A Hounslow charity has received funding to open new sports clubs and tournaments for deaf people across West London.
City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, awarded £63,500 to Brentford FC Community Sports Trust to support more deaf people into sports.
The funding will pay for a coach, who himself is deaf, to set up new sports activities for deaf people.
New projects will include football coaching at schools, cycling for adults, multi-sports events in Hounslow and Ealing, and coaching deaf players through the Football Association’s programmes for children across London.
And the charity’s new West London Hub for Sports, which provides information on local deaf-friendly activities, and runs deaf awareness courses to increase the number of coaches with basic sign language, will also benefit from the funding.
Alison Gowman, Chair of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said:
“This programme has grown so much over the past couple of years, from helping just a couple of children locally to supporting a large number of adults and children across the country.
“It is extremely exciting to be part of the charity’s expansion with new, specialist sports clubs across the capital, solely supporting deaf people.
“This charity has really found a gap in provision and need, I’m looking forward to following the journey of the new clubs and their members.
“Tackling disadvantage across the capital is essential to making London a fairer and better place to live.”
Peter Shears, Senior Project Manager of Brentford FC, who oversees all of the club’s disability projects, said:
“Our deaf coaching programme has transformed the lives of hundreds of deaf children and adults.
“The project encourages children and adults to get involved with sport and tackle the existing obstacles they face playing sport – largely building their confidence and self-esteem.
“This project includes football and multi-sports sessions throughout the year and free holiday courses.
“Brentford FC Community Sports Trust remains the only sports trust in the country to employ a full-time, deaf football coach. Born profoundly deaf, Ben Lampert has revolutionised the way we deliver deaf coaching and has raised deaf awareness within the Trust and across communities throughout West London.
“When he joined us, only three or four deaf children were involved in the Trust’s projects. Now, we engage with more than 150 deaf children and adults each year.”
Sports coach Ben Lampert, said:
“I am so thankful having the opportunity to work in a sport’s environment.
“For me, working here and watching the project flourish, is undoubtedly my proudest achievement.”
Brentford FC Community Sports Trust is a well-established community charity that delivers a range of programmes across London.
The Trust began its work with disabled people through its projects with special educational needs schools over 20 years ago.
In 2011, the charity recruited sports coach Ben Lampert who himself is deaf. The club started developing activities for deaf children and discovered they would come from far and wide due to lack in local provision.
It now offers sporting activities for disabled and non-disabled people, as well as working with young careers and young offenders.
It has been working in the last couple of years to support mainstream sports providers to be more deaf-friendly, through previous City Bridge Trust funding.
City Bridge Trust is the funding arm of the City of London Corporation’s charity, Bridge House Estates. It is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital.
The Trust has awarded around 7,900 grants totalling over £400 million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the City Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.