The PFA's Members achieved 38,957 community visits in 2015/16...The PFA's 2015/16 Community Evaluation Report highlights the positive influence professional footballers had during the season.
In 2016 the PFA celebrated 30 years of its community programme which brings communities and football clubs together. Since 1986 the PFA have been committed to raising the profile and awareness of the extensive work and participation of players in support of community and charitable activities.
Community involvement extends across many areas including health, education, social inclusion, and equality - underlining a commitment to make a positive difference in society. Throughout the 2015/16 season PFA members amassed 38,957 community visits supporting a wide variety of projects around the country.
The PFA also provides support for charities such as the Football League Trust, Football Foundation, The Prince’s Trust, The National Literacy Trust, Kick it Out and Show Racism the Red Card.
Each of the 92 professional football clubs in the country select a player every year as a community champion, recognising their efforts in supporting the club’s charity partners and community events.
City winger Craig Noone has taken up the community champion mantle for the Bluebirds, and spoke about his 2015/16 visits in the community in the PFA's Community Evaluation.
"Visiting Parc Prison was a great experience," Craig said at a visit carried out by members of the Bluebirds' First Team squad last season. "It was so different to many of the other community visits we do. It was fantastic to see how much of a positive impact the Foundation's coaches had on the inmates during their sessions...
"I personally enjoy visiting different places in the communities across South Wales, and it's humbling to know that we can act as positive role models to so many people, not just budding young football enthusiasts."
Looking back on the year, the PFA’s Director of Corporate Social Responsibility John Hudson said: “With just under 40,000 Community player appearances for the fourth year in succession, our work is extensive but far from over.
“A new capability status criteria has been implemented at all clubs providing opportunities to develop the player’s passions and improve relationships within the communities.
“It also ensures more inspirational ambassadors are established, provides a culture of action and social change, whilst it also implements a philosophy built around values and respect.”
Over the past twelve months the PFA has continued to work closely with players to support the work and contributions made through their own Foundations. The James Milner Foundation, The Zesh Rehman Foundation and The 23 Foundation are just some of the charities set up by professional footballers to support and raise awareness for the player’s chosen cause.
For more information on the Bluebirds' work in the community, check out p.47 of the PFA’s 2015/16 Community Evaluation report!