“Three hundred children, 16 days and activities across two sites – we’ve got a hell of a summer coming up,” says Ramsgate FC chairman James Lawson.
The club is, once again, taking part in the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme which is generally funded by government and aims to address food poverty, inactivity, isolation and learning loss by children, through activities and the provision of a hot meal and healthy snacks.
Thanet’s HAF programme is aimed at children in receipt of benefits-related free school meals; from Year 1 to Year 11 (age 4-16 years).
And Ramsgate FC has gone all out on its offering this year. The club has teamed up with Cliftonville Primary School so there are two activity sites but youngsters will also be going on a variety of days trips including destinations Dover Castle and Monkton Nature Reserve.
Added to this, the club has laptops from the EKC Group, which will be given free to children who need them. There will also be free family breakfasts, arts and crafts, dance, sports, and forest schools.
Youngsters visiting the club’s WW Martin Stadium will also be able to enjoy the new 3G surface and the sundeck following a £1million investment over the past year.
James, whose dad Richard owned the club since 1985 and was a director for some 25 years before stepping back in 2013, said: “It’s a really nice space to visit and watch football from. We have a really good football team too and the main reason for this club is to inspire children to become active and be the best they can be.
“We do not want children just to be on the programme, we want them to become part of the club, watch games at the stadium, get involved. We want to build relationships with local families and grow our programmes.”
That community commitment extends to offering free entry to seven pre-season games at home with the first one this afternoon (July 9) against Kennington (kick off 3pm).
Saturday morning soccer schools are also back, taking place at the WW Martin Community Stadium with Sammy Moore of 1-1 Coaching from 9am to 10am. Sessions are for youngsters aged 5-11, cost is £3 per child.
To book a place on the HAF programme use the Wonde Voucher issued by your child’s school and select RFC Summer of Fun – Cliftonville Primary School or RFC Summer of Fun – Stadium
For any help e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ramsgate FC news
The Rams face the winner of SCEFL side Rusthall or Southern Combination Premier outfit Loxwood in The FA Cup Preliminary Round on August 20.
Former youth goalkeeper Josh Bexon has returned to the Rams ahead of the 2022/23 Isthmian League Season. Bexon, 24, said: “It’s good to be back and playing for the club as I have good memories of being here.
“I played here in a strong youth team with Alfie Paxman and James Brown, after leaving I went on to get a scholarship at Southend and learnt a lot and developed my game as a goalkeeper.
“The ground has changed a lot since then though, the pitch is a lot flatter.
“Everyone around the club wants to succeed and that is obvious in the dressing room. Everyone is extremely positive and the lads have been fantastic to be around during pre-season.“
The 24-year-old featured for The Rams as a youngster before a move to Southend United following a positive display for the Kent Representative side against The Shrimpers. Bexon had loan spells at Austrian club Kitzbühel as well as Harlow and Cambridge City before joining Dover Athletic in 2022, wearing the number one shirt for Andy Hessenthaler’s side during their National League campaign.
Bexon makes his debut against Kennington today (July 9).
The club has a new website – Find it here