Chief Executive Maralyn Smith details the work of the Sport and Education Trust during the pandemic
While most of the Stadium MK business has been forced to close due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the MK Dons Sport and Education Trust (SET) continues to support the local community.
From hosting a weekly food larder to gardening for vulnerable members of society, and from providing online skills sessions to being on the end of a phone for their participants – the SET are ensuring they are there for the people of Milton Keynes.
“We want to make sure the family of the SET is still there for every one that needs it,” Maralyn Smith, Chief Executive of the MK Dons SET, told iFollow MK Dons.
“Lots has changed, obviously, in terms of what we can offer. It’s encouraged our team to creative in terms of what we can offer and how we can keep our participants occupied.
“We’ve been hosting lots of online coaching courses and we’ve also had Google classrooms going on too. Feedback has been great from parents so far.
“We’ve been heavily involved in the community too. We’ve delivered over 500 parcels to vulnerable adult in the community. We’ve delivered food to people who haven’t seen another person for several weeks.
“We run a food larder every Friday at Stadium MK, where we’ve handed out over 400 boxes to people looking for some extra food support.
“We’ve identified a number of other ways we can support the community. Some of the team recently went out to a 92-year-old who wasn’t able to get out into his garden and they did some gardening for him.
“People are very isolated at the moment so we made over 1,400 phone calls to make sure that everybody is okay and to find out if anyone needs that any additional support that we can provide. We are always on the end of the phone line if somebody needs us
“We’ve also had 144,000 impressions on our Twitter sites, where we’ve been doing our best to keep people informed but also setting them challenges to keep them occupied – whether that’s new skills to learn to pancake tossing.
“We’re making sure to remind people of the importance of maintaining good physical and mental wellbeing. We’ve got them involved in physical activity sessions so that we’re staying active – mentally and physically.
“We’ve been doing anything and everything to keep people busy and thinking about the positives.”
Maralyn continued: “I think there are lots of people who still don’t understand the full breadth of the work that we do. Football is probably only a third of it.
“We do over 800 sessions in schools every year and over 7,000 sessions across our business, working with over 52,000 people. We offer a wide range of education and employment programmes and we also support two thirds of this region’s disability football programmes.”
She added: “We are here to support the whole community – all ages and all abilities.”
Anyone who wants to get in touch with MK Dons Sport and Education Trust can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those interested in attending the food larder, visit the MK Dons SET Bus at Stadium MK every Friday between 10am and 12pm. New visitors will need to fill out a confidential membership form before collecting a box.