Fleetwood Town has led the transformation of East Pines Park, creating a hub for young people and reducing reports of anti-social behaviour by over 70%.
The football pitch at East Pines Park in Anchorsholme was in desperate need of a revamp, and having fond memories of the park from his childhood, Fleetwood Town Chairman Andy Pilley stepped in to help.
For the last 12 months, the grounds team from Fleetwood Town have been maintaining the pitch to ensure it’s always in tip top condition for a range of group sessions from youngsters to the older players.
Thanks to a recent grant from the Lancashire Police, the park has been able to acquire its very own qualified coaches, Paul Wilshaw and Dale Casser, who have developed programmes for FC East Pines 7-11 and 11-16 age groups.
The programmes are designed to teach young people about a range of topics including respect, bullying and anti-social behaviour, as well as helping them transition from primary to secondary school.
In the future, they want to create programmes which will teach young people business management skills, helping boost their employability and equipping them for the world of work.
Cllr Paul Galley and Cllr Tony Williams, who both represent Anchorsholme ward, are real advocates for the partnership between Fleetwood Town and East Pines Park.
“People have really started to believe in us, and I believe that’s thanks to the strong ties we now have with Fleetwood Town,” said Paul.
“The grounds team and Chairman regularly visit and have become a part of our East Pines family.
“The Club kindly donated a line machine, and after teaching us how to use it, members of our community with special needs now mark the pitches, and it’s something they love doing.
“The football teams are going from strength to strength and every Friday we have around 50 young people turning up to play, which I strongly believe has helped reduce anti-social behaviour in the area, as they now have something to focus on.
“Last year over summer, there were 28 reports of anti-social behaviour, and this year there was just eight, which is amazing. It goes to show that what we’re doing is having a huge impact. We couldn’t have achieved this without the generosity and support from Fleetwood Town, and for that, I am so grateful.”
Next year, Paul has plans to take over Anchorsholme Park where he hopes to recreate the success he’s had at East Pines.