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May 1st 2020

Today we’re going to give an overview of what we’e been doing since this all began.

Since the advent of the COVID-19 crisis, The STFC Community Foundation has been keeping in contact and supporting our participants and local community in a number of different ways. 

The main way we’re doing this is through the daily, online content, that we are distributing via our social media platforms with 3 main activities targeted at a range of audiences. These activities include:

  • Educational activities using content from the Premier League Primary Stars website – this content is targeting primary school aged children and has included a mixture of Maths, English and Physical Education that aims to combine football with educational activities. This activity is also sent to partner schools for them to utilise how they see fit.
  • A general health and fitness activity – This has involved a mixture of pictures and videos encouraging everyone to remain active at home. The content of the activities has been varied to incorporate activities for different ages.
  • Football skills and drills videos – These videos have been targeted at development centre participants as well as advanced and elite players with each video differentiated with bronze, silver and gold challenges. 

All this content can also be found on our website under the COVID-19 tag. We’ve also created a special COVID-19 app for this time, Our #KickOutCOVIDWithSTFC app. This contains all the above content, and is easily accessible for participants. It’s accompanied by guides on how to use the app.

Outside of our online content, throughout the lockdown period we’ve been in regular communication with our vulnerable groups including Extra Time (over 60’s), Mental Health and Disability groups, offering them support with any essential needs. A care hotline was set up to assist with the collection of shopping, picking up prescriptions/​medication and dog walking as well as a contact number for conversation. This service has been utilised by Extra Time participants which has seen our Community Officers deliver them shopping and host online catchup conversations using the Zoom meeting platform.

When the lockdown was first announced, the members of our Male and Female Football Fans in Training (FFIT) groups were eight weeks through their course. To maintain their motivation and to continue their education, the Foundation has hosted weekly, virtual meetings on zoom to deliver the content. This has allowed the participants to still access their content whilst still having the support network of not just the community staff but the others on the course. 

Our weekly Premier League Kicks sessions had to be suspended, but the Foundation is continuing to explore ways to continue to engage with our Kicks participants, through activities that they can try at home. The first of these opportunities was an online FIFA 20 tournament for 13 – 18-year olds on both PlayStation and Xbox. This gave 16 Kicks participants the opportunity to interact and stay in touch with each other during the lockdown. We’ve also launched the #AtHomeChallenge for Kicks participants between the ages of 8 – 18. This is a chance for our Kicks participants to stay active at home, whilst also contributing to activities which can help to improve their community through the introduction of social action. Participants will be encouraged to carry out a variety of tasks at home and can send them in either via email or social media for the opportunity to win prizes.

We’ve also been running Zoom group catch-up meetings, with the different teams that we run, including the Girls Centre of Excellence squads, DS Active players and also our Education teams.

In addition to all this, we have also partnered with Swindon Borough Council and our furloughed staff have volunteered with supporting the health and well-being team with the task of delivering food parcels to vulnerable people in the community. We have also asked our participants to design a picture or write some words to hopefully put a smile on the face of the vulnerable people that we are delivering to.

As this lockdown continues, we are increasing our efforts to ensure that we are doing all we can to support all of our participants, as well as our local community. We’re working to ensure that once we get that green light, which isn’t too far away now, we’ll be best positioned to throw open those Foundation Park doors on Day One and get back to doing what we do best.

Stay home, stay safe, stay healthy. 

April 24th 2020

This week we received the sad news that for the first time in the tournament’s 44 year history the Gothia Cup won’t be taking place this year. This is a massive blow to us and our players, as the tournament is a highlight of our year at the Community Foundation. 

In slightly more uplifting news, we’ve been asking our young participants to produce artworks — paintings, drawings, poems, letters — that we can distribute to vulnerable members of our community with the food parcels that we’re delivering with Swindon Borough Council. We received some really lovely artworks, and we’ve been delivering them this week. Thank you to everyone who sent something in, and helped put a smile on some people’s face. If your child wants to submit something, we’d be very grateful, just email it to phil@​stfcfoundation.​com.

Stay safe, stay healthy.

April 17th 2020

We’re continuing to monitor the situation, but there seems to be no real indication from the government in terms of how or when this situation will change. In the meanwhile, we are continuing to do everything we can to support our participants and local community. 

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy.

April 10th 2020

This week, we’ve received no further indication from the government as to when or how operations will resume, but we continue to think of new ways we can serve you and our community during this time. 

So please continue to check our social media for updates, as well as all of the content we’re producing and recommending, for everyone to be trying at home!

Stay safe, stay healthy.

April 3rd 2020

There’s been no major changes this week, in regards to the situation, but we’re all adapting quickly to our current way of working. We’re working hard to produce new ideas, resources, and session plans, so that as soon as we get the okay to open up the doors of Foundation Park once again, we’ll hit the ground running and endeavour to provide even more amazing opportunities and service for our community. This is as well as continuing to produce new content every day, that we’re uploading to our social media as well as the website. 

Here’s a breakdown of what we’re posting each week day:

9 AM – Health and Fitness Daily Activity
10 AM – Educational Activity
11 AM – Mini Foundation Challenge (Every Other Week)
1 PM – Soccer Skills

These will be added to our website shortly after. We’ll also be posting throughout the weekend.

Some more exciting news is that we’ve produced an App that you can save to your phone. This collects all of our content in once place, and allows you to always be only a click away from accessing all of our amazing daily content! You can access the app at app​.stfc​foun​da​tion​.com’ and for a detailed guide on how to save it to your phone, please check our social media where we have uploaded how-to videos for iPhones and Android devices.

As always, we’re continuing to monitor any new developments, and will be posting any updates here. So in the mean-time: stay safe, stay healthy.

March 27th 2020

Following Monday’s announcement that the country would effectively be put into lock-down, our staff have been following the government guidelines and working from home, wherever possible, with an absolute skeleton staff monitoring the essential upkeep and security of Foundation Park. We have been exploring new ways to engage with our participants, and this week have hosted zoom sessions for our Football Fan in Training Men and Ladies, as well as our Extra Timers.
We have also been providing lots of content that we have been producing, for our participants of all ages, and this can be found on our social media with the hashtag #KickOutCOVIDWithSTFC, as well as on the dedicated pages found here.

This is a new and strange situation for everyone, and we’re continuing to monitor its progress. We urge everyone to heed the advice, and STAY AT HOME, apart from:

  • Shopping for necessities as infrequently as possible.
  • Exercising once a day (from your home). 
  • Medical needs.
  • Travelling to and from work if it is absolutely necessary.

Stay safe, stay healthy.

March 20th 2020

Earlier this week we, along with the rest of the country, received the news that Schools will be closed from today. After following government advice and postponing all of our regular sessions in the community, this now means that all of our in-schools activities will not be continuing. This is obviously a huge disappointment to our participants and team of staff. With the schools remaining open for the children of key-workers, we will be exploring ways that we can support schools in this, and offer our assistance where we can.

During these unprecedented times, we will be looking at all opportunities to continue to engage with our participants, players, supporters and partners. This will start with an online interactive group session for our FFIT Ladies group on Monday evening. 

With regards to when our sessions will be up and running again, it would be futile to speculate as the situation is evolving daily. We’re continuing to monitor the situation, and heeding all advice from the government and leading sporting bodies. We will continue to update this page as and when we receive any information, so please do check back regularly, as well as following our social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter (@STFCfoundation). Stay Safe, Stay Healthy.

March 17th 2020

Having received further guidance and advice from the EFL, Premier League and Government, we have taken the decision to postpone all sessions and activities that we deliver in the local community. The health and wellbeing of all our participants, staff, and partners is of paramount importance.

With schools still remaining open, our team of coaches will continue to deliver within the school setting.

As a Community Foundation we will endeavour to support the local community and the most vulnerable groups to get through this challenging and unprecedented situation.

This is a fast moving situation, and we will aim to offer official updates on a weekly basis, every Friday, or whenever we receive more information.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy.

March 14th 2020

At STFC Community Foundation the health and well-being of all our participants, staff and partners is of paramount importance.

With this mind, following yesterday’s announcements from the EFL, along with the FA and the Premier League, and the more general transition to the Delay’ phase of meeting the challenge posed by COVID-19, we are suspending the delivery of sessions to our vulnerable groups with immediate effect, and until the guidance from the governing sporting bodies changes.

We will be speaking directly to the groups that are most at risk, and will be contacting participants directly if their sessions will be affected by these developments.

If you don’t hear from us or our partners in relation to a programme you participate in, then you can assume that it will continue as scheduled, but we advise all participants to be sensible, cautious and follow government and NHS guidelines.

  • No handshaking or other contact personal greetings.
  • Start and end every day by cleaning your living/​workspace.
  • Wash your hands frequently and maintain good personal hygiene.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing and throw away used tissues (if you don’t have a tissue use your sleeve).
  • Avoid touching your face, mouth, and eyes.
  • Seek medical attention if you develop any cold or flu like symptoms especially if you have a fever and experiencing shortness of breath.

We will continue to monitor the situation as it progresses, and continue to assess the status of all of our sessions. We reiterate that we advise all participants to follow government guidelines, and not attend any session if they feel unwell, are at high-risk with a pre-disposed condition or have had any contact with anyone known to have been in contact with the virus.

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