This season will be fondly remembered by Burnley fans as the Clarets secured promotion, as champions, to the Premier League.
It has also been an outstanding year for Burnley FC in the Community, Burnley FC’s official charity, as they have grown exponentially and seen huge support from the staff and players of Burnley FC throughout this exciting season. First team players attended multiple projects and events in the past 12 months to support the hard work of Burnley FC in the Community.
Early in the 2015/16 season, some of their flagship projects received first team backing as Sam Vokes became NCS Ambassador and George Boyd joined our Active Clarets as our Health Ambassador.
As well as this, captain Tom Heaton was accompanied by fellow team members, including Sky Bet Championship Player of the Year Andre Gray, Sam Vokes and David Jones in supporting the White Ribbon Campaign against gender violence - a campaign which helps women and children escape domestic abuse.
After the Boxing Day floods, striker Rouwen Hennings joined Burnley FC in the Community in visiting Whalley CofE Primary School, holding a coaching session with the children and donating a signed Burnley FC shirt to help raise funds for the school repairs.
Another school devastated by the floods was Riverside Junior School in Hebden Bridge. Striker Lukas Jutkiewicz paid them a visit and presented the school with a signed shirt from the first team. Later, the pupils attended Turf Moor for a VIP tour of the facilities.
The player visits continued into February, as goalkeeper Matt Gilks attended Lowerhouse Junior School in Burnley to answer questions from pupils about healthy eating and exercise. The Year 5 class were rewarded with the visit after they had completed Burnley FC in the Community’s ‘Schools Healthy Eating Programme’ with our Health team.
Backing our fundraising efforts, Manager Sean Dyche, alongside Andre Gray and Paul Robinson, also helped to launch Run for All’s Burnley 10k in February, donning Community t-shirts and encouraging members of the community to support Burnley FC in the Community at the upcoming event.
As the Clarets climbed the Sky Bet Championship table in early 2016, the players still ensured they had time to get out-and-about in the community to support our local projects.
In March, Tendayi Darikwa, James Tarkowski and Fredrik Ulvestad attended a Q&A at the ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ awareness event at Turf Moor and striker Ashley Barnes also attended Springfield Primary School in Burnley to present creative children with certificates for dressing up as their literary heroes for World Book Day.
With the season reaching a dramatic peak in later April and early May, striker-duo Vokes and Gray joined staff from Burnley FC in the Community for a Q&A session with pupils at Park High School in Nelson. Rouwen Hennings also visited students on the Premier League Enterprise programme at Turf Moor, who had taken part in the sessions to improve academic attainment in core subjects. At the event, students posed questions to the German striker about his early career and school life.
Neil Hart, CEO of Burnley FC in the Community, said: “This has been a great season for both the Club and Community and we’re very appreciative of the support the first team players and the manager have given us. The players help to raise the profile of the work we do in the region and are therefore integral to our growth as a charity.”
Burnley FC in the Community would like to thank the team for their support throughout the season and we look forward to an even bigger 2016/17 Premier League season!