clubs for communities takes on new meaning over festive period

With Scotland currently locked in Mother Nature’s icy grip, football clubs across Scotland are doing their best to warm the hearts of the nation by spreading a little Christmas cheer around their communities.

Many football clubs in Scotland have long established traditions in supporting members of their local community – traditions that become even more important at this time of the year.

Clubs up and down the county are currently working tirelessly to provide for those sections of their community who may need a helping hand.

One such club is Drumchapel United, based in Glasgow, who were recently awarded the title ‘Best Community Football Club’ in Scotland at the Scottish FA Grassroots Awards.

Drumchapel United’s community engagement is a year-round process, but at this time of the year they strive to offer local residents a little extra support.

Kind-hearted players in the club’s girls section recently providing all 58 residents of Drumry House care home with presents to open on Christmas day, while the club also organised collections for the local foodbank to help support families at what can be a difficult time of year for many.

“When our girls visited Drumry House to give each of the 58 residents a Christmas present it was to show that young people do think about the elderly who are in care and who perhaps do not have a family member to visit them during the festive period,” said Scott Bland, Club Secretary at Drumchapel United.

“It was heartening to see the girls listening to some of the stories from the residents about what their lives were like when they were the same age as the girls.

“The girls enjoyed the visit so much that they now want to return to Drumry House at Easter to give the residents Easter eggs.”

This heart-warming story is typical of much of the work goes on behind the scenes in clubs across Scotland throughout the year, with other initiatives currently ongoing including:

  • Bo'ness United Community Football Club ran a foodbank and donated funds to Woodlands care home, with young players from the club visiting the residents to hand over the funds;
  • Cumbernauld Colts organised a Christmas sleep out at Broadwood Stadium to raise awareness of and funds for homelessness and operated a canned food drive;
  • Dumbarton United will run a community kitchen to provide hot meals for those in need in late December;
  • Dundee West FC handed over Christmas Hampers to local schools;
  • Hutchison Vale FC are running a food drive to collect for local OAPs;
  • Troon Thistle YFC ran a food drive to collect for local residents in need.

The goodwill was not restricted to community clubs, however, with several professional clubs running similar social initiatives over Christmas.

Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian set aside sporting rivalry to create a goodwill campaign over Christmas, called Edinburgh Cheer.

The two clubs are hosting and supporting a series of events in their respective communities, with many of those being hosted at Tynecastle Park and Easter Road, all designed to harness of the power of football to deliver positive social outcomes.

In addition, initiatives will be launched to help those in the city – young and old – who are homeless, who are suffering poor mental or physical health, or who are isolated or forgotten at this time of year, with NHS Lothian ensuring that important well-being messages are delivered as part of the campaign.