Aberdeen FC Community Trust’s work with young people bolstered by Barclays’ donation from their £100m COVID fund
Barclays has donated a significant, five‐figure sum to Aberdeen FC Community Trust from the bank’s £100m COVID fund.
The Trust will plough the money into their programmes for young people, including those which focus on mental health and well‐being, a major area for concern following the impact of the lockdowns on children.
As restrictions are eased and pupils are now back at school, AFCCT is returning to the delivery of its programmes focused on health, football and education.
Liz Bowie, Chief Executive of AFCCT, said: “Mental health issues are predicted to be one of the most serious consequences of the lockdown and these funds will go towards scaling up our work with young people, including our innovative, interactive and fun programme, MINDSET, which builds confidence and resilience among children.
“We are very grateful to Barclays for this donation and will use it wisely in support of our programmes that aim to have a positive and lasting impact on the young people in our region.”
Scott Stewart, Head of Barclays Scotland, said: “The Covid‐19 pandemic has had a significant impact on young people and their mental health. Aberdeen FC Community Trust is delivering vital programmes to support young people through this difficult time and we are delighted, through our donation, to help them amplify their work.”
Last year, Barclays announced a £100m Community Aid Package to support charities that are helping people and communities most impacted by Covid‐19. Barclays is donating to UK charities working to support vulnerable groups and people impacted by COVID‐19 and the associated social and economic hardship caused by the crisis. The funding is focused on supporting charities that are meeting the immediate needs of people in our communities, including low‐income families, those facing financial hardship, isolated elderly people and those with other vulnerabilities.
Many of the Trust’s income streams were adversely impacted when the coronavirus crisis led to the suspension of football and other restrictions. With their football‐related programmes in schools suspended and the rental of the community pitches and activities at Cormack Park on hold for over a year, the Trust has welcomed the donations from Barclays and others, including Aberdeen Football Club fans.
Major grants from the Wellbeing Fund, the Lord Provost’s Hardship Fund and Northsound’s Cash for Kids as well as the SPFL Trust and a donation from The Arthur M Blank Family Foundation have ensured that the Trust can continue its valuable work in the community.
In the last two years, AFCCT has worked successfully with over 14,000 children through 23 schools and other education projects to reduce absenteeism and lateness, improve pupil health and well‐being and support their behavioural, emotional and social needs to raise attainment.
The results of the Trust’s education programme were a key factor in Aberdeen Football Club being recognised by UEFA as Best Professional Club in their Grassroots Awards in 2019.
Education is at the heart of the Trust’s mission, intrinsically linked to its healthy communities and football for life programmes. Last year, the Trust reported that for every £1 invested in football participation in the region, there is a £10 cumulative economic, social and public health return.