The Ross County Foundation are bringing Christmas cheer to those that need it most this year by taking part in the biggest-ever Festive Friends programme during the holiday season.
Festive Friends is a brilliant opportunity for clubs to give back to their local communities.
The SPFL Trust programme is now in its seventh year and, for the first time, all 42 SPFL clubs are taking part in the campaign, including The Ross County Foundation.
Cowdenbeath will also deliver Festive Friends after being granted a year’s grace following their relegation to the Lowland League.
The campaign has the largest-ever fund this year, a total of £133,000, which means the SPFL Trust will be able to support an extra 1,000 people via clubs and community trusts.
As such, the programme is expected to support over 4,000 people this year across Scotland.
It’s been a difficult year so far for everyone with the cost of living crisis, but, of course, winter is always a particularly tough time for the elderly, who are at higher risk of social isolation.
Festive Friends brings Christmas cheer and companionship to elderly people who are socially isolated and at risk of being alone during the festive season.
Almost 9,000 people have enjoyed Festive Friends in the last six years and that number is expected to reach nearly 15,000.
Hampers usually contain food, snacks, essential toiletries, gifts, games and more. Some clubs even send video messages from managers and players; others have players make personal deliveries.
This year, given the current crisis facing the country, the SPFL Trust has also organised for Age Scotland Friendship Line flyers to be distributed in each hamper featuring helpful information.
This year The Ross County Foundation staff and volunteers will continue to deliver hampers to people who are unable to attend our festive lunch that is taking place here at the stadium.
SPFL Trust CEO Nicky Reid said: “Festive Friends is one of our biggest events at the SPFL Trust and for our colleagues at clubs and community trusts.
“It’s all about coming together to have a real impact in the lives of elderly and isolated people over the festive period – reaching more people than ever this year.
“It’s the Christmas spirit in action as we see the power of football in spades – with clubs spreading cheer in their communities.
“Scottish football is trusted to support, and our recent research shows that almost 83% of people live within ten miles of a SPFL ground – because of this clubs and their associated community trusts are well positioned to effect this type of change in their communities.
“This year 43 SPFL clubs are involved making it our biggest programme yet, supported by a record-breaking fund of £133,000. We look forward to supporting more elderly people than ever before, after all kindness never mattered more.”
The Ross County Foundation Manager, Dale Pryde-MacDonald said: “We are immensely proud to be able to have the support of the SPFL Trust in delivering Festive Friends again this year. We have participated every year and see the real benefit that the project has on people within our community who may be isolated, lonely or struggling at this time of year.”
“This year, we will be combining a meal here at the stadium along with hampers delivered to doorsteps and plans are well a foot in making both of these things happen. During this terrible energy and cost of living crisis it is important, now more than ever, that we support our local community and the people that support us throughout the year.”
For more information on Festive Friends visit: www.spfltrust.org.uk/festivefriends