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Baggies stars and staff are giving back to help in crisis

West Bromwich | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Families and vulnerable people are being supported with food parcels, home visits, and even ‘check in’ phone calls from ex-Baggies players to help tackle loneliness.

WBA Foundation Director: Rob Lake

The new scheme is being run by The Albion Foundation, the community arm of West Bromwich Albion FC.

It has recently received a £50,000 grant from The National Lottery Community Fund to help finance the programme.

The money will enable The Albion Foundation to work with local schools and other partner organisations to support over 350 families identified as those most in need.

Additional help is being offered to those with disabilities, older people, and those at risk of social isolation.

So far, the project has delivered more than 2,000 food parcels to vulnerable people in the community and over 6,000 hot meals have been delivered to families in need, which were identified by local schools.

It has also set up the ‘Baggies Buddies’ scheme, where ex-players and current staff make phone calls to vulnerable and socially isolated residents to ‘check in’ on their wellbeing.

Nearly 4,000 calls have already been made thanks to the scheme.

Rob Lake, director at The Albion Foundation, said: “The funding is an absolute Godsend – it will allow us to continue making a massive difference to local people and families in need.

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“We’d like to give a special thanks to National Lottery players, without you this wouldn’t be possible.”

Nicola Thurbon, senior head of funding for the Midlands at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “The National Lottery is playing a critical role in supporting people, projects and communities during these challenging times.

“Groups such as The Albion Foundation are making an amazing contribution to the community-level response.

“We’re incredibly grateful for their dedication and the hard work of thousands of projects across the UK – we’re humbled by their efforts and delighted that our funding is able to help.”

Charities and community groups across the West Midlands have been awarded more than £2.6 million of National Lottery funding since the beginning of June – providing crucial support to overcome challenges caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

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