St Albans football club offers community support

PUBLISHED: 12:34 23 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:50 24 June 2020

St Albans Football Club has become a hive of community outreach and activity during lockdown. Picture: Supplied

St Albans Football Club has become a hive of community outreach and activity during lockdown. Picture: Supplied

Archant

As the ball has started rolling for premiership team footballers to get up and running again, St Albans City Football Club is top of the league for community spirit.

St Albans Football Club has become a hive of community outreach and activity during lockdown. Picture: SuppliedSt Albans Football Club has become a hive of community outreach and activity during lockdown. Picture: Supplied

We spoke to the chairman of SACFC Lawrence Levy about the opportunities the lockdown has brought for the footballers, fans in St Albans and our wider community.

Firstly the club donated some laptops from the office to families so that they could keep in regular contact with school and their friends and family throughout the lockdown.

As soon as the lockdown emerged on the horizon, St Albans City FC fan Gary Ruse immediately spotted the potential for scammers to abuse the need for some, especially the elderly, to isolate themselves in their houses. Recognising the many SACFC regulars that might fall into this category, Gary launched a telephone service where any fan that was in need of assistance could contact the club in order to avoid the risk of being scammed.

This led to volunteers from the club doing regular shopping trips and delivering food parcels to supporters that were in need of some assistance. More volunteers helped this year than ever before.

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Two volunteers, Gary Cameron and Ray Curran, got into competition over the renovation of the men’s toilets. The overall winner will be decided by everyone using the facilities on a match day.

Volunteer Barry Skillett of Seymour Road said: “Every year a small number of hardy volunteers show up with their paint brushes, ready to paint everything that doesn’t move.

“This year with many supporters being furloughed, the numbers volunteering have increased to around 20, many of whom may have been invited to leave the house by their spouses.”

He added that this year the whole process for the refurbishment of the ground has been cathartic and the mental health benefit to volunteers has been great.

Volunteers and club manager Ian Allinson formed the ‘Squirt Squad’ to share the workload of moving the sprinklers around every day.

Lawrence said: “I would like to thank all of the volunteers that have given up their time and energy so generously over this period, as well as those that have done so for so long at the club but have been unable to help out on this occasion due to the restrictions that have been in place.”


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