This Easter, children of some of the county’s NHS heroes will attend a free Soccer School with the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation, funded by donations from Norwich City’s players, senior staff, and directors.
Over £200,000 was donated to help create the Canaries Covid-19 Community Support Project last year, which helped to boost the county’s response to the pandemic by meeting the urgent needs of fans and the wider community, while supporting and showing gratitude to the NHS and carers for their work.
Now some of the remaining funds will be used to thank NHS staff for their remarkable efforts over the past 12 months, by providing the special ‘Superhero Soccer Schools’ during the Easter Holidays.
Over 300 children of staff from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston, and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn will take part over two days at three different venues – The Foundation’s own hub The Nest, Cliff Park High School in Gorleston, and Fairstead Community Primary & Nursery School.
Norwich City defender Christoph Zimmermann said: “I’m very happy to see how well the donations have been used. It has been a couple of challenging months for children witnessing how the most common activities were no longer possible and still aren’t - like meeting and playing with friends.
“Therefore, it’s a delight to know that many children in our community have this opportunity to enjoy the Soccer School sessions!
“The Superhero Soccer Schools are a way that we can say thank you also to the wonderful staff at the hospitals.”
The Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Ian Thornton said: “The gratitude felt at the club and the foundation for the work of the NHS team over the past 12 months is huge.
“Their care, bravery, and dedication has helped to save many lives while potentially risking their own welfare in doing so.
“We imagine this will have been a difficult period for their families, so we hope to give their children a great time over Easter through the Superhero Soccer Schools.”
Amongst the Canaries Covid-19 Community Support Project support during the first lockdown, hundreds of food packages, cakes and signed shirts were delivered across Norfolk in coordination with local authorities and charities, reaching some of the most in need in the county.
Staff across the club and foundation have also been in weekly contact with fans who are most vulnerable and in need of a friendly chat over the past 12 months.