With EFL clubs and their respective community 0rganisations working up and down the country to support families during the Covid-19 crisis, the EFL Trust have launched its “Football Never Went Away” campaign that highlighted the community response to the crisis. With 36.6million people in England and Wales living within a 10-mile radius of an EFL Ccub – a radius that encompasses four in 10 residents who fall into the most-deprived population groups – never has this work been more important. More than 215,000 food parcels have been delivered across the network, including an extra 26,000 Easter eggs and treats to NHS staff and vulnerable adults and children.
And as the Government called on the public to ease the burden on the National Health Service, at least 30 clubs opened their doors to key workers, offering space and facilities in stadia for testing and accommodation. In addition, Clubs have delivered over 13,000 items of PPE equipment and 3,500 prescriptions.
At Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, the Trust engaged with more than 1,300 adults and children online and made over 650 phone calls to its most vulnerable participants. Their most pioneering initiative targeted children who might not have access to a garden or outdoor space and helped them remain active within their homes. 600 activity packs were delivered to families across Hounslow and Ealing.
Lee Doyle, Chief Executive of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, said: “Throughout the crisis we have aimed to play a part in the response to the most at need groups. The development of activity packs was supported by online sessions featuring Trust coaches and players, and the children targeted had in many cases no direct access to outdoor space. The packs aimed to boost motivation, creativity and physical activity. We are now planning the resumption of face to face sessions in small groups, whilst not forgetting that some of our online activities have been successful in attracting new participants. Moving forward, this will inform a blended approach to engagement.”