AFC Henley started out in 1974 as Henley Boys & Girls Football Club. We are based at the sports ground at Jubilee Park, opposite Tesco, which we lease from Henley Town Council. We are an independent FA-affiliated, amateur, grass-roots club with our own management structure and financial controls. Surpluses are ploughed back into benefits for our 300+ members.
We field 20 teams in the East Berks Youth Football League. We run a thriving Mini-Soccer Centre on Saturday mornings for up to 90 children from age 4 - 8. Our priorities are to provide great coaching, to invest continuously in developing a quality playing surface and to provide outstanding footballing opportunities for all ages and abilities.
Jointly with Henley YMCA we are now known as The Henley Football Partnership, designated a FA Charter Standard Community Club by Oxfordshire Football Association. This is the highest quality award available from the FA. We are one of just six clubs in the whole of Oxfordshire to have been honoured in this way.
We won Oxfordshire FA's Community Club of the year in 2009 and again in 2012. Charter Community status guarantees us continuous support from the Oxfordshire FA, priority access to funding for major projects, discounted FA coaching courses and awards of cash or equipment for one-off initiatives.
In 2003 our then Chairman, John Hooper (now Life President), received the Pinsent-Redgrave award for services to sport in the town. In 2004 he was honoured in Leichlingen, Henley’s twin town in Germany, for his contribution to sport in their community, and In 2010 he was awarded the Town Medal in Henley for his long-term commitment to AFC Henley.
The Club abides by FA guidelines: 'Football Association Child Protection and Best Practice Guidelines' and we have been actively implementing the 'FA Respect Campaign', driven locally by Dieter Hinke, our Chairman and Welfare Officer (see Child Welfare Policy).
AFCH is staffed by volunteers, many having attended FA coaching courses to qualify at FA Levels 1, 2 and 3. Our aim is at least one FA-qualified coach per age group. All volunteers have CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) clearance and must attend First Aid courses and FA Child Protection seminars. The Club and its volunteers are covered by the FA's public liability insurance policy.
We are group members of the Henley-Leichlingen and Henley & Falaise Twinning Associations. We established links with Leichlingen in Germany more than 20 years ago. We also have a long-standing relationship with Nijmegen in Holland. Annual exchanges take place with teams from both Leichlingen and Nijmegen.
We run after-school clubs, holiday soccer schools and football parties under the umbrella of AFC Henley in the Community. We also allow local schools, colleges and charities to use our ground for sporting events and PE.
We are grateful for financial assistance from the OFA, Henley Town Council and other local businesses. This has enabled us to renew club kit and equipment as often as required.
Off the field, the club is working hard to improve the facilities for players, parents, supporters and community groups, including those with learning difficulties and the disabled.
The club has a 25 year lease with Henley Town Council for its clubhouse and the grass pitches adjacent to Tesco. Other youth football teams, local schools and groups are able to use the pitches during the week.
We have also secured the lease from The Harpsden Trust on an additional 11-a-side pitch in the village of Harpsden, just outside Henley, which is reserved for our older age groups.