Charlton Athletic Community Trust
Over many years, one of the greatest strengths of Charlton has been the close relationship it enjoys with the football club's local community - and now one of its biggest assets is the Charlton Athletic Community Trust. The official trust website can be accessed at www.cact.org.uk.
The charitable organisation is independent of the football club, but delivers a huge range of initiatives across Greenwich, Bexley, Kent and even overseas using the Charlton name.
The club's community operation began when the Addicks returned to The Valley in 1992, at which time there was just one member of staff, a bag of footballs and a telephone.
Now, the award-winning trust has dozens of full-time and hundreds of part-time coaches, and comes into contact with upwards of 7,000 people every week.
Working in partnership with local authorities, governing bodies, government departments and over 200 private and public sector partners, the trust uses the power of football and sport to engage individuals, and have a positive impact on the lives of thousands of young people each year.
Trust coaches are a regular presence in schools, and work with disadvantaged or socially excluded groups in society, through crime-reduction initiatives and community-based football coaching sessions.
The reach and range of initiatives developed by the trust is huge, and includes initiatives concerning social inclusion, education, health, employment opportunities, disability and mental health, and women's and girls' development.
The range of work undertaken by the trust has reaped numerous rewards, with the organisation's mantelpiece groaning under the weight of the accolades earned.
Just in the last few years, the trust earned a Business in the Community Silver Jubilee Award for Community Engagement, a Football League Family Excellence Award and a Tilley Award for crime reduction work delivered in partnership with Kent Police. In 2009, Charlton was named Football League Championship Community Club of the Year.
The trust has earned significant praise for its Street Violence Ruins Lives education programme, which was launched in August 2008 at Charlton's Championship match against Reading, following the murder of Addicks fan Rob Knox three months earlier. This project delivers education resources into schools, and coaches divert children into football activities after school which are run alongside the police to provide safer playing opportunities.
Formerly the Charlton Football in the Community programme in the early 1990s, the trust was launched in 2004, a year after expanding its operation overseas, with officers carrying out pioneering work in deprived communities in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban in South Africa.
The trust employs two former Charlton players in goalkeeper Bob Bolder and winger Paul Mortimer, the latter acting as technical director of the women's and girls' set-up. The Charlton women's team won the FA Cup in 2005.
There are many more links between the club and the trust. Youngsters who show promise on football courses can be invited to train at the trust's advanced centres (set up by former Charlton first-team coach Les Reed in the 1990s).
More than a third of the club's academy ranks were first spotted on community courses, and, in recent years, Harry Arter, Grant Basey, Rob Elliot, Tamer Tuna and Scott Wagstaff are among those to have come through the ranks to represent the first team.
The trust also runs courses enabling people to gain their first coaching qualifications, and many youngsters who have started out on estate or football courses have progressed to gain a coaching certificate and then employment with the trust, becoming role models to their peers in the process.
The community operation also delivers the football club's Summer Slam roadshows throughout the summer across Greenwich, Bexley, Kent and Bromley. Thousands of young people are engaged through this work, and coaches are able to promote all aspects of the club.
Find out more on the trust's official website, which can be accessed at www.cact.org.uk.