Chair’s Update May 2020

This past week should have seen the conclusion of the 2019/20 season and, as we hoped, with LFC crowned champions.

The wait for our 19th title goes on, but we know the players have resumed partial training with a view to the season re-commencing in June. There is no certainty of this, but what is certain is that if it does, it will be behind closed doors.

Spirit of Shankly have been in constant dialogue with LFC since the postponement. We have kept discussions open on the impact on fans, members and season- ticket holders regarding refunds and renewals. At this point there is nothing to add to the club’s statement but we will keep our members up to date.

Without football, SOS have concentrated efforts on our Help is Here campaign and partnership with the PPE community hub.

We are now in the seventh week delivering food parcels as part of our Help is Here initiative, providing more than 1,700 deliveries to those in need and to our frontline workers in the NHS.

This has been made possible by committing SOS funds, and from donations. Some of these have been one-off personal and private, others such as the FIFA Sunday League gamers have been regular. We are grateful to everyone who has contributed.

SOS’s management committee has agreed funds to continue this work until the end of May when we will again review the situation.

I would personally like to record my thanks to SOS committee members Kieth Culvin and Ste Monaghan for making this happen; Carol Kelly, Jane Owens, James North and their team at Morrison’s in Speke, Liverpool, who collate and food bags; and taxi drivers Tony Caveney, Frank Doherty, Philly Taylforth and Phil Hardwick who volunteer their time to make the deliveries.

It was great to see our work and that of the drivers acknowledged by Trent Alexander Arnold and the SportBible team this week. You can view it here.

With @SFoodbanks, we continue to support colleagues at the Merseyside PPE Hub, who are making plastic visors and scrubs for nurses, paramedics and care workers. They are now the main centre for free PPE in Merseyside and have provided equipment to 14 organisations, including Liverpool University Hospitals, St Helens & Whiston Hospital, and Aintree Hospital. They recently travelled to Newcastle, Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester to deliver PPE to football fan groups to distribute to their local frontline workers.

SOS have donated £2,000 of union funds to the Hub and are donating new membership fees until August, currently at £470. And on Thursday 21 May there is a fundraising event in which I am privileged to take part on behalf of SOS. Details here.

Finally, we should have staged our AGM by now. We will set a date as soon as practically possible and keep our members informed.

In the meantime, please stay safe.

Unity is Strength

Joe Blott, Chair