NEW summer activity camps for children will help the name of Poole Town spread deeper into the community, according to chairman Chris Reeves.

The Dolphins are among the first recipients of a grant from the Trident Community Foundation, launched in December as part of Pitching In’s landmark grassroots sport investment programme, and now plan to expand their successful Kids Initiative.

The project has built links with local schools and charities in recent years, with boots and kit recycled for the benefit of children in deprived areas, and looks set to increase its impact as a result of this cash injection.

“We hope this grant can take it to another level by helping to provide free or heavily subsidised activity days for youngsters in the summer holidays,” Reeves said.

“We have run summer soccer camps before but never anything as ambitious as this. It will be football based but there will be a whole range of activities.

“Our intention is to run them for the bulk of the day and provide a meal, so it becomes a meaningful childcare facility.”

Poole are one of 16 Pitching In Southern League clubs to benefit from the first allocation of TCF grants, which range from £1,690 to £4,000 and will be used to fund new or existing community-focused schemes.

Projects such as the one planned at Tatnam are set to offer vital social and physical benefits to children post-lockdown and Reeves hopes to see the whole club get on board as they revive their status as a community hub.

“We expect there to be good involvement from our players and I know this will be close to the heart of our manager Tom Killick, who is going into his 18th season with us next year,” he said.

“I remember going to a soccer camp we helped run a couple of years ago and I heard a boy tell his dad he’d had ‘the best day of his life’.

“It did my heart proud and that’s the sort of buzz we’ll be looking to create. This money from Pitching In will be invaluable and do an awful lot of good.”

The TCF grants come as a timely morale boost for the 27 clubs who have been offered them across the three Trident Leagues in the wake of a second consecutive campaign being curtailed – with more to come from the earmarked £150,000 fund donated by Ladbrokes’ owner, Entain, this season.

“It has been such a difficult time over the past year but this gives us the first impetus to start looking ahead to when things open up,” said Pitching In Southern League vice-chairman Anthony Hughes, who sits on the TCF board alongside his counterparts from the Northern Premier and Isthmian leagues, two Ladbrokes representatives and Non-League Paper editor-in-chief David Emery.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel and getting these projects off the ground will be the start of clubs getting back in amongst their communities.”

Pitching In ambassador Stuart Pearce added: “These clubs will have a vital role to play in the health and wellbeing of society when restrictions ease.

“Initiatives like this will show the true meaning of Pitching In and strengthen existing bonds within communities across the country.”