Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Community Engagement

DUMBARTON FC AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Dumbarton FC is one of Scotland's most historic football clubs. We are also proud to be part of the local community, and it is our aim and determination to be a Club for all – working wherever we can with neighbourhood organisations, businesses, charities and individuals for the betterment of the greater Dumbarton area. It is our desire to enable improvements in physical, psychological and mental well-being through both sporting and non-sporting activities. Our current programme of engagement is as follows:

Community Tickets

We are privileged to enjoy the support of so many within the locality and beyond. We aim to stimulate interest in sport, promote inclusivity and strengthen community spirit by providing positive matchday experience opportunities for children and young people, aspiring young players and those who face any of a variety of challenges which might make attendance difficult. Consequently, we are delighted to offer free access to all of these groups for selected home games. These are currently provided to local schools, youth groups, care home residents, WDCVS (West Dunbartonshire) and members of youth football teams.

Safety Awareness and the Environment

Alongside our Stadium sponsor, rail safety and engineering company C&G Systems, we are engaging with local schools in having Rail Safety Awareness training linked to stadium tours and the offering of free season tickets to Under-12s. This work also involves Network Rail. The Club is also looking to achieve proper bio-secure status, enabling community activity to take place on both matchdays and non-matchdays. Our aim is to build environmental responsibility into all our activities.

Dementia and Football Memories

The Club is privileged to have developed a partnership with Football Memories, an organisation of dedicated people who give generously of their time, using their experience and skills to support and to enrich the lives of those who are affected by dementia. A product of Alzheimer's Scotland, this football reminiscence project holds popular and successful weekly local meetings Dumbarton Library. We will be offering socially-distanced meeting space at the Club during the pandemic. We have recently facilitated a successful pilot of an interactive session for patients in the Fruin Ward of the Vale of Leven Hospital and it is intended that this will be repeated. We welcome this opportunity to help people to maintain an involvement in football where this might otherwise have proved to be very challenging for them and their families and carers.

Business Support

We are very grateful for the support and sponsorship we receive from local businesses, some of which also employ many of our supporters. We want to be able to offer assistance to those who are inevitably finding times very challenging in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact. Consequently, we are looking to work in partnership with the local Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce moving forward. We plan to establish a series of networking events, in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce, to support businesses emerging from this difficult period, to share knowledge and ideas, to widen our contacts, and to lay foundations for future success. We are also open to working with local trade unions.

Combatting Social Isolation

Over a third of people in Scotland live alone, and 40% of adults who live alone are of pensionable age (Scottish Household Survey). Loneliness and social isolation have a profound effect on health, and up to 35% of us experience this problem (Mental Health Foundation). In conjunction with the excellent work done by West Dunbartonshire Community and Volunteering Services (WDCVS), we now extend a welcome to those who are experiencing loneliness by providing tickets for them to attend matches at the C & G Systems Stadium. We are also seeking to use our facilities for community events which will bring people together.

Local Schools and Young People

The Club, through Joe McGaughey, regularly takes school and youth groups for matchday stadium tours, providing information and inspiration about the history of Dumbarton FC, and how sport (and football in particular) has played a significant in Dunbartonshire/Argyll & Bute over the years. This ties in with our community tickets initiative.

Young Sons of the Rock

The Young Sons have been a lively part of our matchday experience for the past few seasons, bringing a fresh dimension to the life of the Club which received national attention last year through BBC Scotland's 'A View from the Terrace' programme, which can be viewed here. The separate Young Sons TV project, which is of huge benefit to the Club, also offers media experience opportunities for those involved.

Developing Youth Football

We are delighted to have formed a partnership with Dumbarton United AFC, which was founded in 1958 and has been developing local footballing talent for over 55 years. In November 2019 we unveiled a new agreement which will see United's youngsters handed the chance to start on a pathway to senior football with West Dunbartonshire's only SPFL side. This is not an exclusive relationship, and we are open to working with other local sides. Click here for more info.

Local Charities

We are always open to opportunities to assist fundraising for local charities supporting the elderly, homeless people, veterans and others – including periodic collections at the ground.

Our Community Councils

We are pleased to have had the opportunity to meet with our two local Community Councils in recent years, and will be looking to strengthen our relationships with them in the important work they do in bringing different parts of the community together.

Local Activities and Celebrations

We are pleased to be a venue for the Rock Comedy Club, an initiative run by one of our supporters. We also organise periodic social events which are open to all. We were very much looking forward to working with Paul Neeson and colleagues on the Dumbarton Festival, planned for this Summer. Unfortunately that has had to be postponed because of the pandemic, but we will do whatever we can to support local activities and celebrations.

Health and Wellbeing

We are aware of the considerable number of health challenges faced both by our supporters and other members of the local community – ranging from illness, obesity and physical inactivity through to addictions and mental health issues. We are looking to provide space and support for those working on these issues.

Anti-discrimination

The Club's is resolutely opposed to discrimination, or in any way treat anyone less favourably, on grounds of sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion/belief or disability. We are committed to working with community and football organisations in combatting discrimination and hate. Our policies on anti-discrimination and anti-racism can be found on the Dumbarton FC official website.

Disability

We are committed to full accessibility for our supporters and for the community. Our disability access officer is Jacqui Sibbald, who aims to ensure that all those wish to use the C&G Systems Stadium can do so safely. We are looking to strengthen our links with local disability groups and with the Disabled Supporters Association.

Supporters Trust

The Club works closely with the Sonstrust, founded in 2001, which brings together hundreds of Dumbarton Supporters and which has community benefit as part of its own concerns as a stakeholder in the Club.