SOUTHAMPTON FC char­i­ty Saints Foun­da­tion engaged more than 5,300 par­tic­i­pants dur­ing the deliv­ery year of 2022–23. 

The club host­ed their first ‘Our Impact’ event at God’s House Tow­er in Southamp­ton’s city cen­tre this month.

Staff, vol­un­teers and par­tic­i­pants came togeth­er to spread the expe­ri­ences and the impact of their work in the com­mu­ni­ty. 

Par­tic­i­pants vary from pri­ma­ry school chil­dren to senior cit­i­zens of any age with Saints Foun­da­tion deliv­er­ing 15 projects.

Those projects focus on edu­ca­tion, health, employ­a­bil­i­ty, path­ways and gen­der equal­i­ty and staff from each were present at the event. 

CEO Greg Bak­er told the Dai­ly Echo: “We launched our new strate­gic plan last year and this is effec­tive­ly a report on what we said we would do.

“We have always mea­sured our impact but this is the first time we have pub­lished it and done an event to cel­e­brate it. 

“It is impor­tant to report back to fun­ders and donors about what it is we’re doing — and also what we can do bet­ter. 

Daily Echo: Greg Baker speaks at the Saints Foundation eventGreg Bak­er speaks at the Saints Foun­da­tion event (Image: Alfie House)

“We want to be trans­par­ent so the impact report is very hon­est, some of what we have done has not worked and we need to change our approach. 

“Some­times you see char­i­ties take mon­ey and you don’t know where it goes but here you can see exact­ly what is being done with it.” 

Bak­er added: “We’re very clear that we can sup­port peo­ple but it it is the par­tic­i­pants who achieve their own goals. 

“When you talk about a young per­son turn­ing it around in school, it is about them feel­ing empow­ered to do that. 

“When you talk about a senior who wants to improve their life phys­i­cal­ly, we can be the con­duit and give them the oppor­tu­ni­ty but it is they who seize change them­selves.” 

Foun­da­tion staff mem­ber Con­nor co-ordi­nates the Senior Saints pro­gramme, with one reg­u­lar par­tic­i­pant on his week­ly walks now 97 years old. 

Daily Echo: Senior Saints co-ordinator ConnorSenior Saints co-ordi­na­tor Con­nor (Image: Alfie House)

Skye and for­mer Saints play­er Caitlin head up the projects focus on reduc­ing gen­der inequal­i­ty man­i­fest­ing in young peo­ple. 

Daily Echo: Caitlin and Skye-Loren lead change makers and Saints teammatesCaitlin and Skye-Loren lead change mak­ers and Saints team­mates (Image: Alfie House)

Sup­port can range from encour­ag­ing lead­er­ship in young boys and girls to build­ing con­fi­dence in senior cit­i­zens to be able to stand up from a fall.

A mem­ber of Saints Foun­da­tion staff — Jed — will even meet prison inmates at the gates on their release if there is nobody else to sup­port them. 

Guests heard how around 30,000 of Southamp­ton’s pop­u­la­tion live in one of the 10 per cent most deprived areas in the coun­try.

Daily Echo: A map of who Saints Foundation reached during the 2022-23 delivery yearA map of who Saints Foun­da­tion reached dur­ing the 2022–23 deliv­ery year (Image: Alfie House)

A third of the par­tic­i­pants in Saints Foun­da­tion projects live in the most deprived areas with the char­i­ty look­ing to fur­ther tar­get this. 

More than 4,000 par­tic­i­pants achieved at least one pos­i­tive out­come fol­low­ing their engage­ment with Saints Foun­da­tion projects. 

Daily Echo: Saints Foundation participants support the work of the charitySaints Foun­da­tion par­tic­i­pants sup­port the work of the char­i­ty (Image: Saints Foun­da­tion)

Saints Foun­da­tion have tak­en on four learn­ings from research into their impact dur­ing the deliv­ery year of 2022–23.

Saints Foun­da­tion works best when par­tic­i­pants have a say in what the work looks like and they will active­ly involve them in help­ing shape the future of projects.

Daily Echo: A number of Saints Foundation staff, including KC, are former participants themselvesA num­ber of Saints Foun­da­tion staff, includ­ing KC, are for­mer par­tic­i­pants them­selves (Image: Alfie House)
Par­tic­i­pants with high­er engage­ment times saw more results, so the char­i­ty aim to ensure more projects to offer sus­tained, long-term sup­port.

Saints Foun­da­tion want to ensure they pro­vide sup­port to more of those most in need in the city and will work in part­ner­ship with Southampton’s agen­cies to do this.

Final­ly, they want to improve the devel­op­ment of new projects to launch them more quick­ly and effi­cient­ly.