Last year the SPFL Trust launched a new-look Christmas initiative designed to support those who need it most at this time of year, Festive Friends At Home, which was supported by Peterhead FC.
It’s been another tough year for everyone due to Covid-19, but of course, it has been especially difficult for the elderly who are at higher risk of social isolation.
Ordinarily, Festive Friends with Peterhead FC takes place at Balmoor`s Bloo Toon Lounge. Participants enjoyed a tasty Christmas lunch, Christmas Carols from Buchanhaven School Choir, a club gift, as well as the means to get there and home.
Over 400 people have enjoyed the initiative in the last five years.
Physical distancing rules meant that wasn’t possible in 2020 and 2021, so Peterhead FC flipped the entire operation, and headed into their communities to make over 129 doorstep visits.
Festive Friends at Home was about more than just sending out Christmas hampers; it was about delivering compassion, patience and kindness at the end of a year when it never meant more.
Peterhead FC Community Liaison Officer Nat Porter said: “We were delighted when the SPFL Trust decided to continue the Festive Friends initiative. It has always been very popular and well received in the community. On 14th December 2021 with the help of Chairman Rodger Morrison, Team Manager Jim McInally, Directors Les Hill, Harry Fraser, Charlie Watt, Local Councillor, Dianne Beagrie, the local Deep Sea Fisherman’s Mission and myself, we delivered the grand total of 129 hampers in the Peterhead and surrounding areas.”
“Most of the recipients were over 65 years old and included a 98-year-old and a 92-year-old. Everyone was absolutely delighted and one worthy recipient said` what a lovely gesture from Peterhead FC. I`m absolutely chuffed with the hamper and delighted to meet Team Manager and former Scotland international Jim McInally in person. It`s cheered me up no end. Thank you`”
“Amongst the recipients were 3 hampers to local Care Home Allendale.”
“Another recipient was an ex-fisherman, who has hit on hard times, and his wife came to the door and she was delighted that Peterhead FC were helping the local community and in particular the elderly ex fishermen who have lost their jobs in the past few years.”
Nat concluded: “I must thank Jim, the Chairman and Board of Peterhead FC for giving their time to help out with the deliveries. Jim has been at all 5 Festive Friends and is a great supporter of all community activities.”
“Local Councillor Dianne Beagrie was brilliant in using her many contacts to identify worthy recipients and also help with the deliveries. The latest participants of Football Fans In Training and players along with Anne, David, Ian and Steven helped put together the hampers.”
“Our thanks go to John at Strachans, Mark at Stella’s Voice and our kitman Marco for providing the contents of the hampers. Also, to our partners Peterhead Boys Club, RNLI, NHS Grampian and Aberdeenshire Council for supporting the initiative.”
“In summary it was a great team effort which brought a doorstep chat and a smile to a lot of lovely people. Lots of worthy people and good causes out there. We are delighted that Peterhead FC managed to do something again this year to support the elderly and isolated in our local community.”