TEST V NEW ZEALAND, IT20 V INDIA
Our mission, quite simply, is to provide a sporting chance to those in need across Nottinghamshire.
Chaired by Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club Chief Executive Lisa Pursehouse, the Trent Bridge Community Trust delivers projects that have a profound and meaningful impact on communities across our county.
This impact is highlighted by statistics, but equally by the personal stories of young people who have prospered having been given the one thing they need, a sporting chance.
The Trust is the charitable arm of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and our fortunes are intrinsically linked. All Trust staff are directly employed by the Club, allowing commercial partners and grant aiding bodies to have confidence that every penny they provide has an impact on frontline community initiatives.
“Our mission is to provide a sporting chance to more young people by ensuring that our schemes continue to prosper.”
Lisa Pursehouse – Chair, Trent Bridge Community Trust
When Mark Clifford helped to establish the Trent Bridge Community Trust, he could never have envisaged the way the charity would develop over its first decade.
Indeed, it would have been difficult for him to have planned for the next ten days, let alone ten years.
But having invested £1.5million into community projects over the past decade, and saved around £3million for local services, there is plenty to look back on.
“I’ll always remember the first day,” he recounts in a moment of brief respite between fielding phone calls and leading a dedicated team of Community Trust staff.
“I was bundled into Cotgrave – just me, my computer and a list of contacts – and was told to ‘crack on’ and stop the behavioural issues which were happening.”
Clifford would have been forgiven for being daunted by the challenge in front of him.
Longstanding issues with young people in the area had left residents concerned, community groups at their wits’ end, and teens cynical about broken promises.
But step-by-step, bonds were formed, trust was established, and progress was made.
“Sometimes with young people if you don’t deliver what you say you will, you’re just someone else who’s let them down, and they’ll have had that countless times,” he says.
“So we just started with basic things, saying ‘if you go to school for the whole of this week, on Friday night we’ll get a pizza in.’
“And from things like that, we had the hook. We could encourage them to start achieving in their lessons, or improve how they were behaving at home.
“Yes, it means you’re rewarding people for things they should have been doing anyway, but we had to find a way to get their trust. Then, over a period of months, you can really start to work with them.”
That simple ethos – of establishing bonds with people, and showing faith in them – is something which has served the Trust well over the last decade.
And it is something that they have carried into all of their subsequent projects, from Forget Me Notts’ work with people who have dementia to the YouNG Project’s success in devising rewarding career pathways for young people.
Ask Clifford to share the most rewarding part of his job, and the answer doesn’t come quickly.
But having taken a moment to recline and sip on his black coffee, he becomes certain that there is no single standout aspect of working at the Trust.
“Whether it’s a young kid coming to Trent Bridge for the first time and having that ‘wow’ moment, or it’s someone coming to Forget Me Notts saying ‘it’s the first time my husband’s smiled in a week’, so many parts of what we do are rewarding,” he says.
“The fact that we can see how we’re directly impacting people’s lives is what keeps us kicking on.”
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