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Although FC Barcelona have turned it into their motto, the truth is every single football club out there is "more than a club". It's a pillar of the community, it brings together people of all walks of life, it instils pride in an area's culture and heritage, and so much more. Notts County Football Club go a step further by giving back to the community, both local and global, with the help of Notts County FC Football in the Community. A lot of Notts fans may be vaguely aware of FITC but know little more about what they truly do, so Pride of Nottingham will cast the spotlight on them and their work. In 1989, Notts County FC founded the "Notts County FC Community Programme". This was set up by Footballers' Further Education and Vocational Training Scheme (FFE+VTS), which was a welfare scheme operated by the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) for its members. The NCFC Community Programme had the following aims: - Encourage more people especially children to play football - Provide training, leading to employment - Promote closer community links with professional football clubs - Encourage more people especially children to watch live professional matches - Maximise the use of facilities at professional football grounds Such was its success that it gained a National Award for Training Programme in 1994 and, six years later, gained charity status, became independent and former a board of trustees to become the Football In The Community charity it is today. With over 35 projects that cover all 20 city wards, FITC have enriched, empowered and encouraged hundreds of thousands of people across Nottingham over the last 28 years, and have been recognised for their great work with multiple awards, including the illustrious "Professional Club Community Programme of the Year" at the 2016 Sport & Recreation Awards. As of 2017 FITC continue to serve the community with the same passion and commitment they were founded with, focusing on 6 key areas of work (as displayed on their badge): - Social Inclusion - Health - Education - Sports Participation - National Citizens Service (NCS) - Fundraising Although working alongside Notts County FC, FITC is an independent charity which raises all its own funding, so it's essential for fans to get behind it and continue the great work they're doing in Nottingham. FITC recently held an event at West Bridgford's Poppy & Pint in which Notts legend Les Bradd talked about his illustrious career and it was enjoyed by all who came. And plenty more events are in the pipeline, such as the Inflatable 5k Nottingham (July 14) the Peak District TrekFest challenge (September 1), Robin Hood Marathon (September 30) and the CEO sleepout (October 11). FITC Media Officer Leighton T James said of working alongside Pride of Nottingham: "I find your articles and content insightful, humorous and strikes a cord with a very passionate and family friendly audience. "The tide is changing in the way football fans engage with the media. "When I was a child I remember visiting Sixfields Stadium, home of Northampton Town and my dad buying 'The Hotel End' fanzine and chucking to himself at the illustrations and articles written by cobblers fans. "Now, that has changed with the rise of social media and fan channels like Arsenal Fan TV. We are very happy to associate ourselves with fan site like PON." We at Pride of Nottingham are delighted to be working alongside Notts County FC Football in the Community and will do our very best to ensure it gets the spotlight it deserves. Find out more about Notts County FC Football in the Community by clicking here. Share your thoughts about this feature article on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
Two tickets for Notts County's League Two encounter against Crawley Town are up for grabs as part of a fundraising drive for St John's Ambulance. Simon Murray was given two tickets for the fixture, scheduled for 6 January at Meadow Lane, by the club with the aim of raising money for the cause. He got in touch via Pride of Nottingham to promote a charity raffle, which can be entered with a donation of just £3. Simon, an Everton fan living in Nottingham, wrote on the PON forum: "Your club have been kind enough to donate two home match tickets for your match against Crawley Town to me, as I'm raising funds for St John's Ambulance. "I am hoping to get enough interest to raffle the tickets off via your forum. All 'sales' will essentially be a donation directly to my JustGiving page. "I've used my extremely limited knowledge of your current squad (gathered from a combination of seeing you dispatch a young Everton side in the EFL trophy, sitting through a 1-0 win over Swindon in the pouring rain, and a bunch of Channel 5 highlights), and thrown in a few apparent club legends (based solely on Wikipedia), to gather a list of 20 names. "The idea is that you donate £3 to the page, and pick a player from the list. Once all names have gone, I'll add them all to the following website, and generate a winner. "I've got a voucher from the club at the moment. I can contact them and leave the contact details of the winner for collection (I will send the covering letter and voucher in the post as well), or can arrange to collect the tickets myself and post them out. I've attached a picture of the letter received, just to give peace of mind. "All help and support is very much appreciated. I'll be sure to check back regularly and mark what names have gone. The closing date for entry is 17th December 2017, and I will draw from whatever names have been sold on this date." To see the names that are still available, and for more information, here is the link for the original post on the PON forum. Speaking to Simon, he told PON of his decision to share his fundraising on this site: "I had a look over a couple of forums, but this one seemed like an active and friendly bunch. Reminds me of the old days of a since disbanded Everton forum ran on the Bluekipper fan site. Despite Kieran Dowell's efforts for Forest I think County have definitely become my adopted team of the area after the generosity of the club and yourselves!" With the Magpies continuing to go from strength to strength under Kevin Nolan and boasting impressive home form, the opportunity to win two tickets for just £3 is one not to be missed! But don't forget - the closing date is Sunday 17 December so get in there quick! Chris and JJ have already made donations, and with all the great work St John's Ambulance does, it's a very noble cause that deserves all our support! Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.