Title: Community Engagement Toolkit

Copy: Working with local people to create successful community football and multi-sport projects

Welcome to the Football Foundation’s Community Engagement Toolkit

Football is the beautiful game that brings people together. We believe it should be accessible to EVERYONE.

We can make this happen through investments into sports facilities, improving lives for local communities facing stubborn inequalities in activity levels and access.

Why is this important?

Research shows that four groups face the greatest inequalities. Before submitting your application, we encourage you to engage with these priority groups to find out what opportunities and access they need from facilities and activities:

  • Low socio-economic groups 
  • Women and girls
  • People with disabilities
  • Culturally diverse communities

The most successful community sport and physical spaces are designed and delivered in partnership with local people. The traditional ‘build it and they will come’ approach is not the most effective philosophy in facility delivery. Communities are more likely to engage in activities and facilities if they’ve been involved in their planning and development.  

What is community engagement?

Community engagement doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s about speaking, listening and working with people to understand their needs. This will help you design, develop and deliver truly collaborative programmes and facilities.

Consultation alone doesn’t create adequate connections with communities, which is why engagement is so important. Working collaboratively to build lasting and rewarding partnerships and relationships helps build trust with local communities, instilling ownership, inclusivity and pride in your project. 

Community engagement is an ongoing process which doesn’t stop when the project is delivered. Continual engagement ensures that facilities and activities meet the changing needs of the community.

This Toolkit is designed to help you transform your connections and relationships, enabling you to collaborate with local people to design facilities and activities that are inclusive for everyone.

Community engagement - The benefits

Our commitment to multi-sport

The Football Foundation is committed to investing in multi-sports projects that support football and other sports such as rugby, cricket, netball or basketball. We aim to help people access more opportunities to take part in sport and physical activity. 

Although football remains at the heart of your application, your community engagement journey will help identify opportunities for using facilities beyond football. This could include exercise classes in your pavilion, rugby training on your 3G pitch, netball on a PlayZone facility, or any other activity your community would use and enjoy. We encourage you to embrace these opportunities.

For more information on including multi-sports in your application, please speak to your Football Foundation delivery manager.

The Toolkit – what to expect

Watch this video to find out how the Toolkit works and how it will help with your Football Foundation application.

Title: Click here to start the Community Engagement Toolkit

Title: The 5 stages of community engagement:

Copy: <ol> <li>Making a plan</li> <li>Building partnerships and narrowing the focus</li> <li>Making connections</li> <li>Developing plans</li> <li>Staying connected</li> </ol> <p>Each stage supports the development of your Football Foundation application. We recommend making notes via our Community Engagement Log as you go along.</p> <p>There is also <strong>further guidance on engaging with our 4 priority audiences</strong> and <strong>the 4 facility types</strong> we fund (PlayZones, 3G artificial grass pitches, grass pitches and changing pavilions).</p> <p>Look out for <strong>signposts and links to further information and resources</strong>. &nbsp;</p>