Saints in the Community Trust launched

Saints in the Community were this week launched as a new Charitable Trust that will continue the work carried out over more than two decades by the community department within the football club.

Over the last decade, it has increasingly been recognised that football can be a force for good that can contribute to a wide range of social benefits – improving self-esteem, inspiring young people, promoting wellbeing and healthy lifestyles and contributing to social inclusion.

Having taken advice from a variety of partners and consulted with a number of other senior clubs who have gone down a similar route, the Club Directors decided that the Community Department could be even more successful if it was established as a SCIO (single tier Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation). As a charitable Trust, the new independent organisation will continue to have all the benefits of being linked to the Club but will also be able to enjoy the greater flexibility that charitable status will offer. Operating under the banner “Saints in the Community”, the Community Trust will continue to make an impact under 5 headings:

PLAYING, TEACHING, WELLBEING, INCLUDING and, LEARNING.

Atholl Henderson has been Head of the Community Department since he returned to Saints in 1994 and will operate as Chief Executive of the new Trust. Dave Black (Projects Manager) and Danny Griffin (Community and Club Development Officer) have transferred along with Atholl while Karin Ferguson and Iain Smith have been brought on board as Office Manager and Funding and Marketing Manager respectively. Euan Archibald completes the team as a Modern Apprentice.

The Trust will continue to be based at McDiarmid Park and will operate under the governance of a Board of Trustees who bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm.

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The Trustees are: Roddy Ross, Chairman; David Longmuir, Vice Chairman; Scott Walker, Treasurer; Domenica Vettraino, Secretary; Charlie Fraser, Julie-Anne Flynn; John Low and Maria Ure.

Club Chairman Steve Brown: “I am delighted to confirm that the Community Department within St. Johnstone Football Club has successfully converted to an independent Community Trust with charitable status.

"This decision, which mirrors developments that have taken place at many clubs across the UK, has been taken to allow the Department to grow and expand and to build on a highly successful legacy whilst retaining close links with and retaining the identity of the Football Club.

"St. Johnstone Football Club is justifiably proud of the fantastic work that the Community Department has done over the years – both in terms of football development and increasingly through the award winning projects that mean that we, as a club, enhance the lives of many people in different ways throughout Perth and Kinross.

"As Chairman, I look forward to many more years of success for the new Trust and I wish them well.”