BSCFC came into being in 2005 with the merger of 4 local youth football clubs – all of which had been active for a number of years and even decades (BSYFC, Stortford Jets, Northolt and BS Swifts). The Club formed under the umbrella name of BSCFC with boys and girls teams and shortly afterwards obtained FA Charter Community Club status (awarded by Sir Trevor Brooking in February 2005). FA Community Club status is the highest standard that football clubs can achieve – the high level purpose is to promote football “from cradle to grave” for all abilities within a Community. Since being formed the Club has expanded to meet this broad ambition and now includes Veterans sides, Ladies sides and Disabled sides.
Bishop’s Stortford Community Football Club (BSCFC) promote football for all ages and abilities within the local and wider community, which incorporates Youth, Veterans, Ladies and Disabled teams. This season we affiliated 74 teams with two County FAs (Herts and Essex) to cater for approximately 900 playing members (from 7 to 60 years old). These teams are entered into 10 Leagues and play in Herts, Essex, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and other neighbouring counties. BSCFC is acknowledged as the largest Club of this nature in the UK. BSCFC have forged a close link with BSFC under the motto “Here to help each other” and, although both clubs remain financially and structurally independent, this arrangement allows our teams to compete as BSFC, in name and Club colours, and we have cross-over representation at Committee and Board level.
A key advantage of this association is that we jointly run a Community programme providing projects within Bishop’s Stortford based on the themes of Community Cohesion, Social Inclusion, Education, Health and promoting involvement in sport. The combined strength of the two clubs enables us to apply for funding which otherwise would not be available.
We have sourced funding from organisations such as the Premier League (through the Football Conference) and other national and local sponsors for our Community Programme. This funding provides free coaching for children at schools in the town and surrounding villages, mulit-sports, music sessions, parties for the elderly, and working with local disabled people.
Our two disabled teams (St Elizabeth’s Centre and Home Farm Trust) play in the Inclusion Cup Final in early May. We provide the Cup, commemorative medals and a buffet but what the funding cannot provide is seeing the faces of the players and their parents..
We are very proud of our achievements as a Club so far. BSCFC worked closely with Birchwood High School to co-fund a full-sized, floodlit, 3G training facility at the school. This took years of work, planning and was formally opened by Bob Wilson in 2007. It is used on a daily basis by the school and then, in the evening and weekends, by the Club and wider Community. Both the school and the Club consider this collaboration to be a huge success.