As a supporter-owned club based in the heart of our community – at Exeter City Football Club we work to do all we can to care for and help that community.
The EFL Week of Action, which ends today, offers the perfect opportunity to showcase the varied work delivered right across the club.
Launched in 2017, the Week of Action sees football clubs and their charity partners from across the EFL’s three divisions show some of the most impactful community projects with managers and players joining participants across the country.
At Exeter City this week we shone the spotlight on men’s mental health through a collaboration with award-winning arts organisation, Alright Mate? CIC. Exeter City’s assistant manager Kevin Nicholson was joined in the activity by first team players Jevani Brown and Jake Caprice, and women’s team captain Manfy Sharpe and player Zoe Watkins.
The group participated in a session where they contributed to a 'The Tower of Strength' – similar to a giant Jenga set made from English Ash - with everyone given an individual block to inscribe a word using pyrography. They then had their portraits taken by Stephen Raff using wet plate collodion photography - one of the first photographic processes invented in 1851. The images will be used to create beer mats, sports cards and other materials to promote the work of the charity and support men to talk about their feelings.
Every single day there is activity being delivered for the benefit of our community; on Saturday a group from St Sidwell’s Community Centre, many of whom were Afghan asylum seekers, were invited to Saturday’s match against Forest Green Rovers.
Kyson Chugg, from St Sidwell’s Community Centre, said: “It was great to see how much each of them enjoyed the day. It was hugely beneficial for the residents as their situation is very uncertain, so the stadium tour and football match helped provide a welcome respite.
“Saturday was a fantastic occasion, and it was wonderful for those that attended to enjoy their first ever taste of live football in the UK at St James Park. The majority were football fanatics, and it was a pleasure to share with them the excitement and joy of having the opportunity to experience a live game for the very first time.
“Everyone at the club was so warm and welcoming, from the catering staff to the stewards; everyone went above and beyond to provide an excellent service. The sense of community within the club was there for all to see.”
Whether it’s collecting coats and scarves to distribute to local people, providing free warm spaces for people to meet at St James Park, or providing football sessions for disabled young people and adults, the Supporters’ Trust, Club and its partner charity Exeter City Community Trust are all consistently focused on working for the benefit of our community.
Nick Hawker, chair of the Exeter City Supporters’ Trust, said: “This year we are celebrating 20 years of Supporter Trust ownership at Exeter City Football Club. Established to be of benefit to our community, this ethos is something we strive for across the whole of our club, from the activities of our Academy, through the varied and diverse work of our partner charity and the activities delivered by both the club and trust.”