We are delighted to have been welcoming participants back to face-to-face sessions after over a year’s worth of disruption.
Since the pandemic began, we’ve had to learn to adapt our delivery and overcome challenges across our projects. We’ve fought to ensure that all our participants, who range from 1 to over 100 years old, have continued to feel supported during this difficult time.
We couldn’t have done it without the support and donations we’ve received from our community, our partners and our club. But now, as COVID restrictions continue to ease, we’re delighted to have our participants back to face-to-face sessions, with strict guidelines in place to ensure their safety.
We’re determined to help young people rebuild their resilience and aspirations after the huge disruption caused by the pandemic.
Kids aged from 8 to 18 years old have recently returned to Saints Kicks sessions on weekday evenings. With at least 20 sessions running across the city every week, thousands of young people are picking up a ball and practicing their skills once again.
As young people readjust to being back in school, our targeted interventions for pupils who are struggling have never been more important. Our Community Champions have continued their work in 8 local secondary schools full time throughout the pandemic, working hard to bolster self-esteem in kids who find it difficult in a traditional learning environment.
Our Premier League Primary Stars have also back in schools since March, supporting primary teachers with PE lessons and small group PSHE, English and Maths sessions.
It’s our mission to make sure that everyone has a positive place in the community, where needs are understood and talents are recognised. We work with people facing life’s biggest challenges, from living with a disability to fighting addiction issues. Their everyday battles have been even tougher since the pandemic began.
Saints4Sport continues its vital work, supporting people who are striving to get their life back on track after experiencing issues like homelessness, substance abuse or mental health problems. After months of contact via phone and text, participants are benefiting from engaging with our dedicated team face to face again.
With the pandemic making the job market tougher than ever, our Saints Works course is working hard to prepare cohorts of 16 to 25 year olds for the world of work. We’re ensuring that when opportunity knocks, our participants are in a position to open the door to employment.
Our open access sessions for disabled people have finally resumed. It’s been over a year since SaintsAbility’s regular sessions were disrupted and we captured the huge moment that our young people got back out onto the pitch.
Our Senior Saints have been at the heart of our response to COVID-19. We’ve adapted our delivery to stay connected with them in their homes, battling the isolation that many older people have felt during lockdown. There’s now a different Zoom session for Senior Saints to join every weekday evening, ranging from exercise classes to a Friday quiz.
The group has even been learning new skills! Guest speakers at Wednesday’s tea and chat sessions have covered everything from fire safety to avoiding online scams – plus a few famous faces have made appearances as guest quizmasters.
Although online delivery has been a big success for our older adults, everyone’s excited for the project’s return of face to face delivery. Senior Saints Strolls return to parks across Southampton on 17 May, allowing our participants to exercise and socialise together in person for the first time in 2021.
We anticipate indoor sessions returning later in June, but even as some normality resumes, we'll continue virtual support for those who need a bit longer to adjust to social contact.
The support of our donors, our partners and our club have been unwavering throughout this pandemic. Even in these tough financial times, people have given generously so we can continue to support the people in our community who need it most.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us in 2020 and 2021. We’ve never been more determined to deliver on our mission to empower, involve and transform lives right here in Southampton.