Through its Community Trust, Bolton Wanderers Football Club has played – and continues to play - a key role in supporting the town of Bolton throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
From helping with food shopping and medicine deliveries, to chatting daily over the telephone with individuals who take part in the many sessions it offers, the Club’s charitable arm, via its staff and army of volunteers, has ensured that those who are most vulnerable are not forgotten during this difficult and challenging period.
Phil Mason, Head of the Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, and his team are committed to unlocking the potential of individuals who have endured adversity as a consequence of the lockdown.
Phil said: “With Premier League matches returning after a three-month break, we can see how the power of football has once again grabbed the attention of society to make a real positive impact.
“We only have to see the action made of taking a knee in support of the Black Lives Matters movement and the impact of Marcus Rashford standing up for those who would be impoverished this summer without the extension of the free school meals voucher scheme.
“Here at Bolton Wanderers we too are keen to play our part in supporting Bolton as a town through the COVID-19 pandemic and assisting those in need.
“As we continue to live through this pandemic and begin to come through lockdown, we are committed to unlocking the potential of individuals all across Bolton.
“During this period, and in these ever-changing times, we have had to drastically adapt our way of working - but it hasn’t stopped us.
“There are many vulnerable individuals who regularly attend our groups that need us now more than ever.
“These are our elderly and disability groups, many of whom were already at high risk of social isolation and mental health risks prior to the pandemic, and recent events have sadly made them even more vulnerable.
“But rest assured, our amazing staff and volunteers, who I cannot thank enough, have stepped up at this difficult time, and are checking in daily with our usual attendees. These regular phone calls allow us to speak to them directly to prevent social isolation and take extra steps for those who are currently struggling or we feel are at the most risk. In addition, we will be helping practically with food shopping, medicine deliveries, and other daily tasks that these individuals may find difficult to complete.
“We also recognise how vital technology is at this time for allowing those physically isolated to continue to connect with friends, family and support groups. However, those affected the most by social isolation (such as the elderly and disabled) can struggle with using technology. Therefore, our staff are working hard to set up and teach them how to use Skype, FaceTime and Facebook, as well as showing them how to access online support.”
Alongside supporting its vulnerable participants, the Community Trust has also been helping in the community by partnering with Bolton CVS and Urban Outreach to deliver support to the most vulnerable in Bolton.
They have also worked closely with families and services to support children who are at an increased risk from being at home because of poverty or safeguarding issues, and have reallocated staff to support other organisations in Bolton whose services are at risk of being overwhelmed by the increased demand.
Over the coming weeks, bwfc.co.uk will share regular stories about the work of Bolton Wanderers Community Trust and how Bolton Wanderers Football Club is supporting our wonderful town of Bolton
One Club, One Community, One Town.
See below a short video which highlights the effect the pandemic has had on the town and the vital work being done across the borough.