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Interviews

COMMUNITY DAY | JASON CURTIS INTERVIEW

12 March 2022

Head of Community provides an update on the Trust's continued success

Today’s game against Portsmouth marks the Club’s annual Community Day, where we celebrate and highlight the invaluable work of the Club’s Community Trust. 

Supporters are also encouraged to bring a pound to the ground to help raise vital funds for the Trust and their various programmes across Ipswich and the wider community. 

We spoke to Town's head of community, Jason Curtis, ahead of this afternoon’s match. 

The full interview is available to read below: 

Jason, first of all, could you just provide a general update on what is going on within the Community Trust? 

Sure. We’re certainly growing on a daily basis. We started just under three years ago with three full-time staff members. We’re here today with 26. The growth has been very big indeed. That’s enabled us to reach out to lots of different parts of the community, working with different individuals and groups. We’re certainly moving in the right direction.

What sort of activities can we expect to see on Community Day?

We’ve been showcasing our engagement and involvement throughout the week as supporters will have probably seen through social media and on the website. On the day, there will be an increased Trust presence in the FanZone. There will be an opportunity to come and speak to us and our coaches. There’s a prize draw Crowdfunder, where you can get the opportunity to play against one of the first-team players later in the season.

We’re just trying to raise awareness most importantly as well as raise vital funds - there will be donation buckets around the ground. There’s lots of little bits and pieces going on! 

Community Day Landscape Graphic Final.jpg

You mention the fundraising, where will that money go? 

In the main, to help with resources whether that’s bringing in additional members of staff, more kit, more equipment or hiring out facilities so that we can go beyond not just Ipswich but into Suffolk. We can go into the more rural areas and try to reach out to as many people as we can.

Earlier this week, yourself and the Community Trust staff went down to the training ground to meet Kieran McKenna. How was that? 

It was really good. It was the first time I’d met him personally. Kieran was a really good guy who was really welcoming and open to all of us. It was really good exposure. It just shows that we’re one club and all together in this, that’s the most important theme we’re hearing from Mark [Ashton] the CEO and everyone else here. It was a really enjoyable morning and it was great to see the players in action - we loved it. 

Community Trust staff Kieran McKenna.jpgIt’s great to see that the CEO, the manager and the players are all wanting to get involved in the community side of things as well…

Absolutely. There’s a huge drive throughout the Club and that goes from top to bottom. We’re all in this together and running in the same direction. There’s a real feel good factor around the place at the moment and long may that continue. 

Nobody encapsulates that more that Conor Chaplin, who became a trustee earlier in the season…

He’s fully involved and he’s got the buy in for it. He understands the role of a trustee. He comes to the meetings and he then takes that back to the first-team. The other players have bought in and are involved as well so it’s really, really good. 

Thomas and Chaplin 16x9.JPG

Finally, could you tell us briefly about the short-term and long-term plans that the Trust are working on? 

Of course. In the short-term, we’ve been very good at delivering football but now we are actively looking to come away from football. We’ve just recently launched a twinning project so we are doing some FA Level 1 coaching at HMP Hollesley Bay [a prison and young offender institution for men over 18 in Woodbridge] and HMP Warren Hill. 

We’re doing a dementia cafe and we’ve got mental health workshops. We’ve got so many things happening and spinning so many different plates. We’ve been visiting care homes recently, too. There’s so much work that we’re doing and a lot of it goes unnoticed if I’m honest. It’s incredible work.

The long-term big project would be getting a home of our own. We’re growing very fast and are probably outgrowing our offices in the stadium. An all-singing, all-dancing facility of our own at some point would be fantastic.

Mark Ashton with St Helen's.png


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