Howdens launches £3m grassroots football partnership

Howdens Kitchens has launched a £3m partnership with The FA through England Football to improve clubhouse facilities across grassroots football clubs.

19 Apr, 23

Trade supplier Howdens Kitchens has launched a £3m partnership with The FA through England Football to improve clubhouse facilities across grassroots football clubs.

Howdens’ Game Changer Programme in partnership with England Football will see the kitchen company aim to fund £3m worth of kitchens over three years for England Football Accredited grassroots clubs.

Andrew Livingston, chief executive officer of Howdens, commented on the partnership: “There is quite rightly a lot of attention on grassroots football and what happens on the pitch.

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“We feel that the off-pitch facilities are very important too, because clubhouses are the hub of the community, they’re the place for teas and coffees for the taxi of mum and dad, where the frozen wet feet of the army of volunteers dry off, and when the post-match discussion starts.

“If kitchens are the heart of our homes, then kitchens should be the heart of community grassroots football too,” said Livingston.

Director of Football Development at The FA James Kendall said: “We have around 18,000 grassroots football clubs across the country and they are the cornerstone of our national game.

“A key part of our grassroots strategy is our commitment to strengthen every aspect of local clubs, particularly facilities which play such a crucial role in providing the right environment to play and gather.

“We’re really delighted to be working in partnership with Howdens on this unique Game Changer programme.

“By providing new kitchens at clubs which are most in need, we aim to help them grow and thrive and continue to make a positive impact on the lives of their players, volunteers, supporters, and the wider community.”

To help launch the programme, football legends Jill Scott, MBE and Chris Kamara, MBE lent their support, driving home the importance of grassroots football and clubhouse facilities on their own careers.

Jill Scott said: “I have so many fond memories both on and off the pitch.  Over the years I’ve visited hundreds of clubhouses and it’s fair to say the kitchen facilities have certainly varied – from a tiny counter at Boldon Girls (my first club) where I used to spend 20p on a bag of mixed sweets after the game, to a bar serving hot food (including my favourite post-match treat – pizza!) at Marine FC, where we played our Everton matches.

“The kitchen is the hub of the club, bringing together players, supporters and the wider community and that’s why I’m so pleased to be involved with the Howdens Game Changer programme, where grassroots clubs all over the country are set to benefit.”

Chris Kamara added: “When I started out, clubhouse facilities were pretty basic! I went to many a tournament with just a bag of crisps and some water to keep me going, hoping that the manager would remember to bring the fruit for our half time snack.  And, if we won, we’d often stop off at the chippie on the way home!

“Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then, but many clubhouses still need help to improve much-needed facilities.

“So, the new kitchens from Howdens will make a real difference to grassroots clubs and bringing local communities together.”

Howdens will work with The FA to support and fund the kitchens, and together they will help connect eligible clubs with local tradespeople, for the fit, via its 800 depots across the country.

Eligible grassroots clubs can apply here to download application forms: