Football-mad youngsters hit the TARGET

An organisation that uses football to create a safer and stronger local community in Liverpool is running a series of soccer camps throughout August after help from the Steve Morgan Foundation.

TARGET Football CIC was launched in Toxteth in 2010 by Paul Hurford and Reg Standish and uses the power of football to provide opportunities for people to develop transferrable skills through employment, education and training.

When Covid-19 first struck they pivoted by providing meals to vulnerable people – delivering over 1,500 meals to 105 people for 12 weeks after receiving a grant for £15,025 from the Steve Morgan Foundation.

The organisation swung into action again by getting their popular summer soccer camps back on when the FA gave the green light to grassroots football resuming.

For four weeks in August more than 20 children a day have been taking part in the sessions on the grass football pitch at Admiral Park.

The summer holiday activities have been part-funded by a grant for £12,810 from the Steve Morgan Foundation, which has enabled TARGET Football CIC to take on two extra coaches and subsidise some of the spaces.

Paul said: “It’s great to see the kids with a smile on their faces kicking a football about in the sun.

“As soon as we got the all-clear from the FA to resume grassroots football we set about organising our annual soccer camps.

“We’ve split the kids into two groups depending on their age and because of Covid-19 we check their temperature, provide hand sanitiser and make sure there’s only one person in the toilet at any one time.”

TARGET Football CIC approached the Steve Morgan Foundation for help because they wanted to make sure everyone could attend the sessions.

“Although £10 a day for five hours works out at £2 an hour it soon mounts up if you have two or three siblings who want to attend,” said Paul. “With the help of Steve Morgan Foundation we’re able to subsidise some of the spaces.

“Some people may have lost jobs and we know which families are struggling. We’re very grateful to the Steve Morgan Foundation for awarding us an additional £12,810.”

Over the last decade TARGET Football has expanded to the point it works with people aged between two and 62 and runs groups for everybody from toddlers, grassroots, women, girls and veterans.

They’re currently getting a new clubhouse built which will be finished by the end of August and will enable them to become more of a recreational club.

Paul said: “Covid-19 has been a difficult time but we’re committed to making a positive difference though the free meals initially and now the soccer camp.” 

Jane Harris, director of regional funding for the Steve Morgan Foundation, said: “TARGET Football CIC has been improving the lives of their community for a decade and really stepped up during Covid, initially with the emergency food deliveries and now with the soccer camps. It’s great to see the smiles on the young people’s faces.”

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