Stenhousemuir FC community help hotline supporting hundreds of families

A football club which is supporting hundreds of families every week amid the Covid-19 pandemic has been recognised as a Community Anchor Organisation (CAO).

By Jonathon Reilly
Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 9:54 am

Stenhousemuir FC was awarded the status by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery Community Fund in light of the work being done via The Warriors’ community help hotline initiative.

The club’s leadership and continuing commitment to supporting those most in need were acknowledged, with its volunteers having devoted more than 11,500 hours to helping vulnerable individuals with everyday tasks such as shopping and dog walking.

After launching at the outbreak of coronavirus in Scotland, 151 volunteers have played a part in the operation, which has seen 307 families given support with shopping and prescription collections and 6000 school meals delivered to young people.

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Dozens of volunteers have helped to deliver thousands of meals to the vulnerable across Stenhousemuir and Larbert as part of Stenhousemuir FC's community help hotline initiative. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Stenny’s initiative has also distributed over 1300 free home-cooked meals to vulnerable people, while a further 741 families have received food parcels.

On top of that, it has set up a virtual library service to provide free books to anyone in the community. The club also runs a befriending service ensuring regular contact for those in social isolation.

The CAO recognition will grant Stenny access to funding to support running costs so it can carry on its crucial work, all of which is overseen by its board of directors and three full-time staff.

A number of partners are also involved, including Keeping Larbert and Stenhousemuir Beautiful, Carron Bathrooms, Larbert Round Table, Larbert High School Charity, Larbert High School, St Mungo’s High School and all Larbert cluster primary schools.

Jamie Swinney, chief executive, said: “This funding will make a big difference to our club, our partners and our community.

“Stenhousemuir FC prides itself on its role within the community, as our vision states ‘We are a professional club with the community at its heart’.

“It has been an immense privilege to provide vital support to vulnerable people during this crisis and this new funding will make a key difference to the people and communities living locally during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have been completely blown away by the response from our community, our supporters and our partners.

“This grant award has been made possible by our team of 150-plus individuals who have displayed an incredible level of compassion and commitment to provide invaluable support to people at this most uncertain of times.

“We are proud to have played our part in uniting our community. This grant recognises and pays tribute to everything we have achieved together.”

Neil Ritch, National Lottery Community Fund Scotland director, said: “We know community organisations like Stenhousemuir FC have significant experience in responding to challenges so they are well placed to support people and communities as they look to provide a local response to Covid-19.

“The Scottish Government Supporting Communities Fund will make a key difference to the lives of many people living locally, helping them to become more resilient in the face of this crisis.”

Stenhousemuir is aiming to extend its services to vulnerable people beyond the lockdown.

The club is calling on supporters to help it achieve this ambition by signing up to its ‘Support our community, protect your club’ campaign, costing £5 a month.

Click here for more information.

To contact the community help hotline, call 01324 466563.