Tranmere Rovers in the Community was established as a one-man team by Steve Williams in the late 1980s – initially focusing on the use of football and other ancillary sporting activities as educational tools.
Since then, the community department has developed into a registered charity in its own right and now engages with thousands of people across the Wirral peninsula and beyond each year.
Working across four core themes of Community Engagement, Health, Education and Sports Participation – the community team’s work has expanded from coaching in schools to a wide range of innovative projects covering all ages and abilities.
Tranmere Rovers in the Community has developed a particularly positive reputation across the local area for providing support and activities for those with a variety of physical and mental disabilities. Based in one of the most socially deprived areas in the country, the community work offers so much more than sporting activities and goes as far as providing a safe place and support for a variety of people.
The charity is based at Tranmere Rovers Recreation Centre at Prenton Park, and although the team visit many schools and colleges across the Wirral, they also run a large number of our sessions from the Recreation Centre where more than 300 participants a week visit.
Listed below are some examples from the past year highlighting just some of the most successful projects Tranmere Rovers in the Community has delivered.
SWA2 – The award-winning Super White Army 2 appeal was launched to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds on the Wirral, who can’t afford to come to a match, get involved with their local sporting community. To date over 10,000 tickets have been donated, giving children a behind-the-scenes match day experience and memories to last a lifetime. More than 300 Christmas presents were also donated by Tranmere Rovers fans to be distributed on behalf of the Community Team as part of the appeal.
Children in Care – Tranmere Rovers in the Community worked with Wirral Council to provide after-school homework clubs and holiday activities for 50 young people in care. Based at Prenton Park, a foster care awareness campaign was launched and helped secure foster homes for a number of local children. Twice a month, the Community team take a group of children in care out on activity days to get involved with different sport teams and open up career pathways.
Tranmere Rovers Sports College – Established in 2015, the TRFC Sports College offers BTEC and Higher National Diploma qualifications to school leavers on the Wirral. Last year over 160 young people completed their BTECs in Coaching, Sports Nutrition and more – with 98% of those students continuing on to complete their Diploma at the College.
Adult Learning – As a partner of the Wirral Lifelong Learning Service, Tranmere Rovers in the Community provide educational courses to Wirral residents to enhance their wellbeing and employment skills. In 2017/18 over 200 people took part in the high quality and affordable qualifications in a variety of career pathways – 75% of those went on to gain employment or traineeships at the Club.
Addiction and Mental Health Sessions – Working with NHS Wirral, weekly workshops and free football participation sessions are provided for adults recovering from addiction and/or mental health issues at the Prenton Park Recreation Centre. Currently 20 men and women each week are given emotional support and education advice to help them stay active and engaged in their local community. A number of participants are also regular attendees at other sport participation sessions and adult learning courses.
Dementia Support Group – Those suffering with Dementia and their carers spend an afternoon enjoying free activities at the Tranmere Rovers Recreation Centre. Around 15/20 older people are engaged each week through quizzes, games, bingo and light exercise. The team offer a supportive environment for other carers to meet and to relieve the pressure of looking after a partner full-time.
Disability Programs – Four days a week, Tranmere Rovers in the Community provide a Sports Session specifically aimed at those with a wide range of disabilities. The team have been providing disability support for over 30 years and now offer an extensive program of football and dance activities for people of all ages. Local day centers and care homes visit the Recreation Centre throughout a week to take part in the Sports activities they love with expert coaching.
Women and Girls’ Football Development – Over a hundred women and girls visit the Recreation Centre each week for extra training outside of any Teams they may play for – benefiting from FA qualified coaches in a unique community football environment. Girls of all ages play in the development league and many go on to play first team football for Tranmere Rovers.
Tranmere Rovers in the Community is set to expand over the coming years, starting with the renovation and expansion of the Recreation Centre adjoined to Prenton Park.