Photo: Staff from Little Miracles CEN, Cambridge United FC, Cambridge United Community Trust, WSP, Penningtons Manches LLP and Hilton Hotel Cambridge City Centre at the launch of the Little Miracles Football Programme joint venture.

Little Miracles Cambridge, Ely & Newmarket are incredibly proud to announce the launch of the Little Miracles Football Programme in partnership with the Cambridge United Community Trust.

This could not have been achieved without the fantastic work and corporate support of WSP, Penningtons Manches LLP and our long term partners the Hilton Cambridge City Centre Hotel. To all of these amazing organisations we extend our sincere thanks for their time and commitment to the project.

For all of the organisations involved in this project, the areas of inclusion, education and health are areas that they are passionately committed too alongside developing new services for the benefit of the local community, especially for those that are vulnerable or have disabilities.

The delivery of the project will provide the provision of weekly football sessions supporting children that have autism, additional needs and learning difficulties. The nature of the sessions will provide a safe environment with professional coaches for these children to take great enjoyment from football whilst giving them the time and extra support that they need along the way. The sessions are also designed to build confidence, improve social skills and team working. This project builds on the fantastic work already done by the Cambridge United Community Trust in the local area. Over the next few weeks we will also be launching a team football shirt for those taking part in the sessions.

The sessions will commence on Sunday October 8th from 1 – 2 pm at Impington Village College Sports Centre for children with Autism, additional needs & learning disabilities / difficulties (approximately aged under 16). We will also be looking to introduce further locations to provide improved coverage for different catchment areas of the City and County. To ensure as much access to the sessions as possible we will also be working with schools across the county as well as the Cambridgeshire FA.

Alongside general awareness, the project will also work on such areas as educating referees and coaches in working with children with additional needs, encouraging important peer support between families and parental involvement in the sessions. We will also be able to introduce them to other support networks, services and events that Little Miracles provides.

Little Miracles CEN is a multi award winning charity, supporting children with autism, additional needs, disabilities and life limiting conditions alongside their families and carers.
Justin Heron, Operations Manager for LMCEN
 said; “The partnership that we have with the Cambridge United Community Trust is both very special and positive, working with them in different ways but sharing the same values and commitment to the local community to make a difference. We would like extend a huge thanks to them, the club, its players and all the corporate sponsorship team for helping us deliver this project and for the months of effort they have put in to make it happen. We are all truly excited for the launch, the amount of children it will support and the ways in which we expect it to evolve over time for the benefit of so many families in the area.”

Cambridge United Community Trust is the charitable arm of Cambridge United. They use the club’s brand to have a positive impact on the local community. The trust is focused on delivering projects across the key themes of education, health and inclusion.
Ben Szreter, CEO for CUCT said; “Disability sport is hugely important to our aims as an organisation. It’s great to team up with Little Miracles who have a passion for the same goals to deliver important football sessions for young people with autism and learning difficulties. We look forward to delivering a number of projects with them to the benefit of the community.”

WSP is one of the world’s leading engineering professional services consulting firms, providing services in the built and natural environment.
Jonathan Delahoche, for WSP said; “WSP Cambridge Staff are excited to be able to support Little Miracles in the delivery of the disability football project, which will benefit the local community. WSP has been involved with the charity all year round, witnessing their works and support they provide to children with learning difficulties and their families. WSP shares Little Miracles goals to make a positive difference. We are all thrilled to participate in this adventure with them and cannot wait to see so many children taking part in the football sessions.”

Penningtons Manches LLP is a leading UK law firm which provides high quality legal advice tailored to both businesses and individuals.
Lyndsey Banthorpe, for Penningtons Manches LLP said; “Penningtons Manches are proud to support the Little Miracles Football Programme and its’ wider projects. We are excited to be part of an initiative which aims to make a tangible difference to children with learning difficulties by providing them with a sense of ownership in a safe and fun environment.“

The Hilton Cambridge City Centre Hotel is a leading contemporary hotel in the heart of the Cambridge, part of the world renowned Hilton Group.
Richard Finn, for Hilton Cambridge City Centre Hotel
said; “The Hilton Cambridge City Centre have supported Littles Miracles for over 18 months in their tireless efforts to aid, develop and support local children and families. We are humbled and delighted to continue this effort in supporting them in all their new initiatives and to raise awareness of their good work in the local community. They remain positive, active and creative in all they do, and we are proud to help them where we can.”

Cambridgeshire County Football Association aims to establish safe and structured football opportunities for the benefit of all concerned irrespective of age, colour, gender and disability.
Hayley Elphee, Disability Officer for Cambridgeshire FA
 said; “I’m delighted about the new sessions which will provide a great opportunity for children with disabilities/additional needs to enjoy playing football. It’s also a great opportunity for volunteers to get involved and gain experience supporting this exciting new venture.”

Photo: Amy Heron (Little Miracles), Andy Farrer (CUCT), Liam O’Neil (CUFC), Jevani Brown (CUFC),
Ben Szreter (CUCT), Dave Heron (Little Miracles)