Formby Community Football Club hailed as ‘inspirational’ for lockdown acts of kindness

Formby Community Football Club hailed as ‘inspirational’ for lockdown acts of kindness

by Danielle Thompson (September 2020)

MEMBERS of Formby Community Football Club have been praised as ‘inspirational’ after they organised thousands of deliveries of food and medicine, made phone calls to the isolated and even cut grass throughout the lockdown.

Formby MP Bill Esterson said: “Throughout the pandemic we have seen people go above and beyond to help others but the organisers and volunteers at FCFC really are in inspiration.

“As soon as lockdown was announced and they learned they would not be able to play football for a time, they thought what else can we do, how else can we help?

“They immediately turned to organising helpers to assist people who were isolated or shielding.”

FCFC was set up in 2019 and has 28 teams offering football to players from age three up to 84.

The club’s vision is that football can be a vehicle for social cohesion and improved health, tackling issues from anti-social behaviour to loneliness.

Club coach Ray Pendleton said: “After the FA advised that all grassroots football should be postponed we immediately thought what we could do instead.

“The footy stopped… we didn’t. We aimed to support the most vulnerable in our community.”

A total of 502 homes received around 2,500 deliveries of food and medicines from 40 “Orange Army” volunteers.

They also made phone calls to the lonely and isolated, offered gardening services and other help.

They delivered  afternoon teas to the elderly on VE day as well as facilitating many other one off events and acts of individual kindness.

Club founder Tina Hamilton was nominated as a North West Tonight Everyday Hero, for the volunteering work, and also recently won an Unsung Hero Award at the Women And Girls Football Participation Awards 2020, for her work in supporting the female game.

Mr Esterson added: “All the organisers and volunteers at Formby Community Football Club are an inspiration.

Tina fully deserved the awards and recognition she received from North West Tonight and the FA. Community groups such as FCFC could play a huge role in how we manage the pandemic from here, offering support and advice and even assisting in track and trace locally.

Ray and Tina’s leadership is outstanding and the support they have offered to vulnerable people throughout the lockdown has been hugely welcomed and appreciated by all who have benefited.”

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