Christmas will be a difficult time for many this year, which is why AFC Fylde Community Foundation and AFC Fylde Football Club came together on Monday to bring joy to the lives of local families in need. 

Food Suppliers, Kepak Convenience Foods, played a pivotal role in sourcing a range of hampers that could be handed out, along with several other local businesses who backed the initiative. 

With the support of Fylde Council, the Foundation came to the aid of more than 20 local families, surprising them with bumper festive hampers filled with food and presents including football kits, footballs and gifts.

The Foundation were determined to make this special season as memorable as possible for the local children and families. As Santa was not available, the Club and Community Foundation arranged for the first team players to personally visit and deliver the hampers and gifts, which received an overwhelming welcome.

Adhering to social distancing rules, the players greeted the children outside their homes and handed out the surprise packages before taking a selfie and leaving the delighted youngsters to enjoy their Christmas after the surprise visit.

Foundation Media Officer Linus Welsh worked closely on the programme and was delighted with the outcome. He said: “The Present Appeal was a fantastic success. We were determined to run an event that really gave local families and children a feeling that they were not alone and we were here to support them through these difficult times.

“We worked closely with a lot of local organisations and the end result was truly fantastic to see. Together we were able to make a real difference in our community and give local families that little bit of support that we could all benefit from this Christmas.”

Coasters captain, Nathan Pond, surprised a local family in Warton. The defender, who was raised in Preston, spoke of the importance of supporting families in need during the festive period.

He said: “It’s so important that we, as a football club, are there for the local community. 

“It’s a tough time for everyone at the moment, but some families are struggling more than others. When we knocked on the door we all saw how made up they were, the smiles on their faces, that’s what it’s all about.

“Christmas is a special time, and everybody deserves to wake up with some presents on Christmas morning.”

The Foundation would like to place on record their thanks to local organisations including Kepak Convenience Foods, Morrisons Blackpool, The Well Church Lytham, Streetwise Youth Club and Fylde Council for their support and enabling the initiative to be a great success.

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