South Shields FC Foundation Limited

We work with others to improve the health and well-being of people living in some of the most deprived parts of North East England.

Charitable Purpose

The Foundation is a registered charity, and its charitable purpose is to support health and well-being.

Main Activities

We co-design and deliver our services and activities to make a difference to the five things that we know contribute to people’s health and well-being.

  • Making New Friends – Interacting socially with others
  • Physical Activity – Taking part in regular physical activity
  • Taking Notice – Understanding what’s happening around you and staying focused on the present rather than the past (especially what has gone wrong) or the future (especially what could go wrong)
  • Giving/Volunteering – Giving something back, whether that’s time or money
  • Learning a new skill – Doing something that supports personal learning and development

Page Navigation
Business Model
Company Structure
Social Impact & Results

Equal Opportunities
Health and safety
Complaints and discipline
Behaviour management
Child protection
Risk assessment
Project Restart grassroots training risk assessment

Business Model

We are a Social Enterprise, which means that while we have a charitable purpose, most of our income comes from trading and all profit is reinvested in our charitable purpose.

There are some critical features to our business model:

  • A Charitable Purpose: Having a charitable purpose (in our case to support health and well-being in a former coalfield community) means it drives everything we do
  • Social Impact: We publish social accounts alongside our financial accounts to demonstrate our social impact as well as our financial viability
  • Social Enterprise: We have a social purpose, generate most of our income from traded activities and reinvest profit in our charitable purpose. We are not grant dependent. Think of us as a business but where communities benefit, not individual owners or shareholders
  • Financial Sustainability: Our impact is connected to our income, which needs to be diverse in order to be resilient to one or more income streams failing. We rely on fundraising and donations, activity programmes (schools and other activities), bars, events and functions, rental income from facilities, and grant support in key areas (mainly for capital works)
  • Social and Commercial Decision Making: Not everything we do can make a profit, especially if it is a barrier to engagement and participation. So, we constantly balance social and commercial decisions
  • Partnership Delivery: We work with others and add value. We don’t seek to duplicate what would have happened anyway (deadweight) or replace something that already exists (displacement).

Company Structure

South Shields FC Foundation Limited is a Charitable Company (Number 10257450) and a Registered Charity (Number 1176894).


  • Geoff Thompson, South Shields FC Chairman
  • Keith Finnigan, Finance Director
  • Gary Crutwell, Facilities Director
  • John Watson, Harton & Westoe Miners Welfare Chair
  • Stephen Taylor, SSFC Foundation Youth
  • Martin Urwin, Safeguarding Director

The Foundation has a wholly-owned Trading Company, SSFCF 2017 Limited (Number 12718209). It manages income from the bars and events at Harton & Westoe Miners Welfare. Profits from this company must be reinvested in Foundation activities or the facilities at Harton & Westoe Miners Welfare.


  • Geoff Thompson, South Shields FC Chairman
  • Keith Finnigan, Finance Director
  • Steve Camm, South Shields FC Foundation Manager
  • John Watson, Harton & Westoe Miners Welfare Chair

The Foundation has a 25 year Partnership Agreement (established in 2019) with Harton & Westoe Miners Welfare (Charity Number 520812) to operate the facility at Harton Welfare. Under the agreement the Foundation takes full management responsibility for the site on behalf of the Miners Welfare (which retains land ownership), including all the financial risk, which is now transferred to the Trading Company. The Foundation pays a monthly licence fee to Harton & Westoe Miners Welfare.

Who benefits and how?

According to the Office For National Statistics, South Tyneside has many communities that are considered to be among the most deprived in the country when measured using the Indices of Multiple Deprivation. This national data set can be scrutinised allowing a number of South Tyneside-specific challenges to be identified that begin to shape the design of our programmes, including those we deliver with others. So, we should improve:

  1. Transport & Accessibility: Not everyone has a car, impacting on their ability to access services and activities. The design of our programmes recognises this so we don’t unintentionally exclude those who might need our help
  2. Health inequalities: Too few adults are in good or very good health and die prematurely, especially females, because of where they live. Mortality rates from cancer and circulatory disease are too high. Obesity, binge drinking and smoking are particular challenges. Some of those things we can directly impact on. Others we can use the Foundation brand to raise awareness and engage people
  3. Participation in physical activity: Not enough adults exercise for 30 minutes five times a week. Too many children are obese, especially at ages five and 11. Clearly this is an area of strength for us
  4. Employability and skills: Not enough people are economically active and the pathways into work are long and difficult. Too many have no qualifications and the number of 16-18-year-olds not in education, employment or training is too high. Creating learning and volunteering opportunities with pathways to employment is a key area for us
  5. Community safety: More people than in other areas are worried about crime and community safety. We can raise awareness and provide diversionary activities for young people and adults
  6. Meeting the needs of an older population: There is a predicted growth in the number of older people, putting pressure on support services.

Our target beneficiaries include (but are not limited to):

  • Anyone with a postcode that identifies them as living within an area that falls within the worst 5% of local authority wards according to the Office for National Statistics Indices of Multiple Deprivation
  • Young people aged 3-18 and their families
  • Older people, especially those facing challenges including social isolation
  • Anyone from an under-represented group, especially those where service design precludes their inclusion
  • People, especially young people, at risk of offending or re-offending
  • Those furthest away from employment

Social Impact

Our Social Re-Investments

We reinvest funds raised and profits in activities that strengthen our community and create positive social impact.

We have always tried to take a wider view of what impacts on people’s health and well-being (The NHS Five Ways to Well-being).

Well-being Valuation Approach

Since 2017 we have used a Well-being Valuation Approach to measuring and recording our social impact.

Well-being Valuation is in the Treasury’s Green Book, the UK’s core guide to policy evaluation. The methodology was developed by Daniel Fujiwara (London School of Economics), Affinity Sutton, Catalyst Housing and the Housing Associations Charitable Trust. It works by isolating the particular factors that affect health and well-being, for example playing a sport, getting a job or socialising with friends.

It then attributes an equivalent financial value to each of these factors. This is the amount of cash that would be needed to increase someone’s well-being by the same amount, for instance playing a sport regularly over a two month period would have the same impact on health and well-being as being given £10,767.

It’s a one-off calculation, so once a benefit has been calculated and attributed to a particular year the continuation of the activity does not keep adding to the total. We like this because, while we want to retain people in activities, to add to our impact we must constantly engage NEW people.


In summary:

July 2017-June 2020: Social Impact £4.4million, Return on Investment £8 to every £1 spent


SSFC Foundation accounts – year end June 2017
SSFC Foundation accounts – year end June 2018
SSFC Foundation accounts – period end December 2019
SSFC Foundation accounts – period end June 2020
SSFC Foundation social accounts – period end December 2019
SSFC Foundation social accounts – year end June 2020


The South Shields FC and SSFC Foundation brands are strong in the community and support engagement. We started with a physical activity programme largely based around grassroots football for young people aged 6-17 years. We’ve always been clear though that our programmes (and our social impact) should not just be around football, nor should they just be aimed at young people. The first development came with the creation of a Physical Social Health and Economic Programme in schools. This programme uses PE as the mechanism for engagement but is actually about learning. These programmes combine movement and physical literacy with numeracy, literacy and social and emotional development. While still aimed at young people (primary and nursery settings), they illustrate the diversification away from just football.

On the back of that came a matchday experience programme developed in partnership with the club and The National Centre for the Written Word (The Word). This involved us taking first-team players into primary schools and inviting children and an accompanying adult to experience a game at 1st Cloud Arena as our guests. Some of the children acted as flag bearers before the game, and some went on to write and film a match report as part of a literacy project with The Word. All enjoyed family social time and made new friends.

Our grassroots football programme, like all clubs, is hugely reliant on a volunteer adult workforce. Our volunteers give up countless hours to give something back to others. We seek to support our volunteers to learn and grow and have been able to offer a progression route, creating full-time employment and apprenticeships with the club, the Foundation or the Academy.

A further example of the development of our pathway is our contribution to help people take notice of what is happening around them. This has been using the club and Foundation brand to raise awareness of societal issues like mental health, race equality and most latterly as a Covid Community Champion.

A transformational moment for us was the creation of a partnership in 2019 with Harton & Westoe Miners Welfare. Saving this incredible community resource from closure and establishing the Foundation with a base from which it has stabilised its business model and grown and diversified its social impact. Bowls, boxing, fitness, dance, well-being activities, walking football, social groups, music and charitable events championing (and raising much-needed funds for local good causes are all safeguarded by the development of the Harton & Westoe site.

The latest additions with the support of our Activity Partners Port of Tyne and CFS are projects that support some of our most vulnerable young people.

Schools Early Years Provision

Our new Early Years Provision has been designed to maximise learning and encourage cross-curricular links within EYFS PE. It has three key programmes, all connected to national/school curriculum, which offer schools bespoke provision suited to the children within each setting:

  • “Monkey Movements” – Monkey movements is a movement-based programme which focuses on key motor control skills and the fundamentals of movement. This is achieved through freedom-based activity and structured play
  • “Polly Phonics” – Polly Phonics is our literacy programme which combines an EYFS literacy lesson into a fun, active and engaging PE lesson
  • “Matey’s Maths” – Matey’s Maths is our numeracy-based programme which includes EYFS mathematics curriculum within a PE lesson
  • Multi-sport/Multi-skills KS1 (Year 1,2,3) – This bespoke KS1 programme covers a wide range of topics within the PE curriculum. It mixes a multi-sport curriculum with a scheme of work that emphasises KS1 key social and psychological skills, particularly focusing on an introduction to team sport and team play. These ‘people skills’ help children develop both in and out of the school environment and are used to develop team work within a full class or used as key intervention tools
  • Multi-sport/future skills KS2 (Year 4,5,6) – Our KS2 provision has similar principles and pillars to KS1, with the slight adaptation as we are beginning to look at skills that will be easily transferable into life, the outside world and secondary education. Through the use of a spiralled curriculum we use a range of different sports and games focusing on physical literacy. All lessons have learning objectives based around the development of an individual person whether this is the social, physiological or technical development
  • Year 5/6 PSHE Programme: “Preparing the KS2 child for secondary education through the power of sport” – This physical education programme links closely with core PSHE principles. In these sessions we openly encourage creativity and responsibility, and place pupils in scenarios where they may lead, support or even be taught by their peers. Our coaches set specialist lessons and environments where these scenarios are frequent and sustainable. We believe this programme is very different from everything else that is currently being delivered within this age gap, and our specialist coaches manage the session in such a way that participants we contact develop their own principles and ideas to problem solve within each lesson. The programme displays key links to school and national curriculum while incorporating literacy and numeracy in an active environment
  • Dance – We specialise in developing dance as part of an enriched curriculum. We have a range of themed lesson plans which are popular choices in primary schools, which link in with the national curriculum requirements. Our highly experienced dance teacher is also able to work with teachers to deliver lessons based upon topics which may be specific to their school

Community Provision


At every Saturday first-team game at 1st Cloud Arena, a Matchday Play Park is held on the 3G pitch. The Play Park is open for all children aged between four and 14 who have a valid match ticket, at no additional cost. It is on between 1.30pm and 2.30pm.


Delivered indoors at Harton & Westoe Miners Welfare (NE34 0NA), Thinkers and Movers is aimed at children aged three to five and is a multi-sport activity session. SSFC Foundation Programme Delivery Lead Nathan Kew – who is an early-years specialist – leads the session, which takes place on Tuesdays between 5pm and 6pm. £4 pre-booking required.

BOOKING LINK… New users: Returning users:


Delivered outdoors at Harton & Westoe Miners Welfare (NE34 0NA), Mini Mariners is aimed at children aged five and six and our session for boys and girls looking to join grassroots football teams at Under 7. It takes place on Tuesdays between 6pm and 7pm. £4 pre-booking required.

BOOKING LINK… New users: Returning users:


Futsal continues to grow in popularity and to recognise its importance, we have introduced a specialist programme for children in Years 4, 5 and 6. Sessions take place on Wednesdays between 5pm and 6pm at Whitburn School. Limited spaces are available on this programme so pre-booking is required, at a cost of £4 a session.

BOOKING LINK… New users: Returning users:


This girls-only football session is held every Friday between 5pm and 6pm at 1st Cloud Arena. It’s for girls aged between five and 12. Originally called Wildcats, the session was rebranded in November 2018 and is proving more and more popular. Pre-booking is required at a cost of £4.

BOOKING LINK… New users: Returning users:


This specialist and highly popular football session is held every Friday between 6pm and 7pm at 1st Cloud Arena. It’s for boys and girls aged between five and 12 and is delivered by Foundation and Academy coaches.



These specialist dance and movement sessions are held every Thursday between 5pm and 7pm at Harton Welfare. There are two sessions: one for under-12s and the other for over-12s. Pre-booking is required at a cost of £4 and spaces are limited.

BOOKING LINK… New users: Returning users:


Our ever-popular holiday courses run most days each week during school holidays. They are for boys and girls aged between five and 12. Pre-booking is required at a cost of £10 per day.

BOOKING LINK… New users: Returning users:

You can also email us at or follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SSFCFoundation.

Grassroots Football

Looking back, it’s hard to believe how far we have come in such a short space of time. In 2017-18 we had half a dozen junior football teams playing away from Mariners Park run by a couple of parent volunteers and a small committee.

Fast-forward two years to 2019/20 and we had a Registered Charity with a turnover of around £350,000, a flagship schools programme working with over 500 children every week in 13 schools and nurseries, a grassroots football programme with nearly 400 children participating in 30 teams with 100 more regularly participating in community activities, and a workforce of 12, supported by a skilled and dedicated group of over 50 volunteers.

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to grow and we entered the 2021-22 season in the best shape we’d ever been with many exciting new plans and developments.

We enjoy terrific support from South Shields FC. The Foundation exists alongside the 16-19 Academy (delivered with Sunderland College) and the 12-16 Futures Academy (delivered with Mortimer Community School). Together we are working tirelessly on our shared ambition to become a Football League-ready community club.

The first-team moved to full time professional status in 2021 and we created a full Academy team structure from 12 to 16 for the first time.

Ambitious plans were underway ahead of the 2021-22 season to redevelop 1st Cloud Arena and Harton Welfare. Mortimer Community School will also be upgraded in 2021-22. We are creating unrivalled facilities supported by professional coaching staff and committed volunteer coaches, players and parents.

The Foundation’s role is about participation. Involvement in Foundation grassroots teams is not a rite of passage into the club’s Academy structure, which sits on the performance side of our club’s activities.


Team Franchise Agreement