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Communities

Coronavirus, clubs and community

21 Jul 2020
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People from around the country explain how the work of Premier League clubs in their local communities during the coronavirus has made an impact on them

Over the last few months, Premier League clubs have been working hard to help those in their local communities most in need of support during the coronavirus pandemic.

This work has built on the community outreach programmes already in place at clubs and have taken a variety of forms, such as providing logistical and financial support for foodbanks, volunteering resources, facilities for NHS services or supporting vulnerable people at risk of social isolation.

It was also helped by funds from the Premier League to enable the clubs to refocus their efforts from their normal assistance to helping their communities cope with the coronavirus. 

We spoke to the people helping or being helped to find out the impact the clubs have had. 

AFC Bournemouth

Cherries fan George has been fighting a kidney disorder during lockdown, so first-team goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale lifted his spirits with a surprise phone call and visit for his 12th birthday.

See: Ramsdale lifts young fan's spirits during lockdown

Arsenal

The pandemic threatened to ruin Nicholas Burton's and his dad's birthdays but Arsenal and their head coach Mikel Arteta made sure it was one they would never forget.

See: How Arsenal gave family of fans a birthday to remember

Aston Villa

Aston Villa fan Louise Wilde never dreamt she would go to Villa Park for work as a deputy director of midwifery for the local NHS, but the club stepped in to provide a maternity care centre for new mums in the community.

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See: Louise and Aston Villa helping NHS care for local mothers

Brighton & Hove Albion

Sarah Thompson has been part of Albion in the Community since suffering a brain injury in a motorbike accident five years ago. That assistance and support has continued during lockdown, helping Sarah feel connected and positive about the future.

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See: 'Brighton helped me to rebuild my life'

Burnley

Phil Chamberlain has been a member of Burnley's Veterans' Inclusion Programme for two years and he and his fellow veterans have been volunteering during the pandemic to help local youngsters as well as forge valuable new friendships.

See: 'Burnley have given me some focus in life' 

Chelsea

The pandemic suspended the Chelsea Foundation's walking football programme, but that has not stopped one participant keeping up the camaderie and making sure everyone remains in touch through quizzes, golf lessons and chatting with Chelsea legends over Zoom.

See: 'Chelsea's care has meant the world to me'

Crystal Palace

Sarah has a two-year-old daughter, was pregnant with her second child and lost her job at the start of the lockdown so the way that Palace in the Foundation helped her through the food offered by Palace Kitchen has been crucial to her family's livelihood during the pandemic.

See: 'Crystal Palace's support has been vital to me and my family'

Everton

Liverpool fan Joe has been able to turn his back on gang life thanks to the help of Everton in the Community over the last four years. That support has continued during the pandemic, with Joe receiving groceries and utilities that have helped to ease financial worries at home.

See: 'Everton helped me turn my life around'

Leicester City

Rebecca Pawley is an operations assistant with Leicester City in the Community but during lockdown she was one of the many foundation members who adapted their roles to continue to help vulnerable people in the community. She explains how working as a community response volunteer for the NHS has helped her and people in the city.

See: 'Making a difference to Leicester community was so rewarding'

Liverpool

Fans service specialist Bev Phillips has seen for herself how Liverpool have connected with Reds supporters during lockdown as she joined club staff in volunteering for the LFC Foundation's Red Neighbours programme.

See: Bev at the heart of Liverpool's volunteering effort

Manchester City

Keeping primary school pupils engaged and active has been challenging during the coronavirus crisis but with the help of City in the Community, Cheetham Community Academy in Manchester have helped children and their families through the lockdown.

See: 'Man City have helped pupils feel safe and valued'

Manchester United

MU Foundation and one of its partner schools, the ESSA Academy in Bolton, have been working together during the pandemic to support and guide the pupils and the wider community during the crisis.

Newcastle United

David Phillipson was struggling to find work after he left school but with the help of the Newcastle Foundation, he now has a permanent job and has working hard to help his local community during the pandemic.

See: Newcastle helping David work for his community

Norwich City

Losing the chance to take part in the Norwich City Community Sports Trust's dancing lessons during lockdown has been hard for Lauren, who has Down's syndrome, but the Trust has kept her active and engaged through online dance sessions that have lifted her morale.

See: Norwich keep Lauren dancing during the pandemic

Sheffield United

Nida is determined to make it as a professional footballer and even though opportunities to play have been reduced during lockdown, the Sheffield United Community Foundation have provided activities for her to remain focused and motivated.

See: 'Sheff Utd have motivated me to keep playing'

Southampton

Sally was at risk of isolation during lockdown and having a lack of medication in her care home but the 82-year-old has had her prescriptions delivered by the Saints Foundation, who have been keeping in regular touch with her as well.

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See: How Southampton are keeping Sally happy in lockdown

Tottenham Hotspur

Ultrasound manager Rogers Kalende reveals how the NHS's use of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for maternity clinics has helped to ensure mothers are not missing their all-important appointments.

See: 'Spurs have helped us care for our patients'

Watford

Barry Freedman is an older volunteer at Watford's Community Sports and Education Trust and explains how joining an online quiz hosted by young Premier League Kicks participants was of benefit to both young and old in the community.

See: Watford connecting young and old during pandemic

West Ham United

Working night shifts as a healthcare support worker at Royal London Hospital makes it difficult for Allison Gibbs to live a healthy lifestyle, but she says her life has been transformed after being referred to West Ham Foundation's 150Club, which gives tailored physical activities to residents in Newham who are at risk of developing diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

See: How West Ham kept Allison healthy during pandemic

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Simon Rickards has struggled with mental-health issues for most of his adult life but with the help of the Wolves Foundation's Head 4 Health programme and their work during the pandemic lockdown, he has come through some desperate times and says he feels better than he's ever been.

See: 'Wolves showed me there was a reason to be alive'

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