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Latest News - 05/12/2023

Annan Athletic FC to tackle loneliness through the SPFL Trust’s Festive Friends campaign

  • Annan Athletic are set to take part in Festive Friends
  •  41 community trusts and SPFL clubs are involved, plus Albion Rovers
  • Around 3,600 people across Scotland will be supported by Festive Friends this year.
  • This year’s campaign will see a rise of in-person events, in the form of Christmas lunches and dinners.
  • There will also be hampers delivered in communities across the country.

Annan Athletic FC are bringing Christmas cheer, kindness and compassion to older people in the community by taking part in the Festive Friends programme this year.

Festive Friends is a brilliant opportunity for clubs to give back to their local communities.

41 SPFL associated community trusts & clubs will work with local partners to identify older people who may be feeling lonely or isolated, including Annan Athletic FC.

Albion Rovers will also deliver the programme after being granted a year’s grace following their relegation to the Lowland League.

The programme is expected to support around 3,600 people this year across Scotland.

It’s been a difficult year for everyone, as we deal with the pressures of the cost-of-living crisis. But of course, winter is always a tough time for older people, who may be experiencing loneliness.

Around 13,000 people have enjoyed Festive Friends in the last seven years and that number is expected to reach nearly 17,000 this year.

This year there will be an increased focus on in-person events, and Annan Athletic FC staff and volunteers will continue to welcome participants to a local venue to enjoy a hot Christmas lunch, a club gift and transport there and home.  

Clubs will also deliver hampers to those who might not be able to attend events at the stadium. Hampers usually contain food, snacks, gifts, games and more.

SPFL Trust CEO Nicky Reid said: “Festive Friends is a highlight in the SPFL Trust calendar, and one of the biggest events for our colleagues at clubs and community trusts across Scotland.

“It’s all about coming together to have a real impact in the lives of older people who might be experiencing loneliness throughout the festive period.

“It’s Christmas spirit in action as we see the power that SPFL clubs and associated community trusts have in their communities.

“Our 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 support change in their communities.

“This year 42 clubs are involved, and we look forward to spreading festive magic to many across Scotland, bringing kindness and compassion this Christmas.”

For more information on Festive Friends visit:

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