Sheffield United announce a new look to its charitable community programme and a new head of the organisation.
The United Initiative, which has helped more than 130,000 individuals in recent years, becomes the Sheffield United Community Foundation, reflecting the continued growth of the charity and its diverse work in the communities of Sheffield together with plans to increase that number in the near future.
Taking the helm is former player Mark Todd, who becomes Head of Community having previously been actively involved in the community team since its inception in 2007. Mark is delighted to take the lead of a team dedicated to making a difference to the lives of people living in Sheffield and its surrounding communities.
Mark said: "This is a significant day for the club's community programme. Although we will retain the passion, ethos and principles that has brought us our success, we will use the renaming as a catalyst to deliver our pledge of inspiring your future through sport.
"In 2007, the United Initiative was launched to deliver the club's corporate and social responsibility in the key areas of sports participation, health, education and social inclusion and, through its membership of the Football League Trust, to continue the pioneering work of the national 'Football in the Community' scheme."
Mark added: "Over the past five years the community programme at Sheffield United has gone from strength to strength and is now an established charity, with the vision of a more healthy, educated, respectful and integrated society in Sheffield.
"The charity has become an integral part of United's aim to be a 'true family and community club'. To celebrate the success of the community programme and to mark the next significant stage of its development, we felt it was appropriate to give it a new name and look."
The re-branding will be the springboard for the Sheffield United Community Foundation to build on its community work in Sheffield and to continue to use sport as highly motivational tool to encourage, motivate and inspire individuals regardless of background to achieve their potential.
Dave McCarthy, Operations Director at SUFC and one of the trustees of the Community Foundation, said: "We are delighted with the growth of the community team and proud of its achievements and ongoing activities here in Sheffield. The renaming is a milestone for the charity and heralds a new era in which we are all committed to developing effective programmes that support communities within our city.
"We are confident that the foundation will provide innovative initiatives aimed at strengthening self-esteem, developing personal skills, promoting healthy behaviours and lifestyles, and in doing so improve academic achievement, enhance employability and increase the feeling of self-worth and well-being to the benefit of individuals and communities in Sheffield."