Speaking with our new Trustee Charlie

We were delighted to welcome Charlie Hyman, the founder and CEO of Bloomsbury Football to our Board of Trustees earlier this month. Charlie brings a wealth of experience in the sector we care about – grassroots and community sport – having started Bloomsbury Football just over three years ago to the point today where it works with 3000 young people.

We caught up with Charlie after his appointment on his passion for sport changing lives and why grassroots and community clubs need support of big business.

Community sport is at the heart of what I do. The work we do at Bloomsbury Football is currently reaching 3000 young people and providing them a space to learn a wealth of skills outside of the beautiful game.

So, when the opportunity to join the Made By Sport Board arose, I jumped at the chance. Our passion points align – delivering and showcasing change for young people across the UK.

When people think about sport, they think of trophies and getting to the top of the table. Sport ‘for good’ is a new concept, but it is at the heart of Bloomsbury Football and Made By Sport. We both believe that sport can do more than score goals. When supported correctly it can be an incredible vehicle to deliver societal change – be that improving mental health, building stronger communities, or setting young people up for the workplace.

I am a product of sport ‘for good’. I started volunteering at my younger brother’s football team at just 16 years of age which eventually led to me working with the Fulham Foundation. It gave me fantastic insights into the important community work that can be achieved through sport by simply providing young people with the opportunity to play and express themselves. They learn so much more than kicking a ball. They learn how to communicate, teamwork, resilience. Invaluable life skills that will serve them well beyond the pitch.

It’s that insight that has stayed with me and was the driving force behind Bloomsbury Football. I saw a lack of opportunities to get involved in football at a community level, at a cost that young people and families could afford, so I wanted to provide a solution to that problem.

What started off with four kids in Camden at our first session has seen us grow over three years to supporting 3000 young people across England. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved but it goes to show there is such an appetite for the access to sport that we provide.

Showcasing the excellent by-products of sport for young people is one of our hardest challenges at a grassroots and community level in the UK, which is why I’m excited to join the Made By Sport Board to help drive that awareness and vital funding. If together we can prove that sport can deliver so much more that medals, we can address the imbalance in the support it is given by big businesses.

With 75% of the FTSE buying sports sponsorship but only 2% investing in community sport for social good, it’s clear to see that something’s got to change. We hope that one day there won’t be a need for grant-giving organisations to keep the doors open at clubs and organisations across the UK because businesses and corporates will have woken up to the importance of sport and supported it differently.

I look forward to building better futures for young people with Made By Sport.

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