Welcome to the 22nd day of December, which also sees the 22nd installment of our SSFC Advent Calendar feature.

Throughout the first 24 days of the month we will attempt to spread a bit of festive cheer, and today’s feature is kicked off by SSFC Foundation’s Steve Camm, whose message can be viewed via the tweet below.

Over the first 24 days of December, you will be able to enter a range of competitions to win prizes courtesy of the club and several of its sponsors.

The latest item up for grabs is a season ticket for the 2021-22 campaign.

To enter this competition, supporters must wait until four questions have been asked, with the fourth to be published on Christmas Eve. Supporters will have until 5pm that day to submit all of their four answers together via email to info@southshieldsfc.co.uk.

The first question was: Which club did Lee Picton twice win the FA Vase with as a player?

Today’s question is: The tagline of SSFC Foundation is Creating Incredible what?

Remember, don’t submit your answers until the fourth question has been published on Christmas Eve.

We are today launching another competition in partnership with our sponsor One More Than Two Brew, with a special hamper up for grabs.

TO ENTER VIA TWITTER:

1. Like and retweet the below tweet

2. Make sure you are following the following accounts on Twitter: @SouthShieldsFC, @SSFCFoundation, @SSFCAcademy, @ShieldsLive

TO ENTER VIA FACEBOOK:

1. Like, share and tag three of your friends on the competition posted on the South Shields FC Facebook page on Tuesday morning.

2. Make sure you like the following pages on Facebook: South Shields FC, SSFC Foundation, One More Than Two Brew

We would like to thank One More Than Two Brew for their continued support.

We are also now highlighting our sixth and final charity of the month, the If U Care Share Foundation.

The charity provides prevention, intervention training & support of those affected by suicide.

To find out more about the If U Care Share Foundation, click here. To make a donation, click here.

Over the month, donations have also been encouraged towards the club’s charitable Foundation, which works with hundreds of children each week and does such fantastic work within our community.

To support the Foundation with a donation, please click here.

Thank you for your continued support and keep an eye out for Day Twenty-Three tomorrow!

South Shields FC Foundation has received a significant boost in the form of a £100,000 donation from club chairman Geoff Thompson.

The announcement is the latest in a series of contributions made by Mr Thompson in the last four years to create his dream of a fan-owned Football League club for the town.

The Foundation is the club’s charitable arm that delivers around £1million worth of social and community impact each year across a range of community-based health and well-being activities.

In July 2019 it formed a partnership with Harton and Westoe Miners Welfare to secure the future of the Welfare – which was facing certain closure – in doing so safeguarding six local jobs and helping to preserve the town’s mining heritage.

Head of SSFC Foundation Steve Camm said: “We are obviously absolutely delighted with the generous donation.

“It will help us to continue to grow and develop the work of the Foundation and further increase our social and community impact.

“The Foundation is a registered charity but we are absolutely determined to be self financing through the activities we deliver and this donation will ensure that we can invest in the things we need to guarantee that.

“Geoff has always been a supporter of the Foundation and its work. It is consistent with his values and determination to invest in the club and the town.

“His generosity will benefit hundreds of people locally and help us to thrive as a community-based charitable foundation. We are incredibly humbled by the generous donation.”

The purpose of the Foundation is to promote community participation in healthy activities by people of all ages and abilities. It sits neatly alongside the club’s elite sporting programmes at first-team, ladies and academy level, broadening the offer and widening the participation levels.

The Foundation runs 20 junior football teams and a number of community-based programmes for children from three years old, including its flagship ‘Thinkers and Movers’ programme for three to five-year-olds, ‘Mini Mariners’ for five and six-year-olds, and its most recent addition, the Friday night ‘Skills School’ delivered by some of the first-team players.

But it’s not just about football.

The Foundation’s schools programme is now entering its second year and is fully booked.

Developed by Foundation Programme Delivery Lead Nathan Kew, the programme is being delivered in 11 primary and nursery schools focusing on literacy, numeracy, movement, resilience and social and emotional development.

Our popular schools matchday experience programme is also now in its second year and has seen first-team players visit over 30 schools, with more than 2,500 children visiting the ground to cheer the team on as our next generation of supporters.

Since its formation the Foundation has created or safeguarded nine jobs, two apprenticeships and created 40 regular volunteering opportunities which offer opportunities for qualifications and development.

The recent developments at Harton Welfare have now added bowls, cricket, junior cricket, adult learning, music and fitness activities for adults to the list of activities it supports that help to improve peoples’ health and well-being. The latest addition was McKenzie Dance, which started operating from Harton Welfare in January 2020.

South Shields FC chairman Geoff Thompson said: “The growth and development of the Foundation over the last two years has been exponential, in parallel with the progression of the first-team and academies and consistent with our ambition to create a Football League-ready community club that the whole town can be proud of.

“First and foremost I am making an investment in the town.

“The Foundation creates about £11 worth of social and community impact for local people for every £1 it spends and so I wanted to support and encourage that kind of impact.

“We want to reach the Football League as a community club and the Foundation has an important role to play in ensuring we make a significant contribution to the local economy and local peoples’ health and well-being.”

South Shields midfielders Adam Thurston and Luke Daly went back to school this week as the club’s charitable arm continued to make a difference in the community.

Adam and Luke joined the Head of SSFC Foundation, Steve Camm, at St Oswald’s RC Primary School in South Shields to offer all pupils at the school an opportunity to enjoy a matchday experience at Mariners Park.

The children will be our guests at the much-anticipated derby match against Morpeth Town on Saturday, November 30, with a selection of them set to be flag bearers ahead of the game.

The players dropped into a school assembly to deliver the news before fielding questions from eager pupils for more than half an hour.

The schools initiative kicked off last November and has been a huge success over the last 12 months.

We have visited 32 schools and spoken to over 5,000 children, almost 1,500 of whom have already enjoyed a matchday experience at Mariners Park.

Last year we particularly focused on those in Years 5 and 6 – or the Class of 23, as we dubbed them.

The success of last season’s initiative prompted us to extend the project this time around, with players now speaking to entire schools and offering every pupil the opportunity to watch a game.

Steve Camm has been at every one of those school visits, and is delighted with how the initiative has been received.

He said: “I remember the first school we visited, Westoe Crown, very well because we went in with Blair Adams, Dan Wright and Ursene Mouanda and weren’t sure what to expect.

“We asked the children if any of them had a question and all 180 of them put their hand up.

“From that point we thought it was definitely something we wanted to be involved in, and it has been a great success so far.

“The excitement and welcome we’ve received in each of the schools has been absolutely amazing.

“The questions asked, from five-year-olds up to 11-year-olds, have been brilliant and it has been a pleasure to be in the schools.

“Every school has met our challenge to ask us a question we haven’t been asked before and the players always enjoy visiting and giving something back to the community.

“I must also mention the behaviour of the children, which has been exemplary everywhere we’ve been.”

Last season, a selection of children at each of the schools visited were also invited to The Word, in South Shields town centre, to write and record match reports based on their experiences.

We are working on providing something similar for the pupils this season as the initiative continues to go from strength to strength.

We look forward to welcoming pupils from St Oswald’s to Mariners Park on November 30 and hope they enjoy their experience.