Gill Jones from The New Saints Foundation joined Borderland Rotary the recently to explain the aims and activities of the organisation and the scope of the foundation was far more varied than the Rotarians had previously assumed.

Gill, who has been with the Foundation since its inception about 10 years ago, explained, “Football and sport in general are, of course,  a very important part of our activities but they are by no means all we do as we work with outside organisations such as Oswestry Town Council, Shropshire Council and eight local schools to deliver a wide range of services and, as the name implies, we aspire to build the community from the foundations up. To quote some figures, we provided 4,280 holiday activities across Oswestry and the surrounding area, worked with 1,500 children, helping them to have fun and feel inspired, and provided 4,000 meals to those who need them most. Of course, there’s more but suffice it to say we provide a safe place to go and opportunities for people who would otherwise struggle to get support elsewhere.”

Peter Sloane, a Rotarian, Professor of Economics and retired Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University with a special interest in sport funding was surprised by to hear the answer to his question about turnover as, for this apparently small organisation, it was in excess of a quarter of a million pounds turnover last year and he commented, “This must make it the largest and most wide ranging service in the Welsh League and we’re just very lucky that it’s based in Oswestry.”

Pictured: Paul Crosby, Gill Jones, Stan Smith & Andy Boroughs.