CHESTERFIELD CHAMPION: ‘The town is small, individual and has its own character’

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I am Harriet Flint and I started working in Chesterfield as the programme coordinator for Sporting Futures in 2015.

I started working 20 hours per week overseeing deliveries in the area, but this role has now developed into a full-time role for 2017, with Sporting Futures investing more in the young people of Chesterfield.

Sporting Futures is a Derbyshire-based charity, with the purpose of improving the lives of young people through sport. We engage with the young people we work with through doorstep sport activities, volunteering programmes and opportunities to get into further education, training and employment.

The services we provide may not otherwise be available for our young people due to their backgrounds or financial stability, so we give them the chance to participate on a level playing field and, most importantly, steer away from negative life choices they could make.

The charity was established 22 years ago and Chesterfield has always been one of our most invested-in areas.

One of our two offices is based here in Chesterfield as we feel it is an important hub and having a presence in the area strengthens our local ties.

1. What’s your best memory of the town?

My best memory comes from the creation of our ParkLives session in Barrow Hill last summer. 20 young people attended weekly and tried a range of activities, making the most of the local parks on offer.

2. What development do you think will make the biggest difference to the town?

The new Queen’s Park Sports Centre is now open and we use the facility for community activity. Its central location is great as it’s widely accessible.

3. How would you describe Chesterfield to someone who has never visited?

I would describe Chesterfield as a small, individual market town with plenty of character. It’s close-knit communities and community spirited nature is what allows Sporting Futures to really make an impact on the lives of young people who need it most.

4. What are the positives of running a business here?

Again, the support of local partners is crucial in our work and there’s no place better than Chesterfield to prove how partnership collaborations can bring about change. Many of our sessions are available because of local investment in our services.

5. Why did you choose to base your business in Chesterfield?

Chesterfield is a key town for us. Since coming into post two years ago, we have increased our investment here and will continue to do so.

6. Who do you admire in the community?

The participation of young people from Chesterfield is noticeably enthusiastic compared to other areas in which we work.

7. What are the aspirations of your business?

Sporting Futures hopes to continue to increase investment in Chesterfield. By doing this we will reach more young people than ever before.