Leyton Orient FC is coming together with other EFL Clubs today (Tuesday 10 March) to highlight the positive impact football has in changing people’s lives and the work taking place to tackle some of society’s biggest issues.
Across the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two, events will be held by Clubs on EFL Day of Action to showcase the very best programmes and activity they deliver in a number of important areas, including diversity and inclusion, education, and health and wellbeing.
The impact of the work carried out by EFL Clubs and Club Community Organisations (CCOs) is unparalleled, with more than half a million hours of group activity delivered and over 40 million hours of participation each season.
During the 2018/19 season, almost 900,000 people took part in a wide range of activities across key areas, with Clubs and CCOs receiving over £60 million of direct project funding.
The EFL Day of Action aims to unite Clubs and CCOs on one day to celebrate and highlight the impact they have in their communities, bringing together the most unique projects and programmes being run across England and Wales.
Managers and players from the EFL’s Clubs will be attending events up and down the country on Tuesday to pay special visits to see participants in action and to provide their support to various projects.
“It’s good for them to see a local football player who’s had a little bit of a success story, and hopefully gives them some kind of inspiration and enjoyment.”
The Leyton Orient Trust are using today’s EFL Day of Action to showcase Joe Widdowson’s visit to Fullwood Primary School in Ilford, to inspire pupils with their creative writing.
Joe spoke to the class about Leyton Orient’s National League win last season, what it meant for him as a player, but also for the team. He took with him the National League Trophy and his winner’s medals to show the pupils.
Pupils had the chance to ask Joe questions before they started work on their poems telling the story of the league win in their own words. At the end some pupils had the opportunity to share their poems with Joe and the Class.
Joe Widdowson, said: “You can see the excitement of the kids with the trophy and the medal – I think it’s good for them to see a local football player who’s had a little bit of a success story, and hopefully gives them some kind of inspiration and enjoyment.”
Sally Jones, Teacher, Fullwood Primary School, said: “The children and class teacher thoroughly enjoyed it and we loved the writing that it inspired. We’d like to say thank you to Joe for the wonderful responses he gave to the children’s questions and for the time, care and attention he gave the whole class.”
EFL Chairman, Rick Parry, said: “Our Clubs have always had a unique position in the heart of their respective towns and cities and it is important that we celebrate the work they carry out, which improves lives and tackles some of society’s biggest issues on a daily basis.
“The recent study commissioned by the EFL shows that Clubs’ work in their communities is happening on a huge scale and starts to place a real value on this work, providing further insight into the impact of programmes provided.
“The hours committed by staff and volunteers at Clubs and CCOs, as well as the support from players and managers, demonstrates a remarkable commitment to improving lives up and down the country.”