Since the lockdown from Christmas onwards it has been a difficult time for football clubs and their young players. However, one club that have done all they can to make the most of this time is Pollok United. Pollok have teamed up with Nutrition Scotland to provide warm and healthy meals to the people suffering from poverty in their community.
The project started over 3 weeks ago at the Corkerhill community centre to provide support to the residents who live locally. YFS’ Luke Mazoyer spoke to Nutrition Scotland’s founding director Suzanne Fletcher and Pollok SA’s Community engagement officer Deborah McCabe to find out more about the program.
When speaking about the new food project and how it initially came about, Suzanne said “Before the first lockdown we were doing some community cooking with the local residents and that was cut short by Covid.”
“We all stopped and didn’t know what to do but we really wanted to continue to support people.”
“We approached Pollok United to ask if there was something we could do together. We had an awful lot of cooking equipment and we were all sitting at home. We were eager to support their local community. Pollok came up with the idea to provide soup and a hot nutritious meal for the local residents that were vulnerable, these were going out twice a week.”
“We also provided the recipes to allow the residents to cook themselves if they wanted to.”
“Then of course we went back into lockdown. Pollok United reapproached us and asked if we could do a scaled down version. So, we are now working with 50 local residents, to provide them with a hot soup, some fruit and a roll.”
“This all came from Pollok United asking how they could support their local community again.”
Pollok SA’s Community engagement officer Deborah McCabe was able to give a bit of insight on how the project is ran on a day-to-day basis. Deborah explained “We take the referrals from different organisations and also keep in touch with the people on the list by telephone. As you know most of them are very isolated, so we chat to them and we ask them to score the meal based on their satisfaction.”
“A spreadsheet is sent along to the volunteers, so we then go and buy all the rolls on the morning we are going to be delivering the food. We then go and bag up all the rolls and add allergy information to them. We then set up the tables, and set up the takeaway bags.”
“Suzanne from Nutrition Scotland then brings along the soup already made, we chop up the fruit and add it to the containers with recipe cards and nutrition facts.”
“We were also able to get an additional bit of funding through a health and wellbeing project, so we went out and bought some crosswords, wordsearches and colouring in books to help entertain those who live on their own.”
Deborah went on to speak about Pollok’s plans and was very optimistic about the future of the club and how they can continue to benefit the local community.
“We were just about to start digital inclusion classes and sewing classes in partnership with Clyde College just before lockdown. We had started up metafit and bootcamp classes by a fitness instructor. We will also have yoga classes and armchair aerobics, as well as line dancing and baby sensory classes.”
We had cookery classes prior to closing down which was in partnership with Suzanne and Nutrition Scotland. We would like to empower people to cook nutritionally and cheaply.”
“We have lined up employability support with another local organisation to help young people find work after the pandemic.”
“Recently we got notified that we will be taking delivery of 5 free PC’s and we plan to set them up at the entrance of the community centre.”
“As of October we were invited by Glasgow Life to take over the pitches at the Nethercraigs facility just across the road from the Corkerhill Community club as part of a community asset transfer. We are currently in development stages with this plan while having taken control of the external area.”
A fantastic project by Pollok in partnership with Nutrition Scotland and it is great to see the opportunities for their community do not stop there. Hopefully it will not be too long until their teams are back on the turf!
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