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COVID-19 - A Year Of Community Work

U's continue to be part of the solution

8 April 2021

An update after a year of community work across Colchester and the surrounding areas.

At the end of March last year when the country was put into a national lockdown, Colchester United Football Club and Colchester United Football in the Community, (CUFITC), pledged that they wanted to be 'part of the solution'.

After just over a year of embarking on this challenge, they have produced a snapshot of some of their charitable work.

2020 was a year that will never be forgotten, with COVID-19 affecting every part of life in the UK and across the globe, whilst here in north Essex, CUFC and CUFITC made a conscious effort to be part of the solution and immediately put plans in place to assist the NHS and the local community as much as possible.

Free - Community Outreach Programme
From the outset, a new strand of charitable work responding to the need of the local community was established and became known as CUFITC’s Community Outreach Programme.

This was designed to provide support to individuals and organisations who had been affected as part of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This area of the charity took on numerous forms from food collection and parcel delivery to supporting those who may be isolated with befriending calls and supply drops – this work has continued to evolve over the past twelve months and we have supported thousands of people across north Essex and will continue to do so whilst there is a continued need.

-468 Hours of Community Outreach support directly co-ordinated from CUFITC
-1,175 Food parcels and supply drops made
-1,150 Minutes of befriending supplied to those socially isolated

Free - Holiday Hunger Activities
The last twelve months have seen the whole of society impacted by COVID-19 and the peripheral affects this has had in terms of young people attending school and the access they get to support as part of that.

Alongside Active Essex, CUFITC have been delivering community activities for those who would normally be in receipt of free school meals as well as those working families and key worker households.

These activities were aimed at getting those in attendance physically active as well as providing food that they would have access to during term times.

In addition to these enrichment, activities to promote healthy lifestyles and eating were included to make participants aware of the longer term effects of these positive choices, and the whole family was encouraged to learn together with food hampers and parcels provided fre to all attendees throughout the year.

-425 hours of free support provided as part of this project for free school meal & key worker families
-6,500 free healthy meals available to participants on activity camps
-650 free Food hampers / parcels provided to families

Free - Vaccination Centre Support
A huge step in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic was the start of the vaccination roll out in January 2021 and as a part of our Community Outreach Programme, the CUFITC team supported the co-ordination work of Community 360 to support this process.

Based from North Essex Primary Care Centre, a team of volunteers was recruited to help support all aspects of the vaccination, from welcoming staff to temperature checkers as well as car park attendants all to provide a seamless journey when arriving for COVID-19 jabs.

After working alongside Community 360 for a number of years supporting the community, CUFITC were able to assist this process by using staff as part of this programme across a period of several weeks during the initial role out.

Whilst the vaccination effort continues to be such an enormous success, the CUFITC staff are proud to have been able to contribute to this.

-35+ Vaccination centre shifts supported by CUFITC staff
-135 Hours of Vaccination Centre Support from CUFITC staff
-2 CUFITC charity staff allocated to regular support at vaccination centres.

2020 Impact Report
Colchester United Football in the Community released their annual impact report for 2020 in February 2021, highlighting the work that has taken place across Colchester and North East Essex to enrich the lives of those within the communities we operate.

Across the year, thirty five different community projects continued or were started, over 250,000 engagements with participants were carried out, and they worked with 92 partner organisations and educational settings.

All this work is highlighted in the CUFITC's Community Impact Report.

-92 Partner organisations and educational settings worked with.
-19,050 Hours of provision delivered with our communities
-255,000 Engagements with participants through CUFITC projects and programmes

If any aspect of what the Football in the Community teams do is meaningful to you, please get in touch with CUFITC, as they continue to enrich lives and communities through the power of sport and the brand of Colchester United.

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