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Taylor: Volunteers have helped keep people connected

3 Jun 2020
Anthony Taylor, referee

For Volunteers Week, Premier League referee Anthony Taylor describes his work in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic

Inspired by his sister, who is a frontline doctor in Manchester, Premier League referee Anthony Taylor has been helping vulnerable people in his local community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And as part of Volunteers Week, an annual celebration of the contribution that millions of people make in the United Kingdom through volunteering, Taylor has opened up about how he has been spending his time during lockdown.

"I have been delivering food parcels to older people and also to one of the local colleges for families of children who receive free school meals," he says. "People are very grateful for the assistance, it allays their fears that they are not going to go short.

"The support some of the families have had from the colleges is also vitally important. There are many families who unfortunately have had to experience enforced hardship, losing jobs or receiving pay cuts. Any kind of help anybody gives is clearly appreciated.

"For those who needed to be shielded, it was very limited interaction as I just dropped food on the doorstep and asked if they needed anything else, but even that, particularly for those living alone, makes a big difference."

Support is important

And Taylor says it has been a rewarding experience to have been a part of the volunteering work taking place.

"One thing that's really come through is the community spirit," he says. "With that a lot of people who needed support in the community have found that in their local neighborhood.

"It's a really difficult time for people, there's a lot of different challenges, dynamics of family units and people's work are very different across the community. Some people cope better than others in this situation.

"Just making people feel like they've got a bit of support out there can go a long way to making lockdown tolerable for people."

#PowerofYouth

Young people have been an important part of the volunteering effort during the pandemic and with #PowerOfYouth Day falling on Wednesday, celebrating the contribution of young people, Taylor praised how they have helped their local communities and beyond.

"Young people need as much support and encouragement as possible," he said.

"They have got a huge amount to offer, so any young person should be encouraged to be the very best that they can be, whether that's at school or in their job, or even finding a small amount of time to help somebody who is less fortunate than themselves.

"They deserve a massive thank you from us for the positive difference they have made. Hopefully, they have found it a worthwhile experience and, moving forward, that community spirit and togetherness can be harnessed to benefit everybody over the coming months and years."

Through the Premier League Primary Stars, Kicks and Inspires community programmes, and in support of the #iwill #PowerofYouth Day, we and our clubs are encouraging young people to engage in social action and to help make a positive difference.

See: Coronavirus: How our clubs show support in the community

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