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PL30: Southampton hero honoured for work with senior Saints

8 Sep 2022
Saints Foundation Paul Hedges receives his Community Captain armband from Francis Benali

Saints Foundation’s Paul Hedges named Community Captain as part of Premier League's 30th anniversary celebrations

Saints Foundation’s Paul Hedges has been recognised for his work helping the people of Southampton live healthier, active lives, including founding the Senior Saints programme for over-65s.

Last week the Premier League Trophy took a trip to Southampton, visiting the south-coast city as part of the competition's 30th anniversary celebrations. The trophy visited one of Saints Foundation’s Senior Saints exercise classes, where club legend Francis Benali was on hand to deliver a special surprise to one member of the charity’s team.

Hedges, Saints Foundation Health Projects Manager, has been named Southampton FC’s Community Captain in recognition of his lifelong dedication to improving the health and wellbeing of local people.

Since its inception in 2015, the Senior Saints programme he created and developed has grown to support more than 300 of Southampton’s older people every week. It is made possible thanks to funding from the Premier League Charitable Fund and National Lottery Charitable Fund.

Benali presented Paul with a Community Captain’s armband and pennant at the start of the session, before both joined Senior Saints participants in a circuit exercise class in front of the trophy.

See: Updates from the PL30 Trophy Tour

Hedges said: “I love the job that I do and it’s an absolute pleasure to do it, but to be rewarded and seen as a Community Captain for the work that I do is amazing. Most of the plaudits have to go to the team that work with me, because I couldn’t do this on my own. Together we make this important work happen.”

Jennifer Legg, a Senior Saints participant, said: “Paul is an inspiration, not just to us as participants but personally as well. He’s always there to give you a friendly word, bit of support, and he works extremely hard to put together the exercise and projects he does for us.”

Sam Fulling, Saints Foundation Manager, said: “Paul is a real leader for our Health team. He’s someone that the entire Foundation looks up to. He uses a huge amount of experience and also empathy in order to support everyone.”

See: Premier League Trophy Tour stories

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