• Mark Duffy

Ilkeston Town launch new community-based charity

Ilkeston Town have announced the launch of a brand new charity that will aim to help their local community.

The New Manor Sports Foundation will be based at the home of the Robins and provide and support various initiatives across the Erewash Valley.

And Ilkeston’s owner and chairman Mark Clifford says the Foundation will be all inclusive when it comes to those who will benefit.

He said: “Put simply, the Foundation is for the people of Ilkeston. There will be no age limitations in the projects we discuss and it will be about emphasising that the football club is an integral part of their community and that the facilities will be there to benefit them not just on a Saturday afternoon but through the week as well, helping with a range of issues they may be facing.

Trustee and Treasurer Mark Frost added: “I think the football club is the biggest asset this community in Ilkeston holds.

“With the Foundation, we can start as a football club to give back to the community and deliver projects to the people that mean so much to us.

“It’s the next step in the development of the football club and builds ties with the community and is a really exciting time as I think with the expertise we have in place, it will go from strength to strength.

“We also want to continue to build the relationships with the big businesses and employers in the town.”

“It’s a difficult time for people at the moment with many people feeling quite insular at home, and we want them to know that we are here for a friendly chat if needs be.”

Various areas of support will be put in place throughout the Erewash Valley, helping all age groups and walks of life – particularly as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Clifford said: “Some of the projects we’re planning will be much-needed in the coming months as the whole country recovers from Covid. We have a clear plan and a clear pathway that we want to execute to make sure we are ready, not just ourselves but also some of the other fantastic partnerships within the Erewash Valley as working together in the charitable sector can be really important.”

One of the many key areas the Foundation will focus on will be helping the young people of Ilkeston, whether on a personal, employment or career pathway level, while the mental health and well-being of the town’s people will also be a focus in the coming months.

Themes will include suicide prevention, introducing walking football to the older members of the community, and championing ‘Let’s Talk’ initiatives that will target numerous demographics in the area.

Clifford added: “We’ll launch a Healthy Robins course during half-terms, focusing in particular on the heart and the health of the heart, exercise and nutrition and it will be free to those who wish to take part.

“This isn’t an elite football initiative, it’s aimed at people in the area from around eight-years-old and over.

“We’re also looking to do some work with dementia, which is something very personal to myself but which is also one of the biggest killers out there. That will involve putting on sporting initiatives for those living with dementia and their carers.

“It’s a hugely exciting time for the football club overall and the Foundation will be a huge part of it.”

For more information, take a look at the Foundation’s Facebook page HERE, as well as its Twitter feed – @NewManor_SF.

You can also see a video featuring the interviews with Mark Clifford and Mark Frost HERE.