ALLOA ATHLETIC are taking part in an initiative to bring Christmas cheer to those in the community who who are risk of social isolation.

The Wasps are one of 41 football clubs taking part in the SPFL Trust’s Festive Friends programme, which aims to bring companionship to elderly people who are socially isolated and at risk of being alone during the festive season.

With a fund of £100,000 the programme, now in its sixth year, can more than double the number of people clubs are able to support.

As such, the programme is expected to support more than 3,000 people this year.

Nicky Reid, SPFL Trust CEO, said: "Festive Friends is a real highlight of the year for me and my colleagues at SPFL clubs.

“It's all about good old fashioned Christmas spirit - bringing club staff and volunteers together to reach elderly people who are at risk of social isolation.

"This year 41 SPFL clubs are involved making it our biggest programme yet, supported by a record breaking fund of £100,000.

“We look forward to supporting more elderly people than ever before, after all kindness never mattered more.”

Almost 4,000 people have enjoyed an event in the last five years and last year’s new-look initiative, when it was not possible to hold events due to physical distancing rules, was also a huge success with more than 2,800 people receiving Christmas hampers in doorstep visits.

Hampers contained food, snacks, essential toiletries, gifts, games and more. Some clubs even brought video messages from managers and players; others had players make personal deliveries.

This year club staff and volunteers will continue to visit participants with hampers, or welcome them to their ground to enjoy a hot Christmas lunch, fun and games, a club gift, and transport there and home.

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