Grant to be used to encourage learning and participation

A GRANT of almost �50,000 secured by the ITFC Charitable Trust will be used to encourage learning and participation.

The Trust, the registered partner charity of Ipswich Town Football Club, received �49,700 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to catalogue and use the club’s unique collection of football artefacts, programmes, trophies, historic documents, visual images, audio recordings and other memorabilia.

The project will be formally launched at today’s npower Championship opening match of the season between Ipswich and Blackburn Rovers match at Portman Road and will run until August 2013.

Trust chief executive Terry Baxter said: “We are delighted to be working with the club and the HLF to bring the archive alive, and to make use of it to support our learning programmes and offer new volunteering opportunities.

“The Trust works hard to improve the lives of people living in our community. Over the past decade we have helped over half a million people across Suffolk by using the ‘power of football’ to make a difference and improve lives.

“By sensitively using the Ipswich Town football archive in our education programmes we can develop new approaches to learning, encourage people to learn and help tell the story of the club in an innovative and exciting way.”

The project is being led for the Trust by Suffolk-based heritage experts Oakmere Solutions Ltd.

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Explaining the project Oakmere director Dr Peter Funnell said: “The project will build on the work of Pat Godbold (the club’s archivist) to extend the existing archive catalogue and develop a curation plan for the future sustainability of the archive.

“It will also support a range of learning initiatives with the Trust, particularly in numeracy and literacy where the stories that surround items from the archive will offer a strong and exciting motivation to learn.

“We will also be capturing oral histories on topics and themes thrown up by the archive, researching local history and staging exhibitions from the archive on-line, within the Portman Road stadium and elsewhere.”

Dr Funnell added: “This is a very exciting project.

“One of very few of its kind the HLF has supported. This is testimony to the enduring strength of the relationship between the club and its community both on and off the pitch.

“It is also a real endorsement of the ground-breaking work of the ITFC Charitable Trust and its commitment to use the club’s unique heritage to create new learning and engagement opportunities.”

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