19 Mar 19
The Scottish Sun
ALBERT ADOMAH handed out hot food, toiletries and warm clothing to the homeless as part of the EFL’s Day of Action.
All 72 clubs from the Championship to League Two were involved in helping to tackle some of the biggest issues facing society, from homelessness and reoffending to mental health and community inclusion.
Albert Adomah got involved with the EFL Day of Action by heading out on to the streets of Birmingham to hand out necessities
Will Vaulks is a volunteer at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in Rotherham and was there again today to play with the kids
The Aston Villa winger, 31, headed out on to the streets of Birmingham with the Outreach Angels to give supplies to those in need.
Speaking to AVTV and decked out in a beanie, hi-vis vest and gloves, he said: “I’ve been on the hot food today. Everyone took their food and it’s all finished now.
“There’s not even enough to go around but we can only do what we can do with the charity.
“I know they’ve done a great job in organising it and handing stuff out to the homeless.
“It’s not just about football, it’s about interacting with the community.
“If anyone can help, then great. It doesn’t have to be just Aston Villa Football Club, it can be the supporters and players.”
Villa’s relationship with Outreach Angels started when a game was abandoned and the club suddenly had food they needed to distribute and the volunteers stepped in to help.
And it is not just at Aston Villa where players have been getting hands on with community projects.
At Preston, striker Louis Moult volunteers at a homeless centre in partnership with the club’s community branch.
Moult lost his mother to alcoholism when he was 15 while another family member was sleeping rough battling the same addiction.
Speaking to the BBC, he said: “I struggled initially with how to cope with my feelings and I ended up locking myself in a bedroom for probably a year. I just didn’t really speak to anyone about it.
“When I see other people going through similar situations – I might know these people – I’m very sympathetic towards them because it’s an illness first and foremost and people need to understand that.”
Moult wants to give something back and is working with Preston North End and The Foxton Centre to help the homeless.
He added: “I remember speaking to a lady there and if I’m honest it reminded me of my mum which was a little bit emotional at the time.
“Places like The Foxton Centre give people the opportunity to share their problems and to speak and to have hope – just have a friend.”
HELP FOR ALL
Today, there is such a vast array of different community projects taking place for people of all backgrounds and ages, with the youngest participant six months old and the eldest a 103-year-old.
Sports days are being held by clubs up and down the country to encourage people in all walks of life to get involved and feel included while Rortherham’s Will Vaulks headed to the Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice he volunteers at weekly.
Bolton’s Inside Out programme tries to prevent 15 to 25-year-olds reoffending and Portsmouth are running a healthy home cooking course in their kitchen classroom.
The Pompey project is aimed at recently-divorced or bereaved men or those who have simply never learned how to cook and teaches them how to do so on a budget in an environment where they can also make new friends.
Many of the clubs focused on mental health and how people of all ages – but especially youngsters – can deal with and overcome struggles they are facing.
Cambridge United have been recognised as the League Two’s leading club for supporting the community and their Mind Your Head programme is aimed at teenagers at secondary schools around the city.
The club works alongside the University of Cambridge and has been recognised by an All Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood.
Ex-Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick, originally from Cambridge, is now a coach with the youth academy and heavily involved with the programme.
[quote credit=”Luke Chadwick, Cambridge United”]We want to be a mentally-healthy football club and a mentally-healthy community. Mind Your Head gives a platform and lets the children know it is okay to talk about mental health.[/quote]
He said: “We want to be a mentally-healthy football club and a mentally-healthy community.
“We speak to Year 8 and Year 9 children to raise awareness. Mind Your Head gives a platform and lets the children know it is okay to talk about mental health.
“It’s six-week block of lessons that goes through mental health, wellbeing and resilience, recognising the signs of poor mental health, benefits of talking and listening, social media, stress and collaboration and community.”
Although there are many special events being held by the EFL’s clubs today, the vast majority of the projects are already in place and in full operation, helping the community in so many different ways.
The EFL, its clubs and their community trusts are the largest network of sporting charities in the UK and invested £80million into communities and projects last year with more than one million people engaged.
Sports minister Mims Davies said: “People are so proud of what the EFL are doing because it really matters.
[article-rail-section title=”Latest EFL news” posts_category=”218″ posts_number=”8″ query_type=”recent” /]
“Whether it’s physical health, mental health, whether it is breaking down some of barriers in our society and it’s really important.
“We need to keep remembering what binds us together – football and the community do that really well and it’s vital particularly at these torrid times.
“The EFL Day of Action is really important because you will see that breadth of work. People underestimate what football is doing in the community.”
Portsmouth put on a class for men who find cooking difficult and are therefore not eating as well as they and their families could do
Sports days and football matches were held by clubs across the country to promote inclusion and involvement
Sports Minister @mimsdavies, has praised all the work that the 72 Clubs are doing to promote the positive community work up and down the country.@DCMS #EFLDayofAction pic.twitter.com/2VugT0KxT4
— EFL (@EFL) March 19, 2019