Last month marked the grand opening of the Proact stadium’s Community Stand. Using the £350,000 grant awarded by the Premier league Community Facility Fund, the Chesterfield FC Community Trust has dedicated themselves to one of the most ambitious football-based community projects in the country.
As well as using football to promote sports participation, education and social inclusion, the stand will have a strong focus on rehabilitation and supporting people with disabilities. I feel honoured to be a part of the community stand project and I know the whole team at Spencers are particularly proud to be working with two inspirational nationwide charities – Leonard Cheshire and McIntyre.
The former gives disabled people from all over the world, the opportunity to live independently and fully participate in society.
Based on the core value that each and every person should be equally valued in society, Leonard Cheshire provides a wide range of support services to thousands of people, including children, the elderly and people with learning disabilities, physical and sensory impairments and acquired brain injuries.
A large facility in the stand will also be home to McIntyre – a large nationwide charity that helps children and adults with profound learning difficulties. This will include a drop-in centre, meeting place and sensory play area, and give more people access to the bespoke support McIntyre provides to adults and children across the UK.
With facilities at the Proact Stadium, these charities will be at the heart of the Chesterfield community and provide vital rehabilitation facilities for those in need.
Perhaps the most impressive feature for me is the wide range of rehabilitation facilities that will be available for injured people, including a registered chiropractor who will be based at the community stand to help treat those with spinal injuries.
Chiropractors manipulate the spine and treat bone, muscle and joint disorders. It’s a complementary treatment to conventional western medicine and can play a vital part in rehabilitating victims of car crashes and other accidents. I know from being a part of the team at Spencers that the entire firm is keen to support this and get injured people back on their feet as soon as possible.
There will also be a hydrotherapy pool to aid recovery after an injury. The benefits of hydrotherapy were discovered by the ancient Greeks and the treatment is used today to rid the body of toxins that may be causing joint pain and inflammation. It’s a natural way to recover from injury and is commonly used to relieve arthritis, back pain, anxiety and muscle weakness – another proven and admirable therapy for accident victims.
And on top of that, the stand will also be home to a 100-member martial arts academy, a soft play area for kids, a café, gymnasium and several ‘learning zones’ where 48 students will be enrolled on a BTEC Sports and Leisure programme based at the stadium.
It’s a fantastic addition to the community which will improve the lives of many local people. As more organisations and individuals get behind the project, we’ll hopefully see the Community Stand last a lifetime.
Have you been to visit the community stand yet? Leave your comments in the box below, I would love to hear your thoughts.
About the author
Lee Foster is a solicitor and head of core practice at Spencers Solicitors. Lee coordinates Spencers partnership with Chesterfield Football Club, the CFC community trust as well as other local initiatives.