We help Rovers to get the ball rolling
A community space that previously had parts of a bicycle dumped in a basketball hoop outside its premises, has been transformed by Tranmere Rovers – with the support of the MVRP.
Now boasting a chill-out room and hosting weekly football facilities that are drawing in crowds of young people, the Beechwood Recreation Centre has become a hub of health, positivity, and citizenship, which has seen youngsters from neighbouring estates team-up.
Rovers, who have taken over the lease of the premises, are so committed to their community responsibility that they have embedded that philosophy into their business plan. Owner of the club Mark Pallios told us: “It is an add-on for other clubs, but for us it is part of our whole DNA and is of equal importance to the football. Of course, it also makes business sense in terms of connecting people to the club, gaining new supporters, and even finding new players. If this works, it could be the blueprint for other initiatives.”
The former Chief Executive at the Football Association feels that clubs are in a unique position to reach those on the fringes and access funds and resources quickly to make things happen. Rovers have also worked on several initiatives with care leavers and the homeless population and have carried out their own outreach work in nearby neighbourhoods. This work has involved staff, players, and supporters, who have helped distribute thousands of meals to those in need.
The MVRP monies have seen quite a transformation, with disused dressing facilities now forming a room where young people can relax and feel safe. Danny, 14 (not his real name) is just one of those to appreciate its pool and table tennis tables and its gaming area. “I live five minutes away and there wasn’t much going on here before” he said, “I love coming here now.”
Mr Palios and his Tranmere Rovers in the Community team are passionately committed to what he calls, “citizenship” and judging by their work so far, are the league leader in helping the young people of the Wirral. “We are their team after all!” he concluded.