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Sports view: West Ham United take their role in the community very seriously

PUBLISHED: 08:00 18 November 2018

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The power of sport remains unrivalled in its ability to inspire change, improve lives and unite communities.

Football is no different. Indeed, many would argue it has a greater role to play than most, particularly in the Premier League which is a global entity watched by millions around the world.

As more money is invested into the sport each year, football clubs have a responsibility to continue to give back to all corners of the communities that support them week in, week out.

At West Ham United, our role in the community is something we take very seriously.

The boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets and Barking & Dagenham, are rich in life and all face huge challenges that need to be tackled.

To help address those needs, West Ham United has already invested almost �£13million directly across education, health and social mobility projects since our move to Stratford was confirmed. Since that move and our pledge to create over 720 jobs over 2,000 people are employed in part and full time positions at the London Stadium.

We still of course serve our area surrounding Upton Park too. We have viewed the move as an opportunity to exponentially grow our reach and delivery. The club delivers more than 35 community programmes spanning areas such as health, education, and of course, football development, engaging over 20,000 participants every year. This includes our well-known Any Old Irons project and the award-winning 150 Club, which is playing a pivotal role in tackling the high rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in Newham, by using the power of football to promote healthier lifestyles. It has seen over 40,000 people will take part in physical activities throughout the scheme resulting in over 250 people being no longer at risk of diabetes having completed the programme.

We also believe our players have a responsibility and so do they. It�s for this reason that the Club announced last week the launch of the Players� Project, which is seeing players from the West Ham United men’s and women’s teams giving their time and energy to our various community programmes throughout the season. Each has chosen to be an ambassador for an area of outreach that is close to their heart and they will dedicate their time to rolling their sleeves up and getting out in our community to show their support for those who support us. Commitment to OUR community runs through the DNA of the Club.

But it is also very true to say that without the power of partnerships with the incredible charities and service providers that West Ham United are fortunate enough to be able to work with across East London, much of what we have achieved and intend to deliver would not be possible.

These organisations that show the courage and community spirit of East London �something which we are proud to be part of and through our new Players Project initiative and continued partnerships we believe we can make even bigger strides for the community.

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