Rehman Chishti, Member of Parliament for Gillingham and Rainham, shows his support for the club's community trust

Gillingham FC were delighted to welcome Rehman Chishti MP to MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Friday.

The Member of Parliament for Gillingham and Rainham was at the club to offer his support to the club's Community Trust and the new projects which the Gills are getting involved with.

Rehman was impressed with the setup at Priestfield and says it is fantastic news to see the club expanding its community efforts.

Speaking to the club website he said: "From what I've seen the setup is absolutely fantastic - Gillingham Football Club is at the heart of the local community and there are different ways which the club can reach different people.

"I think it's got the leadership with Alan, Darren and Paul the Chairman - it shows their commitment and determination, it has the right resources and what it needs now is for the community to back it all the way.

“I think by doing that and coming together we can make Medway a great place in a sporting sense but also in an education sense to nurture people’s talents which is what the community initiative here can do.

"The club has always been a big part of the community and it does so much. What we need to do now is make sure people can buy into it and the community can benefit from it.

"Football is a great way of enriching people's lives, not just in Sport, but in other areas.

"But certainly here in Medway when you have a huge issue with child obesity having this as an added tool to address that is fantastic.”

Alan Dennington, Business Development Consultant for the Community Trust, added: "I think the trust is bigger than it's ever been before and it has the potential to grow even more.

"Football is in a unique position to be able to reach a whole range of community members.

"The fans that sit here on a Saturday are just the tip of the iceberg and so much happens during the other 165 hours of the week - if they can identify with that then you really have a community club and this is a great opportunity for us.

"To have the political support of Rehman and some of his colleagues across the county is really important for us.

"There is a lot of hard work that goes on but if you have the right people with the right ideas then with patience and a bit of imagination then you can use Football as a tool to maximise everything you do."

Darren Hare, Head of the Academy at Gillingham FC, said: “Rehman is doing a fantastic job for his constituency and I think it’s important for the club to have a really good relationship with people like him and he has seen some of the innovative ideas that we are trying to pursue from an educational point of view.

“We are all quite excited about a relationship moving forward."

To find out more about the projects the Community Trust are working on please click here.