing in number within the football industry.
How do social enterprises work?
By selling goods and services in the open market, social enterprises reinvest the money they make back into their business or the local community. This allows them to: become self-sustaining; tackle social problems; improve people’s life chances; support communities; and help the environment. So, when a social enterprise in football profits, society profits too.
What is Social Saturday?
Social Saturday is on Saturday 13th October – so this week!
It is all about championing these businesses, and encouraging everyone to support them. Watch this video by Manchester United Supporter + Actor ‘Chris Addison’ for better understanding: https://bit.ly/2PtW7Sn
How can I support social enterprises in football on Social Saturday and beyond?
There are lots of ways, but here are my ‘starting eleven’:
1. Buy a pair of FA Wales men or ladies briefs from ‘Odd Balls’, and help former Newcastle Goalkeeper + Founder Steve Harper raise awareness of testicular cancer.
2. Swap your match day ball for a ‘Bala Sport’ Fair Trade one, where the workers who make them benefit.
3. Choose to watch a local amateur football match, and spend your ££ on the gate to help keep the club a float. Perhaps even buy a raffle ticket, or spot the ball this week when asked?!
4. Enjoy a ‘Brewgooder’ or ‘Toast Ale’ beer whilst relaxing and watching Match of the day on a Saturday night. They are available from major food superstores, and help to provide clean water and tackle food waste respectively.
Social Media Link(s): @BrewGoodr @ToastAle
5. Get your football club to sell social chocolate, water, biscuits and pies.
How great would it be if at Half-time, like at Liverpool FC or Everton FC, you could purchase a pie from ‘Home baked’ a social enterprise bakery situated on the neighbourhood boundary of Everton and Anfield? You attended a business event at the stadium and in the break, could tuck into a Tregroes waffle. Made by employees who actually own the company.
6. Re-usable water bottles are all the rage – Why not buy a reusable bottle from ‘Give me Tap’ and refill you bottle with ‘Belu’ Water – both social enterprises committed to providing safe and clean water in third world countries!
7. Create awareness and support programmes being ran by your club, in the local community. For example, make a donation to the club’s food bank; take a family member living with dementia to a ‘Football Reminiscence’ Session, like at Welsh League’s Conwy Borough or Haverfordwest AFC; and pay to attend a fitness class, or for your young child to take part in ‘Tots Football’.
8. After getting sweaty, smell divine by adding a ‘Sport Wash’ from The Good Wash Company to your kit bag. All profits from sales go to projects that help provide opportunities for disadvantaged individuals to get physically active + live healthier lifestyles. Past beneficiaries, for example, include the Street Football Wales World Cup squad and Baglan Girls Junior Football Club.
9. Purchase some training gear from COИTRA sport – which helps to support the sustainability and growth of Park Run. Which will be happening every Saturday Morning at 9:00am, at or nearby your club. A great aid in pre-season.
10. Be the ‘trend setter’ in the dressing room, by ditching the ‘Gucci/Louis Vuitton’ travel bag and swap it for an ‘Elvis and Kresse’ one. One that rescues raw materials, transforming them into luxury lifestyle accessories and donating 50% of profits back to charities.
11. ‘Hey Girls’ know that girls and young women are all powerful individuals, care about their health, are passionate about the environment and want to make a difference. All the profits from their ‘Buy One Give One’ sanitary products go directly to help girls and young women in need - for every box you buy they give a box away- Why not stock them in your clubs’ Ladies toilets?
Written by Vi-Ability Founder and ‘More Than a Club’ Head of Community, Kelly Davies.
If you would make substitutions OR make squad additions – please do let me know by sharing your thoughts, experiences, and perhaps social enterprise football ideas on Twitter by tagging @kellydaviesva or emailing Kelly@vi-ability.org
To find out more about the ‘More Than a Club’ project, visit www.morethanaclub.co.uk