Stevenage FC Foundation has shared the immense impact it has had on its community while battling the challenges wrought by COVID-19, as part of its annual report.

The charity has touched the lives of thousands over the past 12 months, and delivered more than 20 unique projects that do everything from battle loneliness to promote a healthier lifestyle.

Its coronavirus community careline, set up to combat the first lockdown last March - lasting 21 weeks - was an enormous success that received national praise.

Overall, the Foundation prepared 15,000 sandwiches, made 1,800 phone calls to residents in need and raised £8,300, to name a few of their achievements.

The Comet: Stevenage FC Foundation has shared its annual impact report for 2019/20Stevenage FC Foundation has shared its annual impact report for 2019/20 (Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

Joe Goude, chief executive of the Foundation, commented: "It is safe to say that it has been a year like no other, and has tested the resilience, ability and agility of the charity to its fullest.

"However, if you speak to anyone that has been involved with us in this past year, they will also say it has been one of the most rewarding.

"Many of our big plans were curtailed due to the emerging pandemic, projects postponed, sessions cancelled and a clear signal that we all needed to pitch in and support those most in need.

"Throughout this period, our staff and volunteers have been incredible and I've never been more proud of a group of people - preparing sandwiches, collecting prescriptions, countless hours talking to those that needed a friendly chat.

"We head into this post-pandemic world with a new normal and the opportunity to use what we've learnt, the new partnerships and connections we have formed to be even further embedded in our community."

The Comet: Scott Cuthbert delivering food as part of Stevenage's Community Careline. Picture: Jim SteeleScott Cuthbert delivering food as part of Stevenage's Community Careline. Picture: Jim Steele (Image:

Over the past year, the charity's income dropped by more than 12 per cent, with expenditure dipping 15.8 per cent to accommodate the loss of funds.

Those who have benefitted from the Foundation's work include those as young as two years old, and those as old as 96.

Roger Gochin, chair of trustees, said: "Sport and football, in particular, can be a tremendous force for good in a community.

"This last year has shown that ability in its purest form, as staff and volunteers repurposed themselves to support our community through one of the toughest years of our lifetime.

"We have made new partnerships, new connections and look forward to growing these further in our new strategy, as we recover from this pandemic."