Gosport Borough have teamed up with supermarket giants Morrisons to deliver food parcels to the most vulnerable in their community during the coronavirus crisis.
The BetVictor Southern League Premier South club’s bar manager Keith Slate is coordinating the efforts of 15 volunteers from Privett Park who’ve signed up to the initiative in their Hampshire community.
They made their first deliveries to needy families and individuals on Thursday and Slate said: “We are so grateful to Morrisons, who agreed at once when we explained what we are aiming to do. They donated a pallet of food, which some of the volunteers have sorted and packed up, and we are hoping we will have one of these each week from now on.
“Our staff and supporters have also been fantastic with 15 of them signing up already to volunteer to help our effort. The whole plan has been fully risk-assessed and we are providing appropriate safety equipment.
“Our health and safety consultant has also given the volunteers a full briefing on the risks and how to minimise them for themselves and the people they are helping. So far demand has been quite low but speaking to other agencies and community stakeholders, it is expected to ramp up as the effects of people losing their incomes kicks in over the next week or so.”
The club is liaising with Gosport Voluntary Action, which is coordinating efforts in the area. According to a club statement, officials have also been talking to the Salvation Army and Solent Mobility about how best to use their resources to help people in the town and local area.
Slate explained: “I only joined the club in mid-March, so this wasn’t quite what I had in mind for my first few weeks in a new job but it’s actually been very uplifting. Making contacts with our community partners is vital. Football often gets a bad press but hopefully this shows how a club at the heart of its community can really make a difference.”
Appealing for more volunteers, he added: “Volunteers can still sign up, as the more we spread the load the less risk individuals have to run, and we’d love to hear from any other businesses or organisations who can provide supplies or services or need some potential people-power to underpin their efforts.
In these uncertain times we just want to say LOOK OUT FOR EACH OTHER, STAY SAFE & WASH THEM HANDS!
— Gosport Borough FC (@GosportBFC) March 17, 2020
“In the end we want to ensure this is all joined up so we don’t duplicate effort or, worse still, see the vulnerable slip through the cracks.”
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Images courtesy of gosportboroughfc.co.uk