A FOOTBALL club has launched its very own foundation in a bid to improve the physical and mental well-being of its community.

Bosses at Darlington Football Club have officially unveiled the Darlington Football Club Foundation.

The aim of the Foundation is to improve the lives of people in Darlington and surrounding areas, especially their health, and by promoting positive activity and lifestyles through education and engagement of young people and their families for the benefit of the whole community.

The specific objectives are to encourage and advance the education of children and adults within the community with the purpose of promoting a healthy lifestyle, and to promote community involvement in healthy recreation by improving facilities and education in their use for the playing of sports, especially to people and communities who have limited access to such places.

The Foundation will be working closely with Darlington FC to deliver its objectives and bosses at the club view this as a key step forward towards one of their main goals, which is to cement their place at the heart of the community as a focal point for the local area, its people and families.

Darlington Football Club's chief executive David Johnston said; “Darlington Football Club, through its Foundation, is delighted to undertake an innovative and forward-thinking project with our partners in the town of Darlington and surrounding communities.

"The football club wants to take a strong lead in promoting a healthy and beneficial lifestyle for everyone."

The Foundation will be chaired by Steve Rose, who as the chief executive of Catalyst in Stockton, brings a wealth of experience in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.

He said: "It is a great pleasure to be associated with the new Darlington FC Foundation and we are looking forward to improving lives within communities that are served by the football club."

The Foundation through its delivery partner, Sporting Futures, will be working with schools within the town and surrounding areas to deliver football coaching and other sporting activities.

It will also be taking over the responsibility from the club for running the Football in the Community holiday soccer camps.

The Foundation is also working on opportunities to collaborate with other organisations in the area to deliver community projects that will deliver outcomes that are consistent with the objects of the Foundation.

Funding for the new foundation is expected to come from surpluses derived from coaching in the schools and the holiday soccer camps, grant funding from the National League Trust and donations from the business community, as well as other sources.