Wayne Blair was the project manager for the FA Parklife project in Liverpool. The £19.2m project involved the creation of 12 3G football pitches based at four sites throughout the Liverpool region. Throughout the project, Wayne was committed to delivering social impact for the region and here, he explains what he did and why it’s so important to give back to the communities Kier works in.
“Kier aims to positively shape the communities and contracts we serve and to achieve this, we set ourselves corporate responsibility (CR) targets on each project we undertake. For the FA Parklife project, I - and the team involved - had a real passion for delivering CR and we wanted to go above and beyond the targets initially set.
FA Parklife is a major investment into grassroots football across the city of Liverpool. The idea of the project is to create multi-pitch artificial grass football hubs across England’s major towns and cities, where the need for good quality pitches is greatest, creating a passion and interest in football that lasts a lifetime. We wanted to ensure that any CR activity we undertook was beneficial for a number of people that needed it across the city.
We did this by organising a range of activities and community outreach projects. This included supporting charities/organisations through donations, organising charity football matches and donating a handrail to act as a crowd barrier for Little Heath Playing Fields.
Throughout the project we also undertook a variety of careers days and engaged with over 2,260 primary and secondary school pupils through school visits and careers fairs. We wanted to use this opportunity to engage and inspire with school children in the area and we conducted 57 site visits with pupils from nearby schools and colleges, giving them a chance to gain first-hand experience and knowledge of a live construction site.
We partnered with a number of charities throughout the project, one of which was Chernobyl Children’s LifeLine. It’s a charity that supports families from Belarus and Ukraine that were affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and each year it selects a group of children to come to the UK and stay with host families for a month. In 2018, it had a group of 23 children coming to the UK and to welcome them we decided to host a fun day, full of activities, including; football, badminton, archery and an obstacle course.
It was fantastic to see the children have a great day with each other and join in the range of activities we had organised. Each child also walked away with a pair of football boots each, which they were thrilled about and was like a dream come true for them.
Working in construction gives us a unique opportunity to engage with a host of people from the local community and it opens our eyes to groups of people that are less fortunate than ourselves. The team working on FA Parklife came together to take that opportunity and give something worthwhile back to a whole community. We reached more people than I could have imagined at the start of the project and I’d like to say a massive thanks to the FA Parklife team and our supply chain partners for coming together to have such a positive impact for the people of Liverpool.”