Remember to use the NHS QR codes at each venue for training and matches, keep safe and enjoy your football.

Welcome to South Woodham Ferrers United

Christmas Message

As another year draws to a close, we reflect back on what is undoubtedly the most difficult year most of us have had to deal with regarding COVID 19 and trying to keep safe.

The Club Committee have work tirelessly throughout the year to try and get everyone training and playing games throughout this stop start season to date, and Darren and I would personally like to firstly thank everybody on the Committee for their fantastic efforts.

The work that goes on behind the scenes is phenomenal – adhering to FA & Government guidelines, resulting in many valuable hours setting up risk assessments for all our Venues, Coaches, Supporters and players.

Match day/training Sanitiser stations and signage that has to be put up for every match at every venue, organising COVID walk in sessions for our Managers and Coaches, the list goes on.

It was great to see the teams return to Summer training after so much hard work and to finally see the players and coaches put on their SWFU kit and play football.

All this hard work has enabled us to get back to football safely, and we would also like to thank our Coaches for carrying out extra duties we ask of them, to ensure the safety of everyone.

A big thank you to our Parents – we have put in place restrictions which means not all of you can watch your child play every week at certain venues and appreciate you all adhering to the rules.

Finally a big thank you to our players for being patient and understanding at all age groups.

With the uncertainty that lies ahead a year on, we can assure you all that our main objective is to get everyone back playing as soon as possible, but as safely as possible and again it will be one big team effort by everyone to achieve this.

From all of the Club Committee we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.

Stay Safe and thank you for your support.

SWFU COMMITTEE

Important Club Update

Following the recent government announcement of a nationwide lockdown from 5 November until 2 December we share your disappointment around the temporary suspension of all grassroots football activity.

For confirmation all training and matches are now postponed. We will wait (with you) to hear updates as they happen but anticipate activities to fully restart from 3 December, within the guidelines set out in our Covid Safe plan.

Following the first lockdown the club committee took the decision to suspend the £18 monthly instalments and refund subs to those who had paid their membership in full for season.

To ensure we could restart in July the club volunteers have worked tirelessly to get football activity started. This includes the following:

· Covid Risk Assessments written and implemented for each venue
· PPE packs purchased, packaged, and issued to each team
· Covid essential equipment (e.g. sanitizer, signage, equipment cleaning solution) purchased for each venue access point
· Track and trace system set up
· Every player registration processed
· League and FE registration fees paid
· Pitches booked, marked, and hire fees paid

Before our annual subscriptions were due for the current season we all benefitted as members from these actions which led to the players enjoying the restart effectively free of charge for July and August. Pre-season friendlies also took place without subscriptions.

The club is not set up to run as a business so every penny taken from us all as members stays within the club and can only be spent within the club. All of our coaches, committee, and volunteers pay the same subscription (£216 or £18 pm) for their children, or at the reduced rate for those with siblings.

Regrettably there are an extremely small minority of members who still have outstanding subs. The committee have an obligation to chase this on behalf of all members, and will be doing so over the coming weeks.

In response to this latest government announcement the club committee met at short notice to discuss and agree the best response for our members.

The decision taken is that we will suspend all payments due for November and issue £18 refunds to those who pay up front. The club will incur some cost for the games played on Sunday 1 November but we feel the best interests of our members is to suspend payments once again over this difficult time.

Following some feedback from our coaches we understand that some people will welcome the saving and others want to continue paying. With that in mind we have decided to try and bring some good out of this period. We have decided to set up a just giving page and are asking those that can to donate a suggested minimum of £5 which we will pass on in its entirety to support local families during this difficult time. Hopefully we can make a difference to those families that need help over this period, leading up to Christmas.

The link to donate is here https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/southwoodhamunited-fc?utm_term=BxXnpJkAb

Thank you for your continued support on behalf of each and every one of our future stars – it means a lot.

Essex Covid-19 Update

The FA have provided an update for ‘non-elite’ football in England following the UK Government’s announcement on new national Covid-19 restrictions that will be in place from Thursday 5th November 2020 until Wednesday 2nd December 2020.

As a result of the UK Government’s new national Covid-19 restrictions, and subject to Members of Parliament voting tomorrow (Wednesday 4th November 2020) and the publication of bespoke guidance from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), the impact on ‘non-elite’ football in England will include the suspension of the following during this period:

* All fixtures and training for Steps 3-6 of the National League System [NLS];
* All fixtures and training for Tiers 3-7 of the Women’s Football Pyramid [WFP];
* All fixtures and training for the Regional NLS Feeder Leagues;
* All fixtures and training for The Barclays FA WSL Academy League;
* All fixtures and training for FA Girls Regional Talent Clubs;
* All fixtures and training for indoor and outdoor youth and adult grassroots football.
Read more at www.essexfa.com/news/2020/nov/03/non-elite-football-update.

Essex FA Covid-19 Update

We note today’s news relating to the Essex County Council area and London Boroughs moving from Tier 1 to Tier 2 in the Government’s Covid-19 measures, which apply from Saturday 17th October.

Whether a local authority is currently in Tier 1 (Medium) or Tier 2 (High), grassroots football can continue to operate but it remains crucial to still operate in-line with the existing FA Covid-19 guidance on the return of outdoor football, which supports Government guidelines. A reminder of this information can be found in Update 33 here: www.essexfa.com/about/coronavirus.

U14 Leopards Gunning for Cup Final Glory

Good luck to our U14 leopards as they finally play their Cup Final v Notley Pumas, which was postponed in March due to Covid-19.

Very best wishes to Justin and all the team from all at SWFU

Proposed Plans for Safe Return to Training

Training Restart

Following the recent guidelines released by the FA in respect of Grassroots Football, we have been awaiting further guidance to see how and when we can look to provide safe training while making sure we comply with the guidelines.

The committee held a meeting last week via zoom, to discuss how we might be able to provide training, we thought it would be a good idea to try and keep everyone informed as to where we are at present.

Step 1: The club has submitted a risk assessment to Chelmsford City Council (RA for SWFU June 2020 version 2), currently awaiting approval. A big thank you to Helen and Paul Hamilton for their help in getting this completed.

Step 2: The club will be looking to run zoom meetings for managers who are looking to train, so they are fully aware of the guideline requirements.

Step 3: The club feels it would be best to run a couple of managers sessions to act as a run through on how sessions should be set up and managed, any manager looking to return to training will need to attend a session.

Step 4: The club is currently looking to secure PPE for each manager, we hope to have this in place during the next week.

Step 5: The club is in the process of purchasing Social Distancing signage, this will need to be displayed at any venue where training is provided.

Step 6: We will be looking to run a trial session to ensure that our plans and risk assessment mean we can operate safe sessions.

We believe that once we have completed the above steps, we should be in a better position to start training over the weekend 5th & 6th July, sessions times to finalised.

Whilst we appreciate that many managers and players are keen to get back to training, the club will not compromise the safety and health of Managers, Coaches, Players and their families.

We will only be able to offer training if we get the help of everyone to ensure we comply with the guidelines.

We hope that the above and the attached risk assessment helps to cover most of the questions you or your players parents may have, if you do have any further questions please email them to us info@swfu.co.uk and we will try to answer them as soon as we can.

Thank you for your patience while we assessed all the options, to come up with a plan for a safe return to training.

The FA Guidence of Permitted Grassroots Football Activity During Covid-19 1st June

The FA have released the guidance attached below today around permitted activities. This follows the government announcement on Saturday.

Our approach will be cautious around this as we only have one chance to get it right.

We are in consultation with the local authorities to ensure there are adequate facilities and procedures to achieve maximum safety.

The guidance does not mention the taking of temperatures and we know from consultation that government guidance does not recommend this in schools as it can provide anxiety for children.

Please bear with us. Your managers will be in touch to gauge how many of you intend to send your children along.
In the meantime please read the guidance.

Stay safe – SWFU ⚽️

LATEST GUIDANCE ON PERMITTED GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL ACTIVITY DURING COVID-19 FROM 1 JUNE

Link: The FA Guidelines

Club Statement – Player Subscriptions

Following the FA’s announcement earlier today to suspend all football until 30 April at the earliest the Club Management Committee have made the following decision regarding player subscriptions.

All March payments are currently being processed. However, we will suspend all April payments, with the next payment being due in May. As the situation develops we will review this arrangement and make any decisions necessary.

There is no need for you to do anything – our admin system will amend everyone’s payments. In fact we urge you to not cancel any direct debit please, as this creates unnecessary work for our volunteers and could delay us restarting.

Lastly we would like to wish you all the very best during these difficult times and ask you to bear with us. Every member of the Club Committee have full time jobs but will endeavour to respond to any questions or concerns as soon as is physically possible. Our number one priority is to ensure our long term sustainability so we are all here to offer everyone the opportunity to play football for the long term. Please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and on our website as that will be the fastest point of contact going forward.

Club email – info@swfu.co.uk

Coronavirus/Covid 19 Update

Official statement from the Club Secretary, Iain Watts – 13th March 2020

Coronavirus/Covid 19 Update

The FA status mirrors that of the government for the general public. Our club stance will also mirror this, whilst the schools remain open.
All training is available to those that want to tomorrow (Sat 14th March) including Development Squad and Wildcats

In terms of matches the following is valid for this weekend:
• Mid Essex Men’s league – Postponed (until 3rd April)
• Blackwater & Dengie – Postponed (until 3rd April)
• Essex County Girls League – Fixtures on upon agreement from both teams
• Chelmsford Youth League – Postponed (this weekend only)
• Southend District Youth League – Fixtures on upon agreement from both teams
• Pope & Smith Men’s League – Fixtures on upon agreement from both teams

The Club is also cancelling all friendly matches.

We take any safeguarding concerns seriously and if anyone takes the decision not to come training or play then the club fully respects that.

If you do feel unwell please follow the government and NHS England advice.

Training & Matches Resume This Weekend

The club would to wish everyone involved with SWFU a happy New Year.

All training sessions and matches resume this weekend 4th/5th January 2020