Max Boon
Tuesday 19 March 2019

Six and seven year olds mixed with senior citizens from the local lunch club at Forest Green Rovers today to celebrate the EFL Day of Action.

All 72 EFL clubs marked the day today, which demonstrates the positive impact football can have in changing people’s lives within their community.

Forest Green Rovers’ Community Trust – FGR Community - will be officially launched later this year but has already implemented a powerful programme of work, helping local communities tackle some of the issues affecting their day to day lives, across education, health, community inclusion and participation.

At today’s event, year eight and nine pupils from Maidenhill School in Stonehouse worked with FGR’s head chef Jade Crawford to prepare and serve a vegan meal to the lunch club from the Arkell Community Centre in Nailsworth and members of the congregation from St George’s Church and Christchurch.

A class of year two pupils from Nailsworth Primary School also took part, along with invited guests who have been helping the club’s community trust develop their plans.

Dale Vince, FGR chairman said: “It’s important for us as a club to engage with people because by doing that we get to share information with them and talk about the issues we need to deal with – energy, transport and food – it’s about how we live more sustainably.

“Football is a fun way to engage with people, food is a fun way to engage with people but ultimately it’s really important that we communicate with them and that’s what we’ve done today.”

Kelly Shannon, teacher, Maidenhill School, said: “I think working with the club has been really beneficial to the pupils.

“I’m a food teacher, so I look at the food science stuff and it’s great for them to come here to learn about the different proteins when it comes to vegan food and find out more about being healthier and more sustainable.

“It’s been nice to be able to see our pupils out of the classroom and engaging with older people and the wider community - they’ve done a really good job.”

After lunch FGR first team players Lee Collins and Paul Digby came in to meet with the visitors, before guests were treated to an Eco Tour of The New Lawn to learn about the sustainability initiatives introduced on-site.

FGR’s Community Trust recognises the huge value of intergenerational learning, where children mix and play with elderly groups and plans to create ways to continue these opportunities throughout the year.