Celtic FC Foundation Football for Good Fund continues with befriending project

FOLLOWING a long period of hardship and repeated uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Celtic FC Foundation’s Football for Good Fund is continuing to help vulnerable people in communities across the country. 

Since March, 2020, Celtic FC Foundation has coordinated a series of emergency COVID-19 pandemic response initiatives under the banner – the Football for Good Fund (FFGF). With the Fund recently reaching over £1.3m, the campaign has helped multiple at-risk groups (at home and overseas) throughout the crisis, including those economically affected, children and young people, the homeless community, elderly and older individuals, and NHS frontline staff.

For the FFGF’s most recent initiative, Celtic FC Foundation – with the backing of Scottish Government’s Communities Response Fund – is aiding the mental health and general wellbeing of older people across Glasgow and Edinburgh, overseeing a targeted befriending and feeding programme to alleviate loneliness and isolation as a result of mandatory COVID-19 social restriction measures. 

Partnering alongside long-time collaborators Glasgow’s Golden Generation in the West of Scotland as well as the Eric Liddell Centre in the East, this project is aiding 1,600 older people across Scotland’s major population centres, offering comfort and respite in challenging times. The initiative offers a meal (directly delivered to a participant’s door and as per their dietary requirements) and the option of a chat and social interaction with specially-trained staff from each organisation. 

Speaking on this latest FFGF development, Celtic FC Foundation Chief Executive, Tony Hamilton said: “Firstly, we’d like to extend a sincere thank you to Scottish Government for their support of our vision through the Communities Recovery Fund. This backing has allowed us to continue making a real difference for older people across Glasgow and Edinburgh, intervening at a crucial stage in the pandemic and ensuring no-one is left behind.

“I’d also like to make a special mention to our partners, Glasgow’s Golden Generation and the Eric Liddell Centre, for their professionalism and dedication in achieving the best outcomes for service users and maximizing the reach and impact of the Football for Good Fund.”

John McMillan, CEO of the Eric Liddell Centre, said: “The Eric Liddell Centre were delighted to have the opportunity to work with Celtic FC Foundation and Glasgow’s Golden Generation in the delivery of the Football for Good Fund campaign. The funding received from the Scottish Government’s Communities Recovery Fund has enabled us to make a significant difference to the lives of many vulnerable people in Edinburgh. 

“The feedback from those we have supported has been incredible, with many confirming that the project has reduced the burden of providing food, but just as important has been the social contact and interaction with a helpful member of staff. This has played an important role in reducing levels of loneliness and isolation.” 

Richard Donald, Chief Executive, Glasgow’s Golden Generation, added: “Key objectives for this partnership focused on providing emergency food parcels to the homes of older people, and providing a range of key befriending initiatives to alleviate loneliness and isolation. 

“In all, up to 750 older adults in Glasgow are benefitting from this lifeline and can now be supported further within our organisation’s services. We’d like to express huge thanks to Celtic FC Foundation for including us in this partnership, as well as Scottish Government for allocating funding – ensuring that older adults are not forgotten about during these concerning times.”