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Focus On Wolves Aid

PUBLISHED

09:00 19th March 2013

A look at the work of the Wolves Community Trust

The Wolves Community Trust, in its current form, is now in its fifth year working alongside the club on a variety of initiatives in the areas of sport, health, inclusion, education and charitable donations in the form of Wolves Aid.
Between now and the end of the season, we will focus on each area of the Trust, and the work it does to benefit people in Wolverhampton and further afield.
Laura Saunders works for the Trust's charitable arm - Wolves Aid, which specialises in supporting local charities or organisations working to enhance the lives of people in the local community.
"All of the Wolves Aid projects and organisations are within the local area and benefit the local community - this is part of the criteria," Laura explains.
"We don't just support sports projects, which seems to be a common misconception. We support organisations who work with those who are disadvantaged, adults and children with disabilities, those who promote a healthy lifestyle and we help special schools with projects that they are fundraising for.
"We get a really positive response from people who we help - I  think it helps people to see the club in a different light and realise that we care about the community and what happens in Wolverhampton and the surrounding area."
Community Trust Administrator Laura has been at the club for nearly two years, and is often the first port of call for groups and organisations wanting to apply for a grant.
"The application process begins by potential applicants calling or emailing me with a general overview of their charity or organisation, and I will ask specific questions to find out whether they meet our criteria," she explains.
"The applicant will then complete a Wolves Aid application pack, and if they still meet the criteria, I will arrange a first visit and compile a report to present to the Trustees."
The Trustees, including Wolves Chief Executive Jez Moxey and Club Secretary Richard Skirrow,  will then meet to decide whether or not the applicant is successful.
Although part of her job is to decline some applications which don't match the club's criteria, Media and Communications graduate Laura says that seeing how far the club's donations go in the local area make her role a rewarding one.
"The highlights of the job are going out to see the organisations and charities that have benefited from the donations and seeing the difference it makes to them and the people they work with," she says.
"There have been some really memorable recent examples, such as Woodsetton School, to whom we donated football kits and resurfaced their playground. As a result, these children now work with the Sporting Chances initiative, which is our disability programme in sport.
"We have also donated several thousands of pounds to West Midlands Disability Swimming, who work with swimmers in the local area and trained some Paralympians."
In November of last year, Wolves Aid held a 'Funding Fayre' at Molineux, to celebrate Wolves Aid donating over £500,000 over the past four years.
The fayre was attended by organisations who had previously benefited and some of those interested in making a future application, and Laura believes that it is vital that the club continue to support local charities and initiatives.
"I feel that Wolves Aid is a really integral part of the Wolves Community Trust, as it affects those organisations and charities that are the backbone of society, supporting those people who are in need," she says.
"Often the organisations don't have any paid staff and they will do the work for the love of the activity and the difference they make. They will put all their efforts into fundraising and applications and will often go above and beyond.
"I love the fact that we can support those smaller charities who work at grassroots level and you can directly see the effect the donation will leave," she continues.
"I feel it's important that the club supports activities other than sporting ones - we should support the wider community as we are at the heart of Wolverhampton.
"I think it helps keep the club grounded and in touch with what's happening in the community and perhaps the other side of their fans' lives."
If you would like to get in touch with Wolves Aid, or want more information on applying for a grant, you can contact laurasaunders@wolvescommunitytrust.co.uk.

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