Today Shrewsbury Town in the Community joined with 71 other EFL Clubs to highlight the positive impact football has in changing people’s lives and the work taking place to tackle some of society’s biggest issues.
The impact of the work carried out by EFL Clubs and Club Community Organisations (CCOs) is unparalleled, with more than half a million hours of group activity delivered and over 40 million hours of participation each season.
During the 2018/19 season, almost 900,000 people took part in a wide range of activities across key areas, with Clubs and CCOs receiving over £60 million of direct project funding.
The EFL Day of Action aims to unite Clubs and CCOs on one day to celebrate and highlight the impact they have in their communities, bringing together the most unique projects and programmes being run across England and Wales.
At the Mercedes-Benz Football Hub today we launched our new Extra-Time Hub which will now take place weekly alongside the Thursday session, aiming to tackle social isolation and improve active ageing across the county. We even had a surprise as Salop legend Steve Cross arrived for the session, signing up to take part in the weeks to come, and current player first-team player Aaron Pierre also popped down to have a chat with participants and find out more about they day.
‘Being retired it’s often a little bit boring sitting at home, I saw the event on the Blue and Amber website so decided to come down and get involved. I did used to be involved in walking football but had to have a little bit of time out due to injury. Now I’m back and fit and looking forward to getting back involved!’ – Steve Cross, Ex-Shrewsbury Town/Wolves player.
We also used the day to launch our ‘Off The Streets FC’ programme with Shrewsbury Ark, which looks to provide space for clients of the Ark to come and play football in a supportive and welcoming environment, giving them a chance they don’t often get. It is hoped that the project will help to highlight to growing problem of homelessness in the county and provide a positive experience for everyone involved.
Local barber Ollie Tranter also got involved, volunteering his services for the morning to provide haircuts for participants to help give them a further confidence boost.
‘This is really a boost for people’s confidence! It’s made them feel good about themselves and we can see they’ve all really enjoyed it today. Watching them get onto that pitch in their kit and boots is a really positive thing for all of us. I might even get involved next time!’ – Wendy Faulkner, Shrewsbury Ark