Grangemouth firm Ineos donates four-figure sum to Stenhousemuir FC Community Help Initiative

A football club-run initiative which has proved to be a vital lifeline throughout the coronavirus pandemic for struggling families has been assisted by a four-figure donation.

By Jonathon Reilly
Thursday, 24th September 2020, 12:30 pm

Since setting up its Community Help Initiative (CHI) at the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak, Stenhousemuir Football Club’s 180-strong team of volunteers has provided thousands of free meals to those in need and helped out with everything from collecting shopping and prescriptions to checking in on the vulnerable.

The club has now been boosted by a £5500 donation courtesy of the Ineos Community Fund.

The Grangemouth company awarded Stenny’s CHI the cash to enable it to continue supporting families across Stenhousemuir, Larbert, Carron, Carronshore and Airth. Residents of Bainsford, Bonnybridge and Grangemouth have also been aided by the programme.

Daniel Newbigging, Stenhousemuir FC football development officer, is one of 180 volunteers involved with the club's Community Help Initiative. Picture Michael Gillen.

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Specifically, Ineos’ donation will help SFC to maintain its 24/7 community help hotline, managed by five people, which is averaging 30 calls per day.

The money will also support the work of volunteers who help out the elderly or those with underlying health conditions with everyday tasks, as well as Stenny’s daily lunch service for pupils who qualify for free school meals which now delivers 220 lunches each day.

Another strand of the CHI is Warriors Homemade Meals which produces and hands out home-cooked meals for vulnerable people via a team of 12 drivers twice a week.

At present, the club is also delivering 300 food parcels to at-risk families in the area on behalf of schools.

Overall, the CHI is supporting 300 households each week and its volunteers have made more than 1000 shopping trips, 11,000 lunches and 1000-plus food parcels, all while handing out more than 2000 free meals.

SFC became the first professional outfit in the UK to adopt Community Interest Company status in 2011 and its CHI now involves 500 people. The club has retained three members of staff to coordinate the initiative.

Jamie Swinney, Stenny CEO, said: “The families we help at Stenhousemuir Football Club are the most vulnerable in our community and the work that we do is extremely important in ensuring that they are coping during the Covid-19 crisis.

“Many families are feeling more vulnerable than ever and it’s important that we continue to support them to safeguard their physical and mental health.

“The money from Petroineos will ensure that we can keep our Community Help Initiative running and these families and individuals will receive the support they need.”

The £1M Ineos Community Fund was established in March in tandem with the company’s Covid-19 Hands On campaign, which set up new production lines to provide millions of bottles of free hand sanitiser per month to hospitals and frontline healthcare.

Carolyn McNeish, refinery communications manager at Petroineos, said: “Stenhousemuir Football Club is a fantastic community service and the work they do in supporting our community is invaluable – particularly at a time of crisis like Covid-19.

“I am so pleased and proud that we are able to help them to continue the great work that they are doing for those in the community that need it.”

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