Watford FC's charity aims to 'enrich' the lives of residents in the town and surrounding areas as part of new plans that have been unveiled.

Drawn from a series of in-depth consultations and research, Watford FC’s Community Sports and Education Trust (the Trust) has launched a new five-year strategy called 'Tactically Speaking'.

Built upon the vision of creating healthier, happier, and stronger communities, the Trust is an award-winning organisation with more than three decades of experience in community engagement.

The Trust now boasts a team of more than 60 members and has invested more than £2.5 million into its communities, touching the lives of 15,500 people each year.

Community director Rob Smith said: "With the help of our patrons, trustees, colleagues, volunteers, partners, beneficiaries, and supporters, we have created a strategy built on collaboration.

"Actively listening to others, as well as taking on board relevant insights, were key to its creation and have meant that we can now confidently say we have a clear vision for our future and a path to get us there.

"As society changes so do the needs of people.

"We were keen to remain agile in our approach to delivering our services, embracing different ways of engaging individuals, and tackling new challenges as well as those that sadly remain.

"We now look forward to putting words into action, building on a strong track record, and continuing to deliver a real positive impact in the communities we serve."

To shape the strategy, the Trust sought the expertise of Darren Lawrence Coaching and Consultation, who conducted more than 40 hours of consultations, 25 individual interviews, five staff workshops, and gathered 1,359 survey responses.

The extensive feedback helped cement the Trust's standing in the community with enthusiastic endorsements of projects such as 'Golden Memories' and 'Shape up', besides the establishment of community hubs in Cedars and Meriden.

The consultation process also pointed to the need for greater clarity on the Trust's current community work and drew attention to present societal issues.

Among the challenges identified were anti-social behaviour and violence, the cost of living, health inequalities, loneliness and isolation, obesity, and mental health struggles.

The Trust's newly stated mission is "to expand the Watford FC family by providing opportunities in Hertfordshire and London, to enrich people's lives, create special memories, and enable positive futures."

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Driven by this purpose, the five-year strategy outlines key outcomes including improved physical and mental wellbeing in the community, better community cohesion, and enhanced future preparedness of community members.

The Trust's approach to achieve these outcomes include bringing together people and organisations to brighten the future, creating and managing projects to fulfil organisational outcomes, safeguarding their status as a secure charity, and enhancing the reach and connectivity of Watford FC.

Implementation of the first year of the strategy has now begun, laying down a framework to measure the success of the named outcomes.

Once again, the Trust is collaborating, this time with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

For individuals interested in contributing to the Trust's community work, whether as a donor, partner, beneficiary, participant, volunteer, or staff member, visit the Trust's website at www.watfordfccetrust.com.