Coronavirus: How are Premier League clubs helping their local communities during pandemic?

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5:20 Everton are encouraging players to call elderly fans who are self isolating at home during the coronavirus pandemic – and Mason Holgate phoned a fan who has happy memories of current assistant boss Duncan Ferguson

Elsewhere, Theo Walcott provided a home workout video to motivate supporters to maintain an active lifestyle, while club captain Seamus Coleman and Mason Holgate have been among the players to phone elderly fans who have been forced to self-isolate.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti became the latest member of staff to join the campaign when he contacted a 52-year-old supporter with motor neurone disease.

Club CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale has joined a national steering group which aims to harness the collective power of business as a force for good in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

Leicester

First-team players, including Jamie Vardy and Jonny Evans, have provided important messages to supporters on social media thanking the work of the NHS.

Revisiting classic games, a regular quiz and a daily countdown to the club’s ultimate Premier League XI as voted by the public have kept supporters engaged.

Last week, players helped staff at a local Co-operative in New Parks to restock shelves given the greater demand.

The club will continue to offer support to partner schools through activities for vulnerable young people and children of key workers. Opportunities to offer further services to the club’s communities during this period are being explored.

Liverpool

The club prioritised two initial areas of community work following the Premier League’s announcement to postpone matches. Firstly, the Premier League leaders have held a long-standing relationship with foodbanks in North Liverpool through their Red Neighbours team.

Their second area of focus in response to the immediate crisis was the elderly and those with social isolation issues.

Liverpool FC Connect – a social isolation initiative aimed at contacting the vulnerable via telephone – is ongoing and the club are teaming up with Liverpool City Council on their volunteering scheme to tackle community need, loneliness and social isolation.

The club will also be sending out postcards as an additional way of reaching out to the local community and letting fans know the Reds are committed to providing support during this difficult time, including details on how fans can register for the LFC Connect service.

Liverpool have committed to paying their matchday casual workers during this period which would have been three games – approximately £750,000 committed prior to the UK government making their pledge.

Manchester City

In addition to the £100,000 joint donation with Manchester United to help local food banks, City have donated the food ordered for matches against Arsenal and Burnley to local charities across Manchester with the support of their stadium catering partner F3.

The food for the Arsenal game was donated to The Longford Centre (a homeless prevention charity) and Open Kitchen MCR (a company that prevents food waste by repurposing for events).

The food for the Burnley game was donated to a number of charities, including the Home Community Cafe, Mellor County House, Mother Earth and the Sale Methodist Church.

1:14 Gary Neville thinks the Premier League can help health services and the football community to recover from the coronavirus pandemic

City have also donated flowers which were ordered for various locations around the Etihad for the Burnley game to Brookdale View Care Home in Newton Heath with the support of our local supplier Springbank.

Furthermore, City announced last week their digital content subscription service, City +, is now free to all Cityzens, meaning fans can access all the content on the platform free of charge until football is back.

Manchester United

United have donated £50,000 as part of a combined £100,000 with City to The Trussell Trust, which supports a network of over 1,200 food bank centres – compensating for the temporary loss of food donations on matchdays.

The donation come alongside ongoing work by the Manchester United Foundation as part of a wider response to the coronavirus outbreak.

1:05 Phil Thompson praises Manchester City and Manchester United’s joint support for food banks

United will pay all its matchday and non-matchday casual workers, should Premier League games be cancelled or played behind closed doors for the remainder of the season.

The goodwill payment will be made to all matchday and non-matchday casual staff who have worked for the club during the past three months.

Newcastle

The club have donated matchday food to the Newcastle West End Foodbank following the postponement of the recent Premier League fixture with Sheffield United at St James’ Park.

The Magpies have redistributed food items, including 1,200 pies and a range of cold meats to the charity to ensure the city’s most vulnerable people are fed.

The club’s official charity, the Newcastle United Foundation, remains focused on its mission to connect, motivate and inspire their communities, offering extra support to the most vulnerable in society.

Among a range of initiatives drawn up by Steve Beharall, the head of the Foundation, is a call for season ticket holders to support individuals in isolation.

Norwich

Norwich players, head coach Daniel Farke and the club’s executive committee have agreed to donate part of their salaries to help those negatively impacted by the coronavirus.

The money, which amounts to over £200,000, will initially be used to buy and distribute food and essential toiletry packages for those in need in the Norwich and the wider Norfolk community.

The Canaries have kept their supporters engaged on social media with quiz questions while the club launched a leaflet last week for people to offer support for the most vulnerable.

Fans have been encouraged to offer their help by printing off leaflets, filling in their details and posting it through letterboxes.

Sheffield United

The Blades have agreed to a request from the NHS for free parking at Bramall Lane for staff and the club are currently assessing other ways to help in the pandemic.

The club’s official charity, Sheffield United Community Foundation, have stated their ambition to continue to support their local communities with our ‘Step It Up Sheffield’ campaign.

Southampton

Southampton and Saints Foundation have linked with FareShare, the UK’s national network of charitable food re-distributors, to cook and deliver a range of 1,000 meals each week for people in need across the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The club will commit a significant amount of financial and human resource to the initiative, providing ingredients, packaging and a team of expert chefs, who will create a range of healthy, nutritious and well-balanced dishes that FareShare will then help supply to vulnerable people who are struggling to gain access to food in Southampton and the immediately-surrounding areas.

The Saints Foundation have also provided online exercises for older adults, sharing some simple 10-minute workouts that can help supporters stay active.

Club chief executive Martin Semmens has been a vocal presence in the media since the outbreak began, and he has highlighted the Foundation’s pivotal role in supporting the local community, describing it as the “most effective” part of the business until football resumes.

The club are in the process of pulling together more material to support their community – virtual sessions to keep people active and also help mental well-being.

Tottenham

0:26 Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld is donating ‘dozens’ of electronic tablets to hospitals to help sick people keep in contact with family and friends

Tottenham donated surplus food and drink at the stadium intended for upcoming events to The Felix Project – a London-based charity which aims to tackle food waste and hunger in the capital. The produce has since been delivered to a number of local good causes within the Tottenham area.

The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation held its first-ever virtual yoga session for those on its ‘Move 4 You’ cancer rehabilitation programme. It is also trialling virtual seated exercise classes to be delivered within local elderly care homes.

Tottenham have also launched a new ‘School of Spurs’ programme for families wanting to keep young children entertained at home.

For the exercise part of the session kids are invited to ‘Dance Like Dele’ or ‘Jump Like Harry’ as part of their warm-up.

They also have the option to ‘Handle Like Hugo,’ ‘Tackle Like Toby’ and ‘Sprint Like Sissoko.’

A health and well being crossword offers vital information on nutrition while the next stage is a 30-minute challenge inviting participants to build their own club and must list their club values, name the team, stadium and mascot.

A stadium wordsearch and times tables using squad numbers follow that before pupils are instructed to write a match report based on their day.

Head coach Jose Mourinho teamed up with Age UK in Enfield on Monday, helping pack food parcels for the elderly and sent them straight to the homes of residents.

0:24 Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho has been helping out at Age Concern UK in Enfield during the coronavirus pandemic

Watford

Watford have launched a ‘Hornets At Home’ initiative, writing to all of its elderly supporters and those with a disability offering the help of fellow fans.

Furthermore, assistance will be made available to those who become house-bound through illness.

The Hornets have also offered the use of their Vicarage Road stadium for a range of different purposes to the nearby Watford General Hospital to help NHS staff there battle the coronavirus pandemic.

“We need to forget football right now and concentrate on doing all we can to support the NHS and, in particular, Watford General Hospital,” Watford chairman and chief executive Scott Duxbury said in a joint statement announcing the move.

Those willing to help fellow Hornets should email ticket.office@watfordfc.com.

West Ham

West Ham has focused its initial community efforts on the most vulnerable groups.

Due to the strong links with between the club and the Any Old Irons fan group for over 60s, Declan Rice called Any Old Irons member John Chapman to offer his support to the group. The club has also set up a bespoke Facebook group for older fans to stay in touch, and this was followed up by a letter from captain Mark Noble.

The Hammers are working on ways to re-purpose schemes through the Players’ Project and through the West Ham United Foundation to take programmes online and maintain the club’s support for the community. This will focus on physical health and fitness, good mental health practice, and providing interactive content to create online communities of fans.

Wolves

Wolves and ownership group Fosun have donated 2,300 pieces of protective equipment to the city of Wolverhampton to support its efforts against the coronavirus epidemic.

The equipment has been distributed to The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and Public Health teams to support and protect front-line services.

Furthermore, Wolves and Wolves Foundation are reaching out to the local community in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic by launching Wolves at Home.

Over 2,000 calls will be made over the next fortnight to reach out and offer assistance to the fans who need it the most.

Sourse: skysports.com

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