This year we know that things have been extremely challenging for everyone and football in Lancashire has looked very different because of Covid-19.
We have watched with admiration as many of our football community have stepped up, either individually or as part of a team, into caring roles that have helped and supported their football, and wider, community in this most difficult of times.
We are now on the search for our 11 Red Roses – the people or organisations in our football community who have embodied public-spiritedness in the year when we all stayed at home.
We will be honouring our 11 Red Roses by awarding them with a Lancashire FA Red Roses Award and inviting them to become a member of Lancashire Red Roses FC.
INTRODUCING LANCASHIRE RED ROSES FC - A FOOTBALL TEAM OF GRASSROOTS COVID HEROES!
Firstly, though, we’re introducing our colleague Chris, the inspiration behind Lancashire Red Roses FC…
Chris has been with Lancashire FA for over 10 years and is our resident Designated Safeguarding Officer. In common with most colleagues, Chris was furloughed in March 2020 as the country entered its first national lockdown.
Chris, who was a medic and welfare officer in the armed forces for twenty-five years, was already a Community First Responder for the NHS and was not one to stay idle for long!
He immediately volunteered to help assemble PPE packs at Bury Fire Station, where his team put together 20,000 packs per month. Once the vaccination programme came on stream, Chris was trained to deliver jabs but, before he could complete a single vaccination, he was commandeered by North West Ambulance Service as a Paramedic Emergency Service Assistant offering front line “blue light” cover to stricken members of the public.
We are very proud of Chris, and his efforts that have gone above and beyond at every opportunity, throughout this lengthy pandemic period. In fact, we are so proud of him that we have appointed him the very first Team Manager of Lancashire Red Roses FC, which will be made up of our 11 Red Roses, the superstar team of volunteers from grassroots football who have all, like Chris, gone the extra mile during the last year or so with their public-spirited efforts.
Nominate Covid Heroes to Join Lancashire Red Roses FC
We want to know who our grassroots Covid heroes are so that we can recognise them and celebrate their selfless work, and we now need YOU to nominate the rest of the team. People from your club, or indeed your club or organisation as a whole, who have supported vulnerable people, public services, their local communities, or children or adults in their football clubs keeping up spirits and helping those in need.
To qualify as a Lancashire FA Red Rose, here are a few examples of what a volunteer or organisation may have taken part in during this challenging time:
• Providing free online coaching sessions
• Setting up food bank collections or providing food parcels to those in need
• Providing free online sessions for hard-to-reach groups (e.g. Sporting Memories group)
• Putting in extra efforts to make a club/facility Covid-safe
• Supported the NHS or other public services
• Inventing creative ways to engage players/members
• Raising money to support community causes
• Providing a caring ear to those who were worried or lonely and needed extra support
This is not an exhaustive list and we welcome nominations from anybody within our community who has made a significant voluntary contribution during the various lockdowns.
to nominate a colleague or organisation to be part of Lancashire Red Roses FC.
Applications close 31st May and we will announce our final team later in the year at The Lancashire FA Annual Awards.
LONG SERVICE RECOGNITION - 50 AND 30 YEARS*
These Awards recognise the amazing achievement of our football volunteers, who have completed either 50 or 30 years of volunteering within football!
You can nominate a member of your club, league, organisation or referee’s society for a Long Service Award by completing the form here.
*Eligibility for Long Service Awards
For the 50 or 30 Year Awards, the calculation of time spent in football as a volunteer is inclusive of any playing career, but does exclude any football played at school under the age of 16.
The FA 50 Years’ Service Award ‘Order of Merit’
The FA 50 Year Awards 'Order of Merit' is formal and absolute recognition by both The FA and Lancashire FA, of work carried out by our fantastic member volunteers over an amazing 50 years.
It is so important that The FA and Lancashire FA recognises the incredible dedication and service that our 50 Year Award winners have unselfishly given in the name of our great game of football, often, and unknowingly in many cases, helping to positively shape the lives of others and striving to make the game so fulfilling for us all. We are full of admirations for the work that they have done and continue to do, and we thank our 50 Year Award recipients for keeping the game so great for everyone.
Lancashire FA 30 Years' Service Award
We are very thankful and appreciative of all of our volunteers, who work so very hard to make sure that football is available for all who want to play. At Lancashire FA, we formally recognise the great work that is carried out across the County of Lancashire, the North-West and beyond, with our very own ‘30 Year Awards’.
You can nominate a member of your club, league, organisation or referee’s society for a Long Service Award (50 or 30 Years) by completing the form here.
We, at Lancashire FA, would like to thank every single football volunteer across the County, for your continuing hard work & dedication in ensuring that football, “Our National Game”, is played in a safe, secure, competitive and enjoyable environment enabling everyone to get involved!
Without you, football just simply could not take place and you are at the centre of what makes football happen week in and week out, year in and year out!