AFCCT awarded £50,000 By SPFL Trust to help participants return to sport

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Aberdeen Football Club has been awarded £50,000 by the SPFL Trust to help community groups return to playing football and other activities safely. 

The club’s charity partner, AFC Community Trust, will use the cash to help cover the cost of PPE, screens, signage and other measures to ensure the community and training facilities at Cormack Park and Pittodrie Stadium can welcome participants back while complying with the latest guidance on Covid-19. 

Thanks to a donation of more than £3.1million by businessman and philanthropist James Anderson – the single biggest personal donation in Scottish football history – the SPFL Trust launched a Covid-19 crisis fund to support all 42 clubs in the Scottish Professional Football League. 

Every club was invited to apply for a grant of £50,000 to support work in its local community. 

AFCCT was established as the official charity partner of AFC in 2014, with the aim of providing support and opportunity to change lives for the better throughout the North-east. 

Volunteers from AFCCT and Aberdeen Football Club have been delivering much-needed food parcels across the city as part of its #StillStandingFree campaign to support vulnerable people, as well as checking in with fans through phone calls. 

Liz Bowie, chief executive of AFCCT, said resuming football, sporting and social activities would have a hugely positive impact on the wider community. 

“We engage with more than 17,000 participants every year across 60 programmes and initiatives, ranging from walking football and fitness classes to dementia-friendly projects and providing meals during the holidays to children from lower income families,” she said. 

“We are extremely grateful to the SPFL Trust and James Anderson for the generous grant, which we will use to ensure our community facilities adhere with the Government guidance and can reopen when it is safe to do so. 

She added: “Post lockdown, the resumption of our AFCCT activities will have a profound impact on a wide range of ages across the community – providing physical exercise with all its wider benefits, including improved mental health.  

“We are also looking forward to being able to provide much needed social interaction for children in a fun and supportive environment, which in turn will continue to help motivate them both at home and at school.” 

The SPFL Trust is an independent, registered charity that works in partnership with SPFL clubs to develop community activities across Scotland. 

Through the power of football, it aims to make a difference, empowering clubs to create opportunities at the heart of Scotland’s communities that bring people together and change lives for the better. 

SPFL Trust chief executive Nicky Reid said: “We extend our heartfelt thanks to James for this unprecedented gestureIt will enable clubs to access vital funds during these exceptional times, whilst ensuring they can also continue to support the important community work that has been taking place over recent months. 

“In Scotland, we often criticise our game, but during this crisis we have seen – once again – that SPFL clubs and their associated charities are trusted to support communities across Scotland. Every club is doing their bit, and so we hope the grants we will now make available will go some way to supporting these efforts. 

Mr Anderson’s donation will also be used to accelerate the launch of a new national SPFL Trust programme, Scottish Football United, which is expected to engage clubs, leagues, governing bodies and a range of public sector organisations 

A separate fund, The Anderson Fund, will also be establishedfor new projects which demonstrate a positive impact on health, attainment or inclusion, as well as any general support during the current pandemic.