Southampton’s game against Burnley is Saints Foundation’s charity matchday – in the build-up to Sunday’s clash, we’re casting a spotlight on inspiring stories from participants who have been supported by the Foundation over the past 12 months.
Archie has been engaging with Saints Foundation for six years now. The 91-year-old joined the charity’s Senior Saints project to help him stay fit and healthy after serious surgery.
For Archie, the highlight of the Senior Saints project has been the company. “We’re all ages – any age from 60 right up to people in their 90s – but we all mix well and look out for one another,” he said. “At the end of every session, at least three people will offer me a lift home!”
Keeping that connection between the Senior Saints has been an important consideration for the Saints Foundation team when considering how to adapt sessions during the lockdown. They have established online catch-ups for the group to exercise and socialise together multiple times each week and, before the November lockdown, participants were joining staff for wellbeing walks in local parks.
Since March 2020, Saints Foundation has made 8,503 wellbeing calls or texts to older adults, which amounts to more than 88,437 minutes of one-to-one contact.
Lockdown has been tough for Archie, who is separated from most of his family. “I’m a widower, have been for 30 years,” he said. “One of my daughters is in Scotland. I’ve got a new great granddaughter and I’ve never seen her. I want to get up and see her and cuddle her.”
Saints Foundation’s support has been an important crux for Archie, keeping him connected to the local community. He benefited from the prescription delivery service that was created during the first lockdown as part of Saints As One, the joint initiative between Southampton FC and Saints Foundation. In partnership with Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group, our teams delivered important medicine to many older adults who, like Archie, were shielding during the first lockdown.
He’s also been receiving regular check-in calls, including several chats with Saints’ legendary manager and Foundation ambassador Lawrie McMenemy. “We talked about everything – but mainly about football,” Archie said, “We have loads in common!” The pair have continued to catch up throughout this latest period of lockdown.
archie, 91i picked up the phone and the voice said: 'hello, is this archie? it's mr mcmenemy here!'
senior saints participant
Archie is looking forward to receiving his second vaccination on Easter Saturday, the day before Saints Foundation’s Charity Matchday. He’s received a replica of the shirt that the Saints will wear for their Premier League clash with Burnley, which he’s looking forward to giving to his grandson when restrictions allow them to be reunited.
You can help Saints Foundation continue to support people like Archieby making a donation. For this year’s Charity Matchday, we’re asking you to donate £10 in place of the money you would usually spend at the game. By donating, you’ll be cheering on the Saints transforming lives in the community, as well as those on the pitch.
To donate, click here, select the number of donations you want make, add to cart and proceed with your transaction. By donating, you’ll be cheering on the Saints transforming lives in the community, as well as those on the pitch.
Plus, the club’s main sponsor Sportsbet.io will match any donation you make up to the first 1,000 donations, up to a total of £10,000!donate to saints foundation
Sportsbet.io have kindly donated their partnership assets for the Burnley game to Saints Foundation, to help them raise vital funds and awareness for the charity during this difficult time.find out more about Saints Foundation's charity matchday