When the Covid-19 crisis struck earlier this year, Burnley FC in the Community adapted to ensure the charity responded to the ever-changing needs of the community.
To recognise their hard work in going above and beyond during the pandemic, BFCitC staff members Nathan Norris and Gregg Stevenson were recent recipients of Special Contribution Awards from MP for Burnley Antony Higginbotham.
The awards were given for the outstanding work, dedication and professionalism the two have shown, with their compassion and kindness towards others citied as an inspiration and praised by the local MP.
Nathan is Assistant Community Kitchen Manager at the town’s foodbank, a facility that has proved a critically important service for the community in recent months.
Alongside Burnley Football Club and Community staff, he and the team have been working closely with partner organisations via the BurnleyTogether community hub, to meet demand and since mid-March, through these collective efforts, the foodbank has fed almost 5,000 local people, 1,940 of whom have been children.
With many people facing redundancy or reduced working hours and the threat of holiday hunger a reality for many families during the school holidays, the foodbank will continue to be busy supporting the thousands of people in Burnley for who the service remains a vital lifeline.
Speaking of his award, Nathan said: “It’s fantastic to be recognised for all the hard work that goes on at the Community Kitchen. During these difficult times we have been able to take many positives from the pandemic and to know that we are putting food on the tables for those really in need is the reason why I love this job and BFCitC.”
The outbreak of Covid-19 also caused the Veteran’s programme, which includes a weekly breakfast club and football sessions to be postponed, resulting in members of the group having not seen each other for some time.
In addition to making regular check in calls with participants, when some lockdown restrictions were lifted Veterans and Inclusion Officer Gregg Stevenson, arranged for himself and the group to volunteer at BFCitC’s Whitehough Outdoor Centre in Pendle, carrying out refurbishment jobs such as painting, gardening, cleaning and assisting with general maintenance, to help get Whitehough ready for visitors when it is safe to do so.
Veterans from across the community got in touch with Antony Higginbotham MP to put Gregg forward for the award, to recognise him for everything he has done to support them, both before and during the pandemic.
Gregg said: “Being able to support our local community is an absolute pleasure. BFCitC understand the hardships some of our members face, especially during this difficult period. To play a small part in the team meeting their charitable objectives makes me feel proud.”
To find out more information about the Burnley Community Kitchen including how to donate to the foodbank, click here.
For further details on how our Veterans programme is supporting the local armed forces veteran community in Burnley and East Lancashire, click here.