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Linstone helps to keep football-mad kids on the ball

One-hundred youngsters will also benefit from a summer camp.

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Football-crazy kids have been given a summer soccer boost thanks to St Mirren FC and the Scottish Government.

St Mirren’s Charitable Foundation teamed up with Linstone Housing, which has been tasked with distributing the government funding, to make sure young fans received 'Buddy Boxes' to beat the lockdown blues.

One-hundred enthusiastic youngsters are taking part in free online summer camps, with virtual training sessions delivered by St Mirren’s Women’s Team and community coaches.

The housing association has been designated a community anchor organisation in Renfrewshire and has been distributing cash help to groups applying for money to combat the effects of coronavirus.

The money has come from the Scottish Government’s Supporting Communities Fund – designed to help communities across the nation cope with the effects of the pandemic.

Each youngster has been given their own Buddy Box containing all the kit they need to get involved, including a ball, water bottle and t-shirt.

Also included was a signed copy of St Mirren Chief Executive Tony Fitpatrick’s popular children’s book titled The Dream, which he hopes will inspire kids.

Gayle Brannigan, Chief Executive of the Club’s Charitable Foundation, said the new way of delivering the football courses during lockdown was only made possible with the help of the funding.

She said: “It has been an incredibly difficult time for everyone over the last few months. This is a good way of keeping youngsters active and interested in sport.”

A spokesperson for Linstone Housing said: “We are delighted to have helped out by distributing the money which has paid for the Buddy Boxes. During lockdown children will have missed their friends and their sport so this is one way of beating the boredom.”

Pictured: Back row Linstone Board Member Sandy Hewitt; Carol Gemmell, Linstone Community Engagement Officer; Gayle Brannigan of the St Mirren Charitable Foundation and Adele Fraser, Linstone Housing’s Chief Executive. Front row:  St Mirren Chief Executive Tony Fitzpatrick and Jamie Irvine, Chair of Linstone Housing. PICTURE COURTESY OF PAISLEY DAILY EXPRESS.

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