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2020/21 Season News

Festive Friends 2020

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Festive Friends 2020

PostedFebruary 10, 2021

Cowdenbeath FC can today reveal that community trusts and associated SPFL clubs (ATCs) delivered over 2,800 Christmas gift boxes to people in Scotland who were at risk of social isolation and loneliness as part of their Festive Friends at Home 2020 campaign.

And in doing so it marked the biggest ever Festive Friends Christmas programme, with more clubs, more people engaged, more volunteers, more partners and more funding than ever before.

Festive Friends has been running for five years but usually community trusts and associated SPFL clubs (ATCs) host a three-course Christmas lunch with entertainment for people in the community at their home stadium.

Due to Covid-19 it wasn’t possible to follow that format, so the SPFL Trust teamed up with a record 37 ATCs to launch a new ‘at home’ version of the programme in 2020.

As part of the new-look initiative Cowdenbeath FC delivered 30 boxes to members of the local community that were packed with Christmas food and other goodies.

The scale of the project meant that volunteers were crucial to help with the volume of deliveries. A magnificent 558 people pitched in across the country to help.

This year's programme was generously funded by James Anderson and the SPFL Trust’s second anonymous donor, who between them provided 87,700. Importantly, community trusts and SPFL clubs were able to leverage additional funding through local partners to widen access. In total, an additional 12,190 was raised.

Partnerships were also key to this year’s campaign. We enlisted the aid of our local partners the Rotary Club of Cowdenbeath to help with a variety of things from packing, delivery and additional goodies for the boxes. Aldi in Cowdenbeath also played their part in supplying the food and other goodies whilst Lochgelly Fire Station enclosed a free Fire Safety leaflet.

A Cowdenbeath FC spokesman said, "This year’s Festive Friends initiative was indeed a departure from those of the past but it really was a most heart-warming experience. It was an absolute delight to be able to spread some Christmas cheer in the depths of a cold Covid winter and we had a wonderful reception on the doorsteps from our local recipients. At Central Park we are proud to be at the heart of such a truly close knit community and it was a privilege to take part in Festive Friends 2020 with our friends from the Rotary Club of Cowdenbeath".

SPFL Trust interim chief executive Warren Hawke comments: "We're pleased to see the wide-spread support and compassion of community trusts and the associated SPFL clubs. It's incredible to see how Scottish football has stepped up to help such a large number of those in need.

"The stories of individuals across the country shine through in the report. It arguably has meant more, reached more and been felt by more than ever before."

"We're incredibly grateful for the generous donations from James Anderson and our anonymous donor that have made this possible. It allowed community trusts and clubs to leverage match funding and support.

"If you've been inspired by what you read in this report, and would be in a position to support us in 2021 we'd love to hear from you."

For more information on Festive Friends, please visit: friends

The report that Warren refers to above can be viewed here. Cowdenbeath FC is one of the 3 clubs specially featured in the report and above is an excerpt of that page from the report – Sidney’s Story.

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