Letter to SMISA members from Kibble’s Jim Gillespie

Kibble's Jim Gillespie explains why he believes the partnership between SMISA, Kibble and St Mirren will be good for all involved....
Here at Kibble we are excited about our proposed partnership with SMISA to ensure St Mirren Football Club is owned by the fans and the opportunity to create an environment that can bring meaningful change, to the lives of young people in care at Kibble, to St Mirren Football Club and to the wider Paisley community.
This new partnership will allow us to grow the business of St Mirren and at the same time increase Kibble’s opportunities for employment, training and education as well as access to sport, health and wellbeing support.
Kibble will bring our commercial expertise to St Mirren, creating a dynamic partnership and complementing the existing set up by offering the support and expertise that a large charity has in areas such as HR, finance, marketing and communications. The strength in this partnership will help bring in new income to be reinvested in the team, which in turn will generate more non-footballing income to create a sustainable business model for the Club going forward.
This pioneering venture could also help address local deprivation and exclusion through youth employment, community engagement, initiatives and activities bringing significant benefits to the young people in Kibble and in the community.
We will strengthen Kibble’s young workforce development including employability programmes, volunteering support, traineeships and apprenticeships to provide wider opportunities between local schools and businesses.  It will offer young people from Kibble and the wider community support, tuition, training and confidence that they need to get a job.
If this proposal receives the support of the members of SMISA, this will be an incredibly exciting time for our charity as we combine the youth-centred, educational and commercial expertise of Kibble, with St. Mirren’s first-class sporting facilities and national profile to develop a dynamic partnership. At the centre of this will be a young workforce development model that will continue to thrive, with increased job prospects for our young people, and young people in the community aligned with the current job market.
At the heart of this proposal is the SMISA-Kibble partnership. This brings together two organisations with shared values, a not-for-profit ethos and the belief in the model of community ownership. We have worked hard with SMISA to create a deal that preserves those principles and we hope the SMISA members vote in favour to make a reality the exciting possibilities this creates for us all.
I look forward to hearing what SMISA members think
Jim Gillespie
Chief Executive