Colchester United Community Sports Trust closes

Gazette: Colchester United Community Sports Trust mystery closure Colchester United Community Sports Trust mystery closure

A MUCH-LOVED sports charity has closed due to a lack of funding.

The Colchester United Community Sports Trust (CUCST) suspended its services and laid off all 38 members of staff on Monday.

Bosses blamed the recession and not being able to attract new funding.

Staff were sent home from its base at Shrub End Community and Sports Centre after a private meeting with bosses at 9am.

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3:46pm Mon 15 Apr 13

hughie-s says...

Bet there will still be plenty of funding available for a certain other project.
Bet there will still be plenty of funding available for a certain other project. hughie-s

5:19pm Mon 15 Apr 13

ColchesterCitizen1000 says...

This is bad on some many levels.

How has it got to this stage before we heard about it?

Why wasn't there a call put to the community for ideas and funding support to keep this open?

Sport in the community is vital for the positive development of young people.

These types of cutbacks send out the wrong message to our young people.

Let's hope that this closure is only temporary and that the Trust can be re-started.
This is bad on some many levels. How has it got to this stage before we heard about it? Why wasn't there a call put to the community for ideas and funding support to keep this open? Sport in the community is vital for the positive development of young people. These types of cutbacks send out the wrong message to our young people. Let's hope that this closure is only temporary and that the Trust can be re-started. ColchesterCitizen1000

5:58pm Mon 15 Apr 13

Bert_Stimpson says...

Lack of funding for community sports projects is a real shame.

Especially when the firsts*ite leeches in the rusty shed continue to squander millions each year for the benefit of so few.

Time to reassess where money is spent. Enough is enough in terms of the pointless arts spending.
Lack of funding for community sports projects is a real shame. Especially when the firsts*ite leeches in the rusty shed continue to squander millions each year for the benefit of so few. Time to reassess where money is spent. Enough is enough in terms of the pointless arts spending. Bert_Stimpson

6:41pm Mon 15 Apr 13

jim_bo says...

Surely this trust was part of the "community" stadium bid?

If it goes so should the stadium!
Surely this trust was part of the "community" stadium bid? If it goes so should the stadium! jim_bo

7:01pm Mon 15 Apr 13

polly_ says...

absolute joke! now what about the children who play football? what are they ment to do now?......
absolute joke! now what about the children who play football? what are they ment to do now?...... polly_

7:48pm Mon 15 Apr 13

Boris says...

For what it's worth, this is what it says on the CUFC website:
.
"Following the news from Colchester United Community Sports Trust on Monday afternoon, Colchester United Football Club have released the following statement:-

"The Sports Trust was founded from a department of Colchester United, but have subsequently run under their own governance since 2001.

"In those subsequent years, the Trust have remained associated with Colchester United, carrying our badge in the work that they have done in the local community.

"The Football Club has also worked alongside them in providing our first team players to ensure that their wide ranging activities were successful.

"We are saddened to hear of their current situation and would like to thank them for spreading the word on the club into Colchester and beyond.

"However, the club remain committed to making a positive contribution to its local community and, in the coming weeks and months, will look at how we can continue to work with – and further develop – the community activities in Colchester and the surrounding areas."
.
There is also a longer statement from CUCST, and another long one from the stadium.
.
Let's hope that in the next day or two someone will make sense of all this.
.
Statements from this page:
http://www.cu-fc.com
/news/article/150413
-us-trust-statement-
773957.aspx
For what it's worth, this is what it says on the CUFC website: . "Following the news from Colchester United Community Sports Trust on Monday afternoon, Colchester United Football Club have released the following statement:- "The Sports Trust was founded from a department of Colchester United, but have subsequently run under their own governance since 2001. "In those subsequent years, the Trust have remained associated with Colchester United, carrying our badge in the work that they have done in the local community. "The Football Club has also worked alongside them in providing our first team players to ensure that their wide ranging activities were successful. "We are saddened to hear of their current situation and would like to thank them for spreading the word on the club into Colchester and beyond. "However, the club remain committed to making a positive contribution to its local community and, in the coming weeks and months, will look at how we can continue to work with – and further develop – the community activities in Colchester and the surrounding areas." . There is also a longer statement from CUCST, and another long one from the stadium. . Let's hope that in the next day or two someone will make sense of all this. . Statements from this page: http://www.cu-fc.com /news/article/150413 -us-trust-statement- 773957.aspx Boris

9:22pm Mon 15 Apr 13

Ant1978 says...

Both my sons attended the shrub end centre one is 8 and the other will be 14 in June and has worked hard as a goalkeeper helped buy all the staff surely there must be something that can be done as other wise all our young talented children will lose out and the knock on affect would be no local youth players going forward to colchester united, also the office staff and training team are second to none.

Many thanks Anthony Lewis I hope someone gets to see all the comments I vote to bring the centre back to life.
Both my sons attended the shrub end centre one is 8 and the other will be 14 in June and has worked hard as a goalkeeper helped buy all the staff surely there must be something that can be done as other wise all our young talented children will lose out and the knock on affect would be no local youth players going forward to colchester united, also the office staff and training team are second to none. Many thanks Anthony Lewis I hope someone gets to see all the comments I vote to bring the centre back to life. Ant1978

10:46pm Mon 15 Apr 13

CJT123 says...

This is such s shame, how can this just happen just like this. Surely the council should step in.
They seem to be able to find hundreds of thousands of pounds to change crazy traffic schemes in the town every few years.
I was only thinking the other day what such a good place this was for our children. My son will be very upset !
This is such s shame, how can this just happen just like this. Surely the council should step in. They seem to be able to find hundreds of thousands of pounds to change crazy traffic schemes in the town every few years. I was only thinking the other day what such a good place this was for our children. My son will be very upset ! CJT123

6:53am Tue 16 Apr 13

Noah4x4 says...

Since 2001 this was an independently run charity that simply benefited from the U's name; hence from its franchise; and fund raising help from players etc. Its financial failure has nothing to do with the football club itself, but no doubt there will be those that wrongly attribute blame.

I share the view of others that this town has got some of its priorities wrong. It spends £millions on projects such as FirstSite and High Street Traffic Management that seem to offer few benefits to the residents/businesses of Colchester and then allows valuable youth inititiatives to fail.

Where will these kids go now? Thankfully, we still have some well run organisations (like the Rugby Club) committed to youth sport. But with the loss of playing fields and massive housing construction proposed, we must commit more. It's a disgrace that the local council have allowed CUCST to fail.
Since 2001 this was an independently run charity that simply benefited from the U's name; hence from its franchise; and fund raising help from players etc. Its financial failure has nothing to do with the football club itself, but no doubt there will be those that wrongly attribute blame. I share the view of others that this town has got some of its priorities wrong. It spends £millions on projects such as FirstSite and High Street Traffic Management that seem to offer few benefits to the residents/businesses of Colchester and then allows valuable youth inititiatives to fail. Where will these kids go now? Thankfully, we still have some well run organisations (like the Rugby Club) committed to youth sport. But with the loss of playing fields and massive housing construction proposed, we must commit more. It's a disgrace that the local council have allowed CUCST to fail. Noah4x4

2:15pm Tue 16 Apr 13

Neiljo says...

I think that it is incredulous and an utter disgrace that this facility has had to close with the loss of 38 jobs.Why hasn't the council stepped in to ensure is future?
The facility provided opportunities for boys and girls from all backgrounds to meet, focus and develop as individuals, as well as to play football.It gave them an identity.
The charitable trust also provided services for local schools. Another loss for our children.
At a time when the Government harps on about child obesity; adolescents without identity or purpose; what do we do - we close another facility for them.
But rest assured, we have a multi million pound arts centre that due to its iconic design undoubtedly attracts hoards of people into our town centre to suppot our local economy. I should imagine that visitors to it easily reach double figures at the weekends!!

My son was an attendee at the facility and is gutted it has closed. His sardonic response was to say "I will be able to develop my football on Fifa, Great"
I think that it is incredulous and an utter disgrace that this facility has had to close with the loss of 38 jobs.Why hasn't the council stepped in to ensure is future? The facility provided opportunities for boys and girls from all backgrounds to meet, focus and develop as individuals, as well as to play football.It gave them an identity. The charitable trust also provided services for local schools. Another loss for our children. At a time when the Government harps on about child obesity; adolescents without identity or purpose; what do we do - we close another facility for them. But rest assured, we have a multi million pound arts centre that due to its iconic design undoubtedly attracts hoards of people into our town centre to suppot our local economy. I should imagine that visitors to it easily reach double figures at the weekends!! My son was an attendee at the facility and is gutted it has closed. His sardonic response was to say "I will be able to develop my football on Fifa, Great" Neiljo

2:39pm Tue 16 Apr 13

Corporalrisk says...

Combat Stress and the NHS veterans team run a very succesful support group from the facilities run by CUCST, and that has had to be cancelled until another facility can be sort. However the Community trust has ben extremely supportive, so i feel saddened at there loss of Jobs, the Chief Exec was also incredibly supportive and has only been with them a short while.
Sometimes things need doing because they are right not because of funding, im sure the council can afford to bolster this very worthwhile venture.
Combat Stress and the NHS veterans team run a very succesful support group from the facilities run by CUCST, and that has had to be cancelled until another facility can be sort. However the Community trust has ben extremely supportive, so i feel saddened at there loss of Jobs, the Chief Exec was also incredibly supportive and has only been with them a short while. Sometimes things need doing because they are right not because of funding, im sure the council can afford to bolster this very worthwhile venture. Corporalrisk

4:11pm Tue 16 Apr 13

Claire Pretty says...

As other people have commented, the children are gutted! It's a great shame for them.
I would also like to add that payment for this next terms fees has been taken from my bank account and I'm sure other parents must be in the same position.
Does anyone know who I would contact regarding this as Western homes stadium have told me they are nothing to do with this. :(
As other people have commented, the children are gutted! It's a great shame for them. I would also like to add that payment for this next terms fees has been taken from my bank account and I'm sure other parents must be in the same position. Does anyone know who I would contact regarding this as Western homes stadium have told me they are nothing to do with this. :( Claire Pretty

2:01am Wed 17 Apr 13

Boris says...

Both my teenage grandsons learned their football skills from the ACP at the CUCST and although they have moved on to play in the local youth leagues they are, like everyone else, gutted to learn of this decision. I asked them what they thought of this decision and one of them replied "No idea, such a massive shock. There's now nowhere to learn football in Colchester I think".
.
It seems that their funding from central government was slashed, and of course with all the cuts that they are making, it is hard to see CBC being able to step in. The main blame must be laid at the door of the current government, which, in its dogmatic insistence on cuts rather than on catching the tax dodgers, has swung the axe disproportionately at young people
.
I do wonder though, if you are administering an organisation with 38 staff, totally reliant on funds from central government, and you are told the funding is going to cease shortly, should you not close things down in an orderly manner, giving notice to the families, telling them to stop their direct debits, and so on?
.
It also seems wrong for the trust to have continued using the Colchester United name if Col U were not supporting it. The impression was always given that this was a Col U project and it is now clear that it wasn't.
.
Finally, it is spring, and the grass will soon need mowing. Who is going to take care of that?
Both my teenage grandsons learned their football skills from the ACP at the CUCST and although they have moved on to play in the local youth leagues they are, like everyone else, gutted to learn of this decision. I asked them what they thought of this decision and one of them replied "No idea, such a massive shock. There's now nowhere to learn football in Colchester I think". . It seems that their funding from central government was slashed, and of course with all the cuts that they are making, it is hard to see CBC being able to step in. The main blame must be laid at the door of the current government, which, in its dogmatic insistence on cuts rather than on catching the tax dodgers, has swung the axe disproportionately at young people . I do wonder though, if you are administering an organisation with 38 staff, totally reliant on funds from central government, and you are told the funding is going to cease shortly, should you not close things down in an orderly manner, giving notice to the families, telling them to stop their direct debits, and so on? . It also seems wrong for the trust to have continued using the Colchester United name if Col U were not supporting it. The impression was always given that this was a Col U project and it is now clear that it wasn't. . Finally, it is spring, and the grass will soon need mowing. Who is going to take care of that? Boris

2:11am Wed 17 Apr 13

Boris says...

Claire Pretty wrote:
As other people have commented, the children are gutted! It's a great shame for them.
I would also like to add that payment for this next terms fees has been taken from my bank account and I'm sure other parents must be in the same position.
Does anyone know who I would contact regarding this as Western homes stadium have told me they are nothing to do with this. :(
Sadly I think you just join the queue of unsecured creditors, like people who have gift vouchers for use at stores which go into administration. I hope I'm wrong but I fear I'm not.
The CUCST website gives the impression that everything is running normally, which of course it isn't. Why is there not a statement on the home page outlining the situation?
[quote][p][bold]Claire Pretty[/bold] wrote: As other people have commented, the children are gutted! It's a great shame for them. I would also like to add that payment for this next terms fees has been taken from my bank account and I'm sure other parents must be in the same position. Does anyone know who I would contact regarding this as Western homes stadium have told me they are nothing to do with this. :([/p][/quote]Sadly I think you just join the queue of unsecured creditors, like people who have gift vouchers for use at stores which go into administration. I hope I'm wrong but I fear I'm not. The CUCST website gives the impression that everything is running normally, which of course it isn't. Why is there not a statement on the home page outlining the situation? Boris

7:46am Wed 17 Apr 13

CJT123 says...

Gazette online.

Ladies footie boss brands failed charity bosses "callous"

2:37pm Tuesday 16th April 2013 in News By James Cox


Ladies footie boss brands failed charity bosses "callous"
BOSSES of a collapsed sports charity have been blamed for its demise and labelled “callous”.

Colchester United Community Sports Trust (CUCST) ceased trading yesterday and laid off all 38 staff with immediate effect.

Kevin Anderson, general manager of Colchester Ladies FC, said the CUCST board of trustees had failed to consult with sports groups before closing.

In a statement on the official website he said: “They have taken the cowards way out and should be ashamed of themselves.”
Full reaction in tomorrow's Gazette
Gazette online. Ladies footie boss brands failed charity bosses "callous" 2:37pm Tuesday 16th April 2013 in News By James Cox Ladies footie boss brands failed charity bosses "callous" BOSSES of a collapsed sports charity have been blamed for its demise and labelled “callous”. Colchester United Community Sports Trust (CUCST) ceased trading yesterday and laid off all 38 staff with immediate effect. Kevin Anderson, general manager of Colchester Ladies FC, said the CUCST board of trustees had failed to consult with sports groups before closing. In a statement on the official website he said: “They have taken the cowards way out and should be ashamed of themselves.” Full reaction in tomorrow's Gazette CJT123

11:23am Wed 17 Apr 13

Boris says...

Yes, Colchester Ladies played matches at Boadicea Way, and they are high quality in the world of women's football. We seldom hear about them but we shall probably hear even less now. I think they are playing Arsenal Ladies this week at Wivenhoe. Let's hope they find a satisfactory new home.
Yes, Colchester Ladies played matches at Boadicea Way, and they are high quality in the world of women's football. We seldom hear about them but we shall probably hear even less now. I think they are playing Arsenal Ladies this week at Wivenhoe. Let's hope they find a satisfactory new home. Boris

12:37pm Wed 17 Apr 13

stevedawson says...

First described as ceasing trading the headline now describes the work of the trust more clearly and how much it depended on donations from were ever.the board of directors that derived an amount of kudos from its attachment are not strapped for cash.
First described as ceasing trading the headline now describes the work of the trust more clearly and how much it depended on donations from were ever.the board of directors that derived an amount of kudos from its attachment are not strapped for cash. stevedawson

1:16pm Wed 17 Apr 13

AJF759 says...

I don't know whether it will make any difference but let's not go down without a fight. If you feel you'd like the council to properly consider what they can do to support community football please sign here:

http://www.ipetition
s.com/petition/counc
il-funding-for-cucst
-colchester-united/
I don't know whether it will make any difference but let's not go down without a fight. If you feel you'd like the council to properly consider what they can do to support community football please sign here: http://www.ipetition s.com/petition/counc il-funding-for-cucst -colchester-united/ AJF759

2:10pm Wed 17 Apr 13

Stockers83 says...

In same situation Claire, Glad i paid out £50 for my boy for no reason !!!

Obviously knew what they was doing, Waiting for the new term to start, monies has to be in by the start of the term, 1st day of term, They close down with everyone's money.
In same situation Claire, Glad i paid out £50 for my boy for no reason !!! Obviously knew what they was doing, Waiting for the new term to start, monies has to be in by the start of the term, 1st day of term, They close down with everyone's money. Stockers83

4:37pm Wed 17 Apr 13

CJT123 says...

Yep, very suspicious ! Lets say 300 kids at £50 a go, that's £15k.

Does anyone know of any details/links of the trust and who were running it as things seem to be a bit suspicious here. Was there any effort to raise funds ? As far as Im aware there hasn't been any made public !!

Have the council made a statement ? Do they own the land ? Maybe they are happy for it to fail so they can sell some more land off ! God knows I'm clueless here..
Yep, very suspicious ! Lets say 300 kids at £50 a go, that's £15k. Does anyone know of any details/links of the trust and who were running it as things seem to be a bit suspicious here. Was there any effort to raise funds ? As far as Im aware there hasn't been any made public !! Have the council made a statement ? Do they own the land ? Maybe they are happy for it to fail so they can sell some more land off ! God knows I'm clueless here.. CJT123

7:50pm Wed 17 Apr 13

CJT123 says...

From tonight's Gazette.
"Ann Hedges, Colchester Council's chief operating manager, has arranged meetings to try and salvage some of the services"

Also in a separate article
"it's sports, education, health and community activities were attended by about 22,000 people last year
From tonight's Gazette. "Ann Hedges, Colchester Council's chief operating manager, has arranged meetings to try and salvage some of the services" Also in a separate article "it's sports, education, health and community activities were attended by about 22,000 people last year CJT123

10:59pm Wed 17 Apr 13

Boris says...

AJF759 wrote:
I don't know whether it will make any difference but let's not go down without a fight. If you feel you'd like the council to properly consider what they can do to support community football please sign here:

http://www.ipetition

s.com/petition/counc

il-funding-for-cucst

-colchester-united/
Of course I'd like to sign that petition, but in all conscience, I can't.
Yes it would be good if CBC was to step in, but I can't see it happening. Their budget has been cut and cut and cut again. Last year (during the Olympics!), to save a modest amount, they stopped gym classes for children despite a waiting list of 780 wanting to join.
They have also been making CBC staff redundant, and avoided replacing those who leave.
How then can they take 38 extra people on to the payroll? What was the annual budget of CUCST? What about the killjoys who will moan about the extra on their council tax?
.
The real point is that all that hype last year about the Olympic legacy was so much smoke in our eyes. The government has money to fund elite athletes but it has stopped the money to children's sports which might otherwise keep young people fit, teach them the values of fair play, and all the rest. And where will the sports stars of the future come from? The government doesn't care because in 10 years from now that will be someone else's problem.
It is right to moan at the management of CUCST, it is right to moan at Cameron and Osborne and their cruel cuts, but it does not seem realistic to expect CBC to step in here.
[quote][p][bold]AJF759[/bold] wrote: I don't know whether it will make any difference but let's not go down without a fight. If you feel you'd like the council to properly consider what they can do to support community football please sign here: http://www.ipetition s.com/petition/counc il-funding-for-cucst -colchester-united/[/p][/quote]Of course I'd like to sign that petition, but in all conscience, I can't. Yes it would be good if CBC was to step in, but I can't see it happening. Their budget has been cut and cut and cut again. Last year (during the Olympics!), to save a modest amount, they stopped gym classes for children despite a waiting list of 780 wanting to join. They have also been making CBC staff redundant, and avoided replacing those who leave. How then can they take 38 extra people on to the payroll? What was the annual budget of CUCST? What about the killjoys who will moan about the extra on their council tax? . The real point is that all that hype last year about the Olympic legacy was so much smoke in our eyes. The government has money to fund elite athletes but it has stopped the money to children's sports which might otherwise keep young people fit, teach them the values of fair play, and all the rest. And where will the sports stars of the future come from? The government doesn't care because in 10 years from now that will be someone else's problem. It is right to moan at the management of CUCST, it is right to moan at Cameron and Osborne and their cruel cuts, but it does not seem realistic to expect CBC to step in here. Boris

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