On Monday night Queens Park Rangers Football Club celebrated the 10th anniversary of their community trust at a special event held at the House of Commons.
Andy Evans, CEO of QPR’s Trust in the Community, opened the reception in front of members of the Queens Park Rangers hierarchy with further speeches from the likes of chairman Amit Bhatia and Les Ferdinand.
Amongst the club’s legends and hierarchy, were those who had benefited from some of the Trust’s initiatives – two Down syndrome boys spoke about being a part of ‘Tiger Cubs’ before elderly ladies praised the ‘extra time’ sessions they received.
The whole room felt proud to be part of QPR – and rightly so.
Social issues hang over London like never before with homelessness, poverty, knife crime and mental health to name a few, but the power in football should never be underestimated.
This week, Vincent Kompany announced he will give his testimonial earnings to help tackle homelessness in Manchester.
It’s gestures like these, combined with the commitment of clubs across England, that can unquestionably support the less fortunate people in our society.
On Monday, Steve McClaren stood up and admitted he wished he had brought his players to the event, so they could be inspired.
QPR have shown over the past decade just how much of an impact football clubs can have on the local area and I was told by Andy Evans his staff hold 300 sessions per week, engaging in activities with schools, the elderly and the disabled to help produce a feeling of affirmation and positivity for the people that need it most.
Activities and actions needed more than ever since the tragedy of Grenfell on the club’s doorstep.
But Brentford also deserve a notable mention for their outstanding contribution to West London.
Their community sports trust has seen players such as Sergi Canos teach his native language to school pupils whilst also organising a session at the training ground for adults with mental health issues.
This is just a small part of a wider initiative that has led the club to its Community Project of the Year nomination at this month’s London Football Awards.
Long may such initiatives continue to develop and prosper and, in doing so, enrich the West London community.