Young footballers in North Staffordshire are benefiting from better pitches, toilets and changing rooms, thanks to the support of locally based grants and funding expert Andrew Heaward.

Andrew, of Heaward Solutions, worked with Staffordshire Ladsandads to support improvements at their Trubshaw Cross football centre and at pitches across North Staffordshire. Now Andrew has helped the Ladsandads has helped them to secure Covid-19 rescue funding which will ensure the football organisation can bounce back after sport stopped during lockdown.

Blythe Bridge based Andrew set up funding consultancy Heaward Solutions almost three years ago and has won £1m in grants and other funding for charities and sports clubs. Along with helping Ladsandads, Heaward Solutions has won funding for a diverse range of community groups across the UK, including giving strategic support to the successful Milton Keynes bid to be crowned European City of Sport 2020.

“The Milton Keynes project was my biggest to date, but I am equally proud to have supported the growth of grassroots football for children in Staffordshire,” said Andrew (pictured in main image). “Ladsandads has been part of sporting life in Staffordshire for many years and lots of young children have learned their love of sport with them. They took on the management of former council pitches in 2016 and there was a lot of work to do. After Ladsandads took on the lease for Trubshaw Cross from the council, I worked with Chairman Clive Dean to source grants to improve the facilities and buy much needed equipment to improve the pitches. Winning grants is time consuming and putting together bids can be tough. While you may have good ideas and ambitions, a great deal of work is necessary to search for the right funding sources and then construct your bid in a way that will bring the best chance of success.”

Further support for Ladsandads saw Andrew working to help gain funding at Pool Dam, Newcastle-under-Lyme. He explained: “Over several months, I worked with the branch management team to pull together a series of high-quality funding bids to the Football Foundation and the Red Industries Landfill Communities Fund, securing grants totalling just over £62,000.

Clive Dean, Staffordshire Ladsandads Chairman said: “Working with Andrew means we have an outside eye who can give sound advice and take the burden away in terms of finding grant funding. Anyone who has looked at how to source grants, knows it is a job in itself, and requires expertise. Andrew took that weight off my shoulders. Andrew’s involvement helps us to keep growing and, in turn, helps more children to participate.

“Most recently, we have been hit by the pandemic lockdown. No football means there’s no money coming in, everything just stopped. However, we still have expenses and running costs to find. Making a successful application for Covid-19 emergency funding to Sport England means we will be able to bounce back once we are told it is safe to begin again.”

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