Change to Canaries Trust Secretary

At the Trust’s recent AGM, held on the 14th March, Mike Reynolds formally stepped down as Secretary of the Canaries Trust, a position he has held since the Trust was formed back in 2002.

We are delighted to announce that Kathy Blake has been elected to replace Mike with immediate effect.

The Trust’s board wishes to thank Mike for all his hard work and dedication over the last 17 years and to also wish him all the best for his retirement.

Chairman Robin Sainty presented Mike with a personalised wine case, glass and a distinctive set of Norwich City inspired Russian dolls.

Canaries Trust Dip for CSF

Boxing Day – traditionally a day for reflecting on how much you consumed on Christmas Day, maybe a leisurely stroll to work off those Christmas excesses and, for one year only, three hardy Trust souls braving the North Sea! What seemed like a good idea back in relatively balmy October, seemed a lot less sensible as we were stood on the sands at Mundesley, looking at the ominous grey clouds circling and trying to work out how long it would take to lose feeling in our toes!!

The Chairman came prepared with his Neoprene wetsuit and apres-DrySuit (some would say that’s cheating, in hindsight it was probably genius!), myself and Kathy came prepared with a never-say-die attitude and a friend who was a cameraman – good planning Kathy!

A quick photo with the CSF crew and then we were preparing ourselves to enter the fray!! And enter we did – Kathy went for a full on run into the waves and didn’t appear to stop for quite some time, I lost sight of Robin early on and I managed to make a not-so-gracious splash into the Sea as I lost my balance on the shingle – so much for only going in up to my waist!!

Despite the Chairman’s initial reservations, he gleefully went back for more, with Kathy and myself shaking our heads in disbelief!!

What’s equally hard to believe is how much money we raised – all for chucking ourselves into the North Sea, albeit a very chilly North Sea.

As at the date of this article, we are sitting at £1379.88, which is not only an incredible amount in itself, it’s far more than I thought we’d raise!! Thanks to each and every one of you who has sponsored us, no matter how great or small an amount. It is genuinely appreciated, not just by ourselves but by the Community Sports Foundation, who will be using these funds towards their #buildthenest project.

Now who’s up for a Dip on Boxing Day 2019!?

For further information about the Community Sports Foundation and their Nest project, please take a look at the following:

If you wish to sponsor us, there’s still time for us to break the £1400 mark – please take a look at our Just Giving page:

Thanks again.
Mandie Thorpe
Vice Chair

The Canaries Trust Visits The Nest


This week the Canaries Trust Board held their regular monthly meat The Nest and took the opportunity to meet the tour de force behind the project, Jackie Thornton.

You really can’t help but be captured by the enthusiasm that Jackie brings to the project, bringing to life the transformation from the former Anglian Windows Social Club venue, eventually a multi-purpose community hub.

When completed the Nest will feature an indoor sports hall, a gymnasium, a floodlit 3G football pitch, classroom facilities. The clubhouse will be renovated (some of which has already taken place), with the installation of residential “bunk boxes” and the relaying of seven grass football pitches, which was completed this summer.

To make this fantastic facility a reality though means that they need to raise £2.5m and have therefore launched a public fundraising campaign #buildthenest.

Every donation, large or small, will contribute to getting this huge and unprecedented project over the finish line, to provide a fantastic asset to the community around Norwich and Norfolk.

Jackie talked us through some of t the Nest will change lives, including:

Tackling Norfolk’s inactivity:

* Each year, 1,000 people will access a 60 station all- inclusive community gym.
* Each year, 650 people with disabilities will take part in sports and physical activity, supported by our skilled team.
* Each year, 6,000 grassroots footballers of all ages and abilities will use the 3G and renovated grass pitches.

Boosting Social Mobility.

* Each year, 250 Young people will study and train with our football and education programmes.
* Each year, 135 vulnerable adults who are homeless or unemployed will improve their skills and increase their life chances with us.
* 27 Full time equivalent jobs will be created and 600 people a year will be supported in work related training.

Improving Health and Well-Being:

* Each year, 320 over 55’s will take part in sports and social sessions such as the Extra Time project.
* Each year, 70 people suffering from mental and physical illness will access support activities and services such as dementia cafes health fit clubs.
* Each year, 100 children and young people will take part in our Fit4It healthy lifestyle programme.

The Trust are proud to support such a wonderful project and would recommend taking a proper look at:

Chair, Robin Sainty, Vice Chair, Mandie Thorpe, plus  Kathy Blake, are braving the North Sea on Boxing Day to help raise funds. If you could spare a pledge for our ‘3 Degrees’ please take a look at our Just Giving page:

If you are able to spare a donation or even your time to help at their fundraising events, please contact the Community Sports Foundation and help them to #buildthenest

Trust Members take part in NCFSC social evening

On Thursday April 18th members of the Canaries Trust board Mandie Thorpe, Kathy Blake and Chris Clarke attended the NCFSC social evening and took part in their Games Night.

This included vice chairman Mandie Thorpe taking on fellow board member Chris Clarke in a game of Jenga that Mandie’s team won – although given her own part in the proceedings, this was surprising!!

Canaries Trust member (and Mandie’s Mum!) Trish Thorpe was one of only a few people to win at Play Your Cards Right, hosted by the TeamUPukki CanaryBall Rally team of Anita Byrne, David Powell and Lorraine Taylor.

It was a fantastic evening with fun had by all and we would love to see Trust members at NCFSC events in the future.

Further details of TeamUPukki’s CanaryBall challenge can be found via Twitter @pukki_u

Minutes of Trust meeting with Ben Kensell on Monday 15th April

Canaries Trust meeting with Ben Kensell and Lynette Hannant

Present: – Ben Kensell (BK), Lynette Hannant (LH), Robin Sainty (RS), Mandie Thorpe (MT), Kathy Blake (KB), Gary Field (GF), Andy Polley (AP).


After the Trust representatives introduced themselves BK said he was pleased to have what he thought would be the first of many meetings and he thought formalising things was the way forward. RS agreed and said it was good for the club to meet other people from the Trust.


GF said he was disappointed that the NCFC board had not supported this initiative. BK said that in fact this was not the case and that it had been welcomed. The vote to not give support was not taken lightly and there was good debate for both sides. Eventually the board simply felt that the memorandum of understanding meant that the club would consult anyway. GF pointed out that although that is the case now, it may not be in the future. BK invited the Trust to come back again and also noted that the Board are aware that the support of the NCFC board was not needed for the Trust to proceed.

Marketing the Trust through the football club/programme opportunities

AP outlined some ideas about how the club could help promote the Trust i.e. in the matchday programme, via mailing lists, social media etc. BK said the way forward was the programme. Next season it is going to be bigger and better with more pages and he couldn’t see a problem with including Trust material like committee photos and profiles, forthcoming events, competitions etc. He felt that the club couldn’t be accused of favouring the Trust as it wasn’t essentially a ‘fans’ group’ like most of the others. He suggested AP talk to Dan Brigham who is the programme editor.

Prizes for Canary Trust competitions

MT said that any help NCFC could provide with this would be very welcome as every penny raised was needed to buy shares rather than be used as prizes. BK said he couldn’t see a problem with this. KB said the club could provide ‘prizes that money can’t buy’ as opposed to giving us merchandise or money. BK said this was a possibility and said that there might be an opportunity with the SkyBox. He would get back to us on this.


AP said that for most of the time Yellows was unused and suggested some activities that could make use of the facility. He suggested that the Trust could be the lead body on this if necessary but first asked if there were any plans for it. BK said maybe but asked what the proposals were. AP suggested community based used. Fans groups and other associations could hire the facility for their functions. Another idea was part time use for the Norwich Foodbank. BK said Yellows had been closed for financial reasons but we would love to get a greater level of use out of it on a non matchday. There was direct access to the stadium from the bar and therefore it had to be sufficiently staffed for any use. BK said he would have a look at costings and respond later.

Club support for Trust events

RS said he regretted having to say that he was unhappy with NCFSC being given access to Daniel Farke just days after being told he was not available for the Trust AGM. BK said he understood the Trusts unhappiness but pointed out that both the football club and DF himself wanted to limit these type of appearances and that he felt the NCFSC as fundamentally a social group for all supporters had more of a case as everyone could attend regardless of whether they are part of a group. MT pointed out that this was also true of the Trust once the official business of the AGM had been conducted. RS said he understood the reasons but would have preferred to have been told up front. BK said this sort of thing could be avoided in the future by us coming up with a timetable of events well in advance and letting the football club know.

On the baw

MT gave BK some brief background on the project and asked if it was on the NCFC radar. BK said some work had already been done and it was being rolled out in the corporate areas. Baskets of sanitary products and Sani bins were being provided. Progress after that depended largely on which league we are in next season but the long-term plan is to have these in all female toilets in the ground. MT suggested that the club should announce this as they deserve credit. AP said it would be good if this was completed by International Women’s Day 2020.

TUFSO initiative/reciprocal ticket pricing

MT had attended the TUFSO meeting. Reciprocal pricing had been discussed but she pointed out that at the time the discussion was about Championship prices. In the Premier league the prices were fixed at £30 for away supporters. BK said grading has not been decided to date but will come back with more information once we know where we are.

Memorandum of Understanding

Much of this had already been discussed but both parties agreed that quarterly meetings between the Trust and the football club with structured dialogue was the way forward.

Atmosphere group

KB said that she was part of this group. The whole thing had been a huge success but communication between the participants and the football club had been a problem Often emails hadn’t arrived or very short notice of meetings was given. BK acknowledged this and said he would ensure that moving forward a smooth process would be implemented. He also applauded the brilliant atmosphere at Carrow Road get better and better as the season has continued.

Royal Norfolk Show

RS enquired if Trust members could have passes for the day in the same way NCFC staff did. BK said he would look into this. He said he was embarrassed by the football club stand last year and he intended to make the thing much more professional. The Trust was welcome to share the club tent and they would happily supply competition prizes. More of a presence and investment will be placed into the show so it represents our club in the best way possible within its county.

Global Canaries

RS said he had been contacted by Hong Kong Canaries who had told him that they had problems getting match tickets when they visit the UK. One suggestion was ‘Overseas membership. BK said at Arsenal they had ‘Territory Champions’ – one person who acted as a lead for the group and a contact point for the football club. 1,500 tickets were always ringfenced so if the club were given plenty of notice some of these could be put on one side for them. RS said the Trust was happy to organise this and act as a channel. BK said he would discuss this with the Global group in the up coming meeting but couldn’t commit to numbers.

Canary Challenge Pitch Presentation

KB told BK briefly the history of the competition and said that historically it had never been straight forward organising this as the personnel seemed to be constantly changing. RS told BK about the poor organisation of last year’s presentation when nobody knew where the giant cheques were. BK said again, this would be sorted and apologised for the issues experienced. LH would be the point of contact now. The football club were appointing ‘Ambassadors’ – former players or well-known figures. One of these would present the cheques at this year’s ceremony.

Food bank

Although this had been a success there were still lessons to be learned. From the club’s point of view BK said it hadn’t been well publicised enough. The message had been lost and communication could improve in the future. There had been no obvious signage. AP commented that the Food Bank themselves were not used to such a big venue. BK said he wanted to do it well or not at all. Next time it would be bigger and better with a more co-ordinated approach.


GF said communication re NCFC board meetings and details on emails could be improved. He said often we were dealing with bereaved people and sensitivity was an issue. BK said Vanessa Sewell had left. Emma Bradshaw, head of finance was dealing with shares at the moment but this wasn’t really her area. It was more financial director’s territory and a fully appointed individual to give it the time it deserves. BK said he would email GF once things were clearer.

BK closed the meeting saying he thought it had been worthwhile and formal meetings were the way forward.

LH said she was happy to attend a Trust meeting and would bring Rebecca Shearer (Supporter Services Manager) with her.

Chris Newby running Run Norwich 19 for Norwich City CSF

Chris Newby will again be getting his trainers laced up and completing Run Norwich 19 for Norwich City Community Sports Foundation.

Chris has taken part previously and is looking forward to getting out on the course and pounding the streets of Norwich again for such a great cause.

The CSF are currently in the process of building The Nest, a state-of-the-art facility not just for football, but for a variety of sporting and non-sporting events to be held.  This will include dementia cafes, helping young adults to get into work and, more recently, they have gone into partnership with Forces2Canaries to develop a program for veterans involving sports, social interactions and welfare.

If you’d like to donate to Chris’ fundraising page, please follow the link here:

Chris Newby Run Norwich 19


TUFSO Meeting Mar 19

TUFSO (The United Federation of Supporter’s Organisations) met in London recently.  This was my first meeting representing the Trust and the event was very well supported by 30 attendees from representative organisations across the Championship, League 1 and League 2.

Items that were discussed included an update on the new organisation (TUFSO being an amalgamation of Supporter’s Direct and the Football Supporters’ Federation), including the fact that there will be a new, permanent name decided on soon.  TUFSO doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue!

We also discussed the future meeting format and potentially having sub-groups to work on individual issues, the Premier League/National League network update, flexible football rail ticketing, reciprocal away pricing, structured dialogue, pitch incursions and governance/clubs in crisis.

It was very interesting to hear from representatives of Bolton Supporters Trust, who on that very day were trying to salvage their club from the mess that has been allowed to unfold, and also the representative for Blackpool Supporters Trust, who conversely was happy to report on the recent success of Blackpool in ousting the Oystons.


Mandie Thorpe, Vice Chair



Norwich City Atmosphere Meeting

Chris Clarke recently represented the Canaries Trust at the NCFC atmosphere meeting.  The meeting was well attended by representatives from the Club and invited fans and covered items including:

QPR – £5 ticket donation and £1 programme donation to the Community Sports Foundation.

Reading – Archant/BarclayEndNorwich campaign to get the River End atmosphere/noise increased.  Montages in Barclay and River End.

Discussion about jeering players and the impact it can have (this echoed the comments made by Stuart Webber at our recent AGM).

5,300 tickets sold for Wigan and 2,900 for Stoke.  Beam back for Stoke will be in the South Stand, with the whole stand on sale to fans.

Discussion around Premier League and how this causes issues with ticketing and availability, as there is inevitably an increase in away support, sometimes this is helped by an increased allocation, but not always.

A fan’s survey will be released again shortly.

The Club are looking to hold these meetings more regularly throughout the season and do it through blocks of games, rather than month by month.  This may help more with atmosphere during important games next season, especially if we are in the Premier League (come on, we will be, but just in case!!)


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Ground collection for CSF

On a cloudy and chilly morning, Vice Chair Mandie Thorpe joined with other volunteers to help with a ground collection, before the QPR game, for the Community Sports Foundation.

Based outside Yellows, she found the Norwich City fans in their usual, generous mood!

We hope that the buckets were bursting with donations by the time the game against QPR kicked off.

If you wish to take a look at the fantastic work the CSF do in our community, please take a look at their website here:

Community Sports Foundation




Canaryball Rally

All of our members will be aware that we are very keen to support the CSF’s fantastic Nest project, even if it means jumping into the North Sea on Boxing Day morning!

We also like to support others with the same objective, so that’s why we are encouraging our members to support Team U Pukki in the Canaryball Rally.

The aim is to travel by vehicle across Europe from the 9th to 13th October 2019, visiting the stadiums which Norwich City Football Club played in during their UEFA Cup run in 1993. Only 20 vehicles will be taking part and will be followed closely by local media, but each team needs to raise a minimum sponsorship of £5,000.

We want to help to raise sponsorship for Team U Pukki which is made up of three City fans who will be well know to all on social media and beyond and they are Anita Byrne, David Powell and Lorraine Taylor.

Here’s a bit more about them:

Anita Byrne was hooked on football and Norwich City in the early ‘90’s after she was taken to a game by a couple of male friends. It was a case of “If you can’t beat them, join them”! She got her first season ticket in the 1995/96 season and sat in the Snake Pit. Since 2015, Anita and her son have sat in Block E of the Lower Barclay. Anita never misses a home game and attends as many away games as she can – and has been to over 35 grounds around the country and in Europe. Anita gives her views on the game by occasionally writing a column for MFW.

David Powell has been following Norwich City since 1976. His first game was a home game against Liverpool. He has been a season ticket holder since 1996 and currently sits in the Jarrold Stand. David is also an away season ticket holder and has notched up over 86 grounds both in England and in Europe.

Lorraine Taylor’s Dad took her to see Norwich City for the first time on 31st March 1975 v Fulham. Lorraine was a regular at Carrow Road until the beginning of the 1985/86 season when she moved from Norfolk. Although unable to always make it back to Norwich for each home game, she was able to travel to many ‘away’ grounds. In the early 90’s Lorraine worked in the Club Shop and was there during the UEFA cup run. Lorraine now has a season ticket in the Lower Barclay and travels to as many away matches as she can.

Great fans and a great cause, so if you can find a few quid to sponsor them it would be brilliant. Here’s the link:

Finnish Broadcast Network To Attend QPR Game

The Trust received an email today from Finnish Broadcaster YLE. The email follows below.

My name is Sebastian Backman and I am working for the Finnish broadcasting company YLE. Next week, we will send a film crew to shoot a segment about Teemu Pukki. We are also covering the home game against QPR on Saturday.

I was wondering what the Canaries fans’ usual pre-game ritual looks like. Do you meet up at a certain pub at a certain time? Do you walk together to Carrow Road?

We are interested in interviewing fans in a pub setting before and/or after the match, as well as interviewing a prominent member of the Supporters’ Club about the impact Pukki has had for you.

If you feel you’d like to contribute to this please contact the trust on our email or through our social media channels