2009/10

News archive for 2009/10.

We had another successful year and we continue to fulfil our aims and objectives and again this would not have been possible without the help and support of our committee and our members.

One of our hopes for the association at the beginning of the season was to get over 50 members and the great news was that we had a total of 54 members, the season before we ended the season with a total of 36 members. As you can see, our membership has been growing steadily and to get to that 50 mark shows that we are all going in the right direction with what we are trying to do as a group.

Exeter City kept their League One status and with that, a good following from visiting disabled supporters, plus the club continues to receive good comments from visiting supporters and good comments are being left on disability websites (NADS & AWADS) on our disabled facilities and friendly staff. These good comments are partly down to the support and help, us at ECDSA give Exeter City.

The committee was as follows: Nick Saunders (chairman); Colin Atkins (vice-chair); Jeanne Jones (secretary); Margaret Atkins (treasurer); David Jones and Steve Gazzard.

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Membership

It was with great excitement to announce that we had over 50 members (54 at end of season) which considering we have only been around for just over 2 years is a fantastic achievement and we would like to thank everyone who has joined us in our quest in helping Exeter City F.C. become accessible to all. Membership is open to everyone, “you don’t have to have a disability to join us”. Contact us if you would like to join.

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Exeter City Disabled Supporters
donate £1,000 at the Official Launch
of ‘Pitch in for City’.

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The match between Exeter City and Southampton on Saturday 6th February marked the official launch of the Supporters’ Trust’s fundraising initiative ‘Pitch in for City’.

This scheme has been launched with the goal of raising upwards of £150,000 to help fund a new pitch at City’s home, St James Park.

To help kick-start the campaign was the ECFC Disabled Supporters Association who we are delighted to announce have pledged £1,000 to the Pitch in Fund.

Speaking of this kind gesture from the Disabled Supporters Association Trust Chair Denise Watts commented, “Both Exeter City and the Supporters Trust are delighted to receive this fantastic support from the Disabled Supporters Association and on behalf of the club and Trust I would like to thank them for their amazing generosity”.

The Disabled Supporters Association are the first fans group to support the Pitch in initiative but donations to the scheme are now filtering through. Project leader Tony Badcock said, “Prior to the match volunteers were on hand to dispense thousands of campaign flyers to the crowd at St James Park, and are now bearing fruits as donations are now starting to come in”.

Nick Saunders, ECDSA Chairman said “It makes us all at ECDSA feel so proud that we’re able to give this donation towards ‘Pitch in for City’ and it’s great being the first group to give this money towards the project. Without the pitch being moved the club can’t do the redevelopments to the Old Grandstand and Away End areas of St James Park, we’re in need of disabled facilities in those areas, this is one of the many reasons we can think of for our donation”.

Pitch in for City is one of the most ambitious schemes ever launched by the Supporters’ Trust and its success will go a long way in showing the rest of the footballing world just what can be achieved by fans of a Trust owned club.

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Personal Assistant List

“Could you help a disabled supporter on a match day?”

We were looking for anyone who would be willing to help a disabled supporter on a match day for when their regular PA was unavailable.

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Sponsorship

We were able to sponsor one of the Exeter City Ability Counts F.C teams again this season and their season starts in September and we wished them all the best of luck for the season.

All 3 teams had a great season in 2008/09 which ended with the Premiership & Championship sides making the regional finals with the Championship team coming out winners and that team went onto the National Finals which were held in London and sadly the team lost on penalties in the semi-finals.

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Chairs

We brought the football club 16 chairs for disabled supporters Personal Assistants to use in the disabled areas in the big bank stand.

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Disabled area roofing

The roofing to area 7 in the big bank stand was finally completed. The supporters club helped part fund this roofing and kindly donated towards the total cost, the remainder coming from one of our prize draws. Our thanks go to the Supporters Clubs for their generosity and support.

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Most Improved Player Award

For the past two seasons we have been giving out an award to the Exeter City player that we think has improved the most in that season.

This year’s winner was Liam Sercombe and we all wish him well for the coming season.

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Chairman’s Report - AGM - 08/07/2010.
Hello & welcome to this years AGM.
We’ve had another successful year and we continue to fulfill our aims and objectives as set out in our rules, all this would not be possible without the help and support of our committee and our members.
 

As your chairman, one of my hopes for our association at the beginning of the season was to get over 50 members and the great news is that we had a total of 54 members, the season before that we ended with 36 members. As you can tell, our membership has been growing steadily and to get to that 50 mark shows that we are all going in the right direction with what we are trying to do as a group. 

Exeter City have kept their League One status and with that, a good following from visiting disabled supporters. The club, continue to receive good comments from visiting supporters and good comments are being left on the NADS website (National Association of Disabled Supporters) on our disabled facilities and friendly staff. These good comments are partly down to the support and help, us at ECDSA give Exeter City. 

The following are what we’ve been up to in the past year: 

July 2009: – One of our younger members took part in the Ten Tors event in May 2009 and they kindly donated some of the money that they raised to ECDSA, we thank you.

August 09:Sponsorship: We sponsored Bertie Cozic sock ties.

We sponsored one of the Exeter City Ability Counts Football Teams (players with Learning Difficulties) so our association name could remain on their team shirts.

Spurs match: There were big problems at the Tottenham game where disabled supporters using the front disabled areas in the Big Bank Stand had supporters standing throughout the match in the Keep Clear Area in front of the disabled areas, because of this these disabled supporters could not watch the match and had to force their way to the front of the keep clear area. Because of the problems at this match, stewards now patrol the front of the big bank to ensure supporters using disabled areas 6 & 7 have a clear view of the match and to date seems to be working.

September 09: – We were working on producing a Audio Cd of the football clubs match day programme for our visually impaired supporters but the final results of the computer program used to transfer text-to-speech was too robotic sounding and was giving some supporters headaches, it has been decided we will look around for a more suitable computer program but it maybe something that we would have to pay for.
 

October 09:Chairs & Markings: We brought the football club 16 chairs for disabled supporters PA’s to use in disabled areas 6 & 7 in the big bank stand, markings have also been put down in disabled areas to clearly show each position in each area, each position includes disabled supporter and pa.

Christmas draw: For the 2010 World Cup the Supporters Club would be having a draw and as their draw would take place around the same time that we would be doing our end of season draw we decided it would be best to start a Christmas draw instead as our draws are our main income maker. 

December 09:Christmas draw: We raised just over £****.** from our draw, this could have been more but within two weeks of us starting selling tickets we found out that the football club were also having a Christmas draw and because of us both doing draws at the same time it’s regrettable to find out that the club made a loss. Early January 2010, myself and Colin had a meeting with the club and it was decided at that meeting that the football club would not be having a Christmas draw for the foreseeable future and that the club would help back our Christmas draw which in turn would help us raise more money so we can improve the football clubs disabled facilities.

January – February 2010:Disabled area 7 roofing: Because of a number of unforeseen delays and 8 mouths down the line the roofing to area 7 in the big bank stand has now finally been completed, the supporters club back in April/May 2009 offered to help part fund the roofing as we didn’t have that much funds ourselves at the time and we were just starting to sort out doing an end of season draw and they kindly donated just over £***.** towards the total cost, with the remainder coming from that end of season draw. Our thanks go to the Supporters Clubs for their generosity and support.

Bucket Collection: The Supporters Trust deal with all bucket collections at the football club and we were kindly offered a collection for the Leeds United match and we raised just over £***.**, I’m sure we could have made more from this collection but owing to a mistake made at the football club and not by the Trust we were in competition with the cheerleaders who were also collecting on the same day, I sent a letter of complaint to the Trust as I didn’t want this error to happen again to anyone else and the outcome was that only one group at a time can have a bucket collection on match days plus we were offered another collection for this coming season.

NADS fans forum: At the end of February myself, Jeanne and David attended a fans forum held at Bristol City arranged by NADS (this was done at our own expense), the forum was poorly attended but we did find out that NADS are hearing good things about the disabled facilities at Exeter City.

ECFC Disabled Facilities plan: A detailed plan has been put together of all the disabled facilities we have available at Exeter City and this is sent out to all disabled supporters wanting disabled information.

‘Pitch In for City’: The Trust was asking supporters groups for their backing for their forthcoming project, we replied that as a very small group, we would have found it very difficult to raise a large amount in a very short space of time as all the other supporters groups would be fundraising themselves towards the ‘pitch in’ project and because of this, it was decided that fundraising by ourselves would be impractical but if any of the another groups wanted our help with their fundraising, we would do want we can to help them.
We did come to one decision that I think was the correct one that we give a donation up front towards the project, we hoped it would get more people to raise money themselves if they saw that the disabled supporters association has given a big donation, we donated a lump sum of £****.** towards the project. Our hopes for our donation, has had the effect we were looking for and we’ve had some great publicity.

You maybe asking yourself why did we donate towards the project as our rules state that we only raise and spend money on projects that benefit our disabled supporters, the moving of the pitch does benefit disabled supporters as the pitch will be closer to the Big Bank and Flybe Stands disabled areas and with the pitch moved the club can plan for future redevelopments of the Old Grandstand and Away End of the ground, which at present does not have disabled facilities. 

April – May 2010:Most Improved Player of the Year: We are in our third season in giving out our ‘Most Improved City Player Award’ and it was decided that instead of only our committee deciding on a winner, that our members be given the chance to vote for this years winner as well. This season’s award went to the player who has made a big jump in cementing his place in the first team and his work rate for his team mates is second to none, the winner this year is Liam Sercombe and we all wish him well for this coming season.

ECFC Priority List: This coming season our membership will be added to the football clubs ‘Priority Group List’, the club did have worries about this though, our membership is cheaper than other supporters groups and because of this our membership could be abused and in turn could affect other supporters groups, to ease the clubs worries our Chairman (who ever, it may be?) will be handling our membership for the coming season.

Wheel clamp: The club asked us if we could buy a wheel clamp to clamp down on non disabled parking in the 2 disabled parking places outside the St James Centre, we looked into this with great detail and one of the things that was needed was a SIA license (vehicle immobiliser license), this license would allow the club to clamp peoples vehicles and apply a release fee, the problem was the license cost £***.** a year.

Because of any release fee applied by the club would not cover the cost of any license we have decided to help the club look at other ways of policing the disabled parking spaces.

Adam Stansfield: It was sad to hear the news of Adams illness. On behalf of all of us at ECDSA we have sent a Get Well Card directly to Adam and wished him luck on a speedy recovery. 

My hopes for the coming season is for our association to grow even more and for us to have a social event for our members, we’ve been unable to do one to date and any event will need to be backed by our members wanting one. 

Finally, I would like to thank all our committee members for their time and hard work for the benefit of our disabled supporters over the past season, all our members for their continued support and to Exeter City Football Club for allowing us to again use their facilities for free for our meetings and last but not least Bertie Cozic for being our President for the third year running. 

Many thanks to you all for coming along this evening and thank you for listening! 

Nick Saunders, ECDSA Chairman

Giving disabled supporters of Exeter City Football Club 'a voice to be heard'