Welcome to the TrustSTFC February newsletter, which is fairly lengthy ths time around, but hopefully contains some items of interest to you.
As always, please reply or contact us on social media if you have any questions. Thanks!
Red Army Fund
Thank you to the 14 new people that signed up for paid membership of the Trust in January, and February has got off to a good start as well. If you haven’t received a Welcome email, please check your ‘Spam’ folders, as we seem to get stuck in those quite often!
In total we now have 117 people signed up as paid members and contributing to the Red Army Fund on a Monthly basis. This may sound a low number to some of you, but it will generate almost £11k in a Calendar year, which we will spend very carefully in alignment with the ‘Trust Vision’ shown on our website www.redarmyfund.co.uk.
For those of you not yet signed up to one of our membership packages (Red, Bronze, Silver or Gold) – please take a look at the website and consider what you could donate on a Monthly basis. Just £1 maybe?
All Trust board members are volunteers, and every penny raised will go towards our Supporter initiatives. With our own independent funding we will be able to achieve great things, so please give us your backing at whatever level you can comfortably afford.
We have over 1600 Associate Members of the Trust receiving this email, so if just a small percentage of you signed up to a paid membership – our funds and possiblilities would be magnified immensely!
Mike Welsh, Vice-Chair of the Trust, has been leading the work here and is also in discussion with the club. As a very early step in the Stratton Bank redevelopment process we are seeking planning permission for a new toilet block, as the current toilets are unusable. Currently, if the Bank is to be used on match days, portaloos are needed at additional cost to the club.
We think It would be great to see Swindon Town fans back on the Bank in the future, so if you know of any Tradesmen out there that are prepared to help us out, please get in touch.
Obviously one of our major goals is to raise a roof over the Stratton Bank, and we’ve been out there discussing this with local businesses – really that’s the most viable way of funding it’s build.
There are some complications there obviously with the Council owning the stadium, and we’ve witnessed a reluctance to invest large sums into the infrastructure as a result of that, but we’re going to find a way to make it happen and we’ve recently added James Phipps, CEO of Excalibur to the Trust board to work with those local businesses and find a way forwards. James is a great addition to the board and brings so much local knowledge, experience and connections.
Local businessman Warren Cass, founder and CEO of Business Scene, a very large business networking group – has also joined us as a Trust Officer, and along with James will be looking at building lots of new connections within the business community, so hopefully some good stuff to come there.
Trust Historian Dick Mattick is heading up a group of Trust representatives looking at our Club Museum idea. That group now includes new TrustSTFC Officer Richard Banyard, who you may know from his fabulous website www.swindon-town-fc.co.uk. The first phase of the Club Museum project will be a series of pop-up memorabilia exhibitions, and these launch on Monday 29th February at a Lou Macari Sporting Dinner hosted by the Rotary Club. Following the launch night, the pop-up Club Museum will circulate around Schools, workplaces and Libraries.
We do want to find a permanent venue for the museum itself, obviously inside the County Ground would be the perfect place for that, but it needs a lot more discussion.
North Wilts Youth Football League and Schools
Trust Board members Matt Davies and Simon Cowley both attended a meeting with representatives from Swindon Town and the North Wilts Youth Football League last week. We’ve been trying for some time to bring those parties together, and that’s now going really well – so we are hoping that this leads to better pricing deals for families, and greater overall engagement of the kids with Swindon Town. There’s around 5000 children in the area that play football on a Sunday, and we want to see lots of them coming to matches to make it a perfect football weekend. They are the next generation of supporters.
Our Schools promotions in the second half of last season added between 500-700 to each home gate, and we are again looking at ways to increase attendances through these avenues of engagement.
#5k to Coventry
As well as encouraging families to the County Ground, we’re also keen to let other clubs know how great our away following is. You’ll have seen in the press these last couple of weeks that we have launched a “5K to Coventry” campaign. Obviously we don’t know how many fans we can take, but a couple of years ago we took 3000+, so it will be interesting to see if six weeks of promotion will help us match those numbers or even improve them.
The worst that can happen is more people go along than had previously planned! Read more about it here, and remember to register for Coaches if you are coming along, SAS Travel are helping us with those.
We want a great atmosphere and we’re going to be promoting the aim of a ‘Liverpool Kop’ feel – with scarves held aloft (we saw that a few years ago when Paolo Di Canio was in charge at the County Ground). We also want to create a sea of noise, let’s make the Red Army Roar at the Ricoh!
Please put the date in your diary, Saturday 19th March – and keep an eye out for our information around tickets and travel next week.
There is more to tell you about, but this email has gone on long enough! However if you have time, please come along to our Annual General Meeting, where the entire Trust board will be available to chat.
The event will take place at Excalibur’s Headquarters – 3 Arclite House, Century Road, SN5 5YN – on Thursday, March 3 from 7.30pm.
Anyone interested in coming along to discuss the work of the Trust is most welcome. If you could email your interest in attending, that would help us prepare the venue for the required numbers. If you have any questions at all, please get in touch using the details below, or by replying to this email.