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Montrose FC charity praised for rallying behind community during coronavirus pandemic

Peter Davidson collecting a "contactless" food package from Brenda Petrie.
Peter Davidson collecting a "contactless" food package from Brenda Petrie.

The work done to support people in need by Montrose FC Community Trust has been praised by a campaign involving football clubs from across Scotland.

The SPFL Trust has launched the Trusted in Support initiative, which aims to highlight charitable endeavours of clubs and trusts during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Montrose is among those helping others through the delivery of food packages, taking people to appointments, offering befriending sessions for those in isolation or suffering poor mental health and more.

Peter Davidson, chief executive of the trust, has been overwhelmed by the response from volunteers after they  placed most of the workforce on furlough.

The community trust has a history of helping people in Montrose through classes and health-related sessions but has had to focus attention on more immediate needs.

Peter said: “We’ve had to stop the nicer things we do and rely on necessities.

“I am a great believer that football has an ability to reach people and those who may not normally ask for help will do so from their football club. There is already an affinity there.”

Montrose FC manager Stewart Petrie and several players have been placed on furlough by the club but have used the extra time to volunteer their time to the charitable community trust.

They have taken part in phone calls and Zoom meetups for those who need someone to talk to.

During the online meetings there is a trained mental health practitioner, who also has a keen interest in football, to identify people who may be suffering.

Peter said: “He loves football so can join in the chat, but can spot things so we can help that way.”

Peter said the return of football will be a significant sign the country is over the worst of the pandemic.

“I believe that football will have an important role to play.

“It will be a real sign of normality to our lives, because a lot of things need to go away before it can return.”

SPFL Trust CEO Nicky Reid praised clubs like Montrose that are using the lockdown to rally round their communities.

He said: “It is a challenging time, but our clubs and trusts have stood up and taken unprecedented actions to support their communities. This is why we always say that Scottish football is trusted to support.

“It is not only heartwarming to know so many people from across our sport care, but also that this support is vital to the people receiving it.

“I’m proud of our clubs and trusts, and we hope that our initiative can raise further awareness of these great acts of kindness during these difficult days and weeks.”

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