This weekend's fixture at Turf Moor is Burnley FC’s 'One Club for All' day of action.
Once again, we place community, equality and inclusion at the heart of our matchday and reaffirm that from the manager and the players, to club staff and to you, the fans – Burnley FC is one club for all.
Anchored in this, Burnley FC is urging fans to raise the roof and show the players that the whole town is behind their efforts to secure Premier League status next season.
To help supporters show their solidarity, there will be a special One Club for All flag on every home seat in the stadium. We ask you hold them high and proud above your heads as our lads take to the Turf.
We are all Burnley FC. Let’s fill the Turf, raise the roof and get behind the lads.
The One Club for All fixture will also mark the 25th anniversary of Kick it Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation.
For the last quarter of a century, Kick it Out has been at the heart of the drive towards equality, inclusion and cohesion for everyone who plays, watches or works in football.
Here is an update on some of the recent work carried out to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability or sexuality, has a home here at Turf Moor:
Burnley FC in the Community offers free football sessions every Friday morning to young men who have settled in Burnley and East Lancashire after becoming displaced from Syria as a consequence of the ongoing conflict occurring in the country.
The Clarets Welcome project aims to allow those who participate to develop their playing skills, be part of a team and enjoy football in a safe, welcoming environment.
To date, the project has proved a real success with the team playing a competitive fixture against Leicester City’s Community Trust participants and winning 4-1! Following a lunch provided by one of the Clarets Welcome players who used to cater for large groups in Syria, the group then took to Turf Moor to watch the Burnley v Leicester City Premier League fixture.
Michael Colquhoun, BFCitC’s Head of Young People’s Services who has worked with the group from the outset said: “We have seen a huge impact so far and the project has given the participants the chance to represent Burnley FC in the Community, which they did with great pride.”
The hope is that the sessions will help these young men and their families to feel integrated into the community here in Burnley and a part of the club that sits at its heart.
Over 800 people now engage with Burnley FC in the Community’s disability sport project every week. The project encompasses recreational and competitive sport as well as disability awareness sessions.
Now four years into its operations, the project is establishing a successful volunteer pathway for participants showing an interest in coaching.
Staff have now offered a number of volunteering opportunities to these participants and those showcasing real commitment and dedication now have the chance to secure their FA Level 1 and Coaching Disabled Footballers qualifications. The pathway also encompasses First Aid and Safeguarding accreditations.
10 individuals living with a disability have now entered the volunteer pathway and in the case of one young man, Amaan – who was recently recognised by Burnley FC in the Community at the annual fundraising dinner – have secured paid work.
The plan is for more young people to continue this exciting journey and be given the spring board by Burnley FC in the Community to achieve their full potential.
Turfed Out is Burnley FC’s new LGBT supporters’ group.
The aim of the group is to provide a forum for all for LGBT Burnley fans.
The aims of the group are:
• To support the Club in its work to promote and address inclusion and diversity at Burnley Football Club with a focus on LGBT supporters.
• To discuss LGBT issues and formulate solutions and share ideas and best practice to support Burnley Football Club in its equality and inclusion work.
• To work with the Club to develop its partnership with key LGBT organisations.
The group now has its own dedicated social media accounts. You can follow Turfed Out via their Facebook page and you can also find the group on Twitter @LGBTClarets.
The group has elected Nicky Metcalfe as Chair and John Kettle as Vice Chair and is reaching out to LGBT supporters to get in touch.
If you would like to get involved with the group, please contact Helen Gurman firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Burnley FC in the Community’s female football programme now sees over 400 females playing and enjoying football every week across Burnley.
Encompassing young players from age five through to adults, the programme offers Wildcats sessions for primary school-aged players and Premier League Girls for players 11+. The Burnley FC Women teams range from under 10s through to the first team.
The recent success of the Burnley FC Women first team – who are looking at the serious prospect of back-to-back promotions and who currently enjoy a six-point lead at the top of table – has boosted the profile of the female game at the club.
With the pyramid now in place to play the game from a young age, the hope is more and more females will find take up the beautiful game.
The Burnley FC Women’s first team now play all their home games at Padiham FC’s Ruby Civil Arena and their progress can be followed via their Facebook page, on Instagram and Twitter @burnleyfcwomen and via www.burnleyfcwomen.com.
To find out more about Burnley FC in the Community, please visit www.burnleyfccommunity.org.