CORONAVIRUS INNOVATION AWARD: COMPASSION
1. Blue Family – Everton Football Club and Everton in the Community
On Friday 13 March, Everton Football Club and its charitable arm, Everton in the Community, became the first Premier League Club to close all Club sites and temporarily postpone most community programme delivery due to the impending threat of the coronavirus pandemic.
Everton’s immediate response – made possible by strategic planning undertaken in January – was followed by the planning of ‘Blue Family’, a campaign to provide vital support and assistance to the Liverpool City Region. Blue Family was officially launched on Thursday 19 March, five days prior to the UK Government implemented a national lockdown, ensuring Everton became the first Premier League club to devise an outreach initiative that not only supported their fans but members of its local community.
Delivered collaboratively between Everton Football Club and Everton in the Community, Blue Family is a coordinated outreach and engagement campaign to provide essential aid to some of the most vulnerable, socially isolated and at-risk members of the community in the wake of the pandemic.
2. Bristol Rovers Football Club
Bristol Rovers Football Club played a key part in helping their community through the pandemic by reaching out to all stakeholders and providing them with a wide-ranging support package to those most in need. They also provided regular and detailed updates to supporters through the clubs various channels from key figures at the club. Their work received national exposure and praise and undoubtably helped make a difficult time a little easier for many.
3. ITTF Foundation
#TableTennisUnited is more than a mere fundraising campaign It is a show of defiant solidarity in the face of a COVID-19 enforced shutdown of the sport The ITTF Foundation has created this campaign for the whole table tennis community to support those members most in need Athletes, coaches, umpires, national associations and field projects can apply for both, financial and equipment support, whether it is about paying rent, get some income for not generated salaries due to local lock-downs or to pay food or protective measures for community members The donation campaign is powered by the ITTF Foundation and supported by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and World Table Tennis (WTT), the new commercial and events vehicle of the ITTF, who together have committed to donate more than USD 250,000 to the cause We – the global table tennis family – feel obliged to take on this responsibility It is imperative that we all make our contribution in this challenging time so that community spirit rises above all else This vision should bring us even closer together and give us strength for the future.
4. Manchester City FC – Covid-19 response
From the beginning of the pandemic, Manchester City recognised the important role it had to play in supporting communities locally and globally, so developed a series of initiatives to respond to immediate need and help communities recover from the pandemic.
As the Premier League restarted, the Club launched Cityzens Giving for Recovery, a year-long programme bringing together all City Football Group clubs, staff, fans and players, to make a positive difference – mobilising donations, expertise, facilities, resources, and voice to support recovery-linked projects in each of the nine cities where CFG has clubs.
This built on local initiatives including a partnership with the NHS and Manchester City Council, which transformed the Etihad Campus to provide facilities including coronavirus testing, a rest, relaxation and exercise centre for key workers, and a training base for nursing staff.
The Club’s charity City in the Community adapted its community football delivery to ensure that even during lockdown we could still engage and support local young people, and the Club delivered adapted training content to young leaders globally to empower them to promote COVID-19 recovery through football in their communities.
5. Manchester United FC & Manchester United Foundation
The objective of our COVID-19 response was simple – to continue to support those we work with on a day-to-day basis, whilst also extending our provision to others in society who were in need.
To do this, a plan was developed to:
- Offer support and resources to the NHS and other organisations involved in the frontline fight.
- Maintain its programmes of support for partner schools, whilst developing new initiatives and funding streams to support them and their pupils.
- Provide financial and practical assistance to foodbanks locally.
- Extend our support to fan communities near and far through financial donations and wellbeing schemes.
- Financially support its fans and non-salaried staff through refunds and the ongoing payment of wages respectively.
John Shiels, chief executive of Manchester United Foundation reflected: “When you’re a leading organisation in a city, like Manchester United is in Greater Manchester, you have to stand up and be counted at a time like this. I’m so proud that the club and our Foundation have done that. We’ve supported our staff, our fans, our partner organisations, and our communities and we will keep doing so through this pandemic and beyond.”
6. Norwich City Football Club/Community Sports Foundation Covid-19 Committee
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a fund of £200,000 was raised personally by Daniel Farke, the players, senior staff, and the owners/directors of Norwich City Football Club to enable the Club to support the most vulnerable people and charitable organisations in Norfolk.
The Club knew that they wanted to do everything they could to also show their assistance to their loyal supporters and the wider community during these unprecedented times, and a working committee for the “Canaries COVID-19 Community Project” was formed, in conjunction with CSF, the Clubs official charity partner, and three objectives were collectively set:
To support the fans and undertake community engagement initiatives
To support the most vulnerable in our wider community by working with local charities and community groups
To support the NHS and care workers
The Club achieved these objectives through four main projects:
- 7000 telephone calls to season tickets holders aged 60+ to check on their well-being
- The distribution of care packages to local charities and wider community
- The distribution of PPE to care homes and medical centres across Norfolk
- Thankyou gifts of handmade cakes/signed football shirts delivered to local health and care workers
7. Preston North End
Our PNECET Helping Hampers initiative benefitted vulnerable members of the community, providing them with essential food and toiletries during an unprecedented time of need. However, it also allowed us to bring the Preston community together in response to the crisis.
With the support of the first team squad and management, we empowered individuals of all ages and backgrounds, as well as generous local businesses, to go above and beyond to support the most vulnerable members of our community.
A team of dedicated volunteers were an essential part of the initiative by packing goods funded by our first team squad, the general public and a series of grants, and delivering them to those who needed them most. Among the volunteers were our local police force and a young person on our NCS programme.
We were also supported by local businesses such as Aldi Deepdale, Booker’s wholesalers and the Cardboard Box Company. Meanwhile, primary school children provided messages of hope. The inclusion of other engaging materials such as matchday programmes and PNE themed books donated by local authors gave our hampers a truly unique feel to Preston North End – indicating how our campaign brought all members of the community together.
8. QPR FC
The R U OK campaign was launched during March 2020 in reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic to provide much needed support to the local community, QPR fan-base and vulnerable people already known to the club A unique welfare team was collaborated from QPR, the Community Trust and our Academy staff – including our First Team manager Mark Warburton, first-team players, former players, our Director of Football Les Ferdinand, our Academy Technical Director, QPR Trust CEO and members of the Trust staff Over 1,500 calls have been made so far, ranging from west London all the way to Sierra Leone, highlighting the huge need for support from QPR during difficult times QPR worked tirelessly alongside local partners, food banks and emergency support to ensure that anyone contacting our welfare team were able to get access to food medication and friendly support Staff went over and above simply making phone calls – socially distant visits were made to our Over 60 participants who were isolated and not able to attend the Trust’s usual activities Support ranged from phone calls, to collecting prescriptions, making gardens accessible, phone calls to fans from key staff and players, and supporting people to access digital and online
9. Saints As One – Southampton FC and Saints Foundation
In March 2020, Southampton Football Club and its charity Saints Foundation, came together to launch Saints As One in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.Saints As One was an outreach and engagement project which set out to educate, entertain, support and unite local people, fans and our existing participants, many of whom found themselves increasingly isolated and vulnerable due to the effects of Covid-19.Across a four-month period, this details just some of what was achieved:
- 13,000 freshly cooked meals distributed to vulnerable people across the city in partnership with food charity FareShare.
- 1,500 volunteering hours from club and Foundation staff at FareShare’s distribution centres.
- 1,700 prescriptions delivered to vulnerable and isolated people, 80% of whom were aged 60+.
- Over 9,500 welfare calls made to Saints Foundation participants or club season holders aged 60+, equating to more than 40,000 minutes of support.
- Over 1,000 bespoke and age appropriate exercise manuals hand delivered to older people across the city.
- 5,000 face masks and over 9,000 units of food and drink donated to Solent NHS Trust.
- Over £100,000 raised to support the work of multiple charities missing out on vital fundraising opportunities.