December 21, 2021


Clarets number 1 made special trip to SafeSpace and SafeNet to donate Christmas gifts

Club pleased to support the organisations, who help individuals through extremely challenging circumstances

During the month of December, Burnley Football Club have been celebrating the Clarets One Small Act campaign, with the aim of giving back to the local community this Christmas.

Goalkeeper Nick Pope recently visited SafeSpace and SafeNet, two organisations both actively working to support those most in need in the local community. On behalf of the club, Nick delivered over 200 presents for residents and service users across both organisations, to spread some much-needed Clarets Christmas cheer in the lead up to the big day.

Nick Pope Supports Local Refuges With Christmas Donations

SafeSpace is a 24-hour supported accommodation project based in Pendle and Rossendale for 16-21-year-olds who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, including young people who are leaving care.

Managed by the charity Positive Action in the Community, Nick met staff and residents at the Nelson site. The charity, established in 1996, has since evolved their services particularly in the areas of youth homelessness, domestic abuse, and mental wellbeing, helping countless people including residents at SafeSpace.

SafeSpace is a purpose-built building providing accommodation and support for 33 young people. Facilities include 15 self-contained flats, with all amenities, an activity room, counselling room and training kitchens. The accommodation is situated directly next to Nelson Youth and Community Centre - The Zone, further allowing young people access to other provision and services.

In addition to supported accommodation and empowering young people to build emotional resilience and making positive choices to have fulfilled and independent lives. Positive Action in the Community also provide accommodation and support to adults and children affected by domestic violence and early support to families through their service ‘Be Free’ (formerly Pendle Domestic Violence Initiative), as well as engaging with young people at the Waterside Community Centre in Colne.

Claire Bennett, CEO of Positive Action in the Community said: “Homelessness isn’t just about a roof over their head, it’s about providing somewhere safe and secure for young people to be able to live their life in the way they want to without any oppression or worries.

“It’s also really important that we teach them independent living skills that it takes to transition into adulthood. We look at cooking skills, budgeting and we work with young people to support their social skills and rebuild relationships with family members, if it is appropriate to do so.

“Having Nick Pope here has brought such a buzz about and what better time. We have had a really tough 18 months, so for the staff and the young people to be recognised by Nick and the team at Burnley is overwhelming. They’ve been giddy as anything, we have some really strong, diehard Burnley fans so it’s been absolutely wonderful the club have taken the time out to come and see us.

“At SafeSpace we are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so Christmas Day is a difficult but very nice day for the project. For some people it is the first time of being on their own, so we do try to make it as enjoyable as possible. The gifts the club have donated are just going to make that another level this year, we do really appreciate them.”

Following his trip to Nelson, Nick’s second visit of the day was SafeNet – part of the Calico Group. SafeNet has been keeping women, children, and men safe from domestic abuse throughout the Northwest for 40 years, empowering individuals to live free from abuse, harassment, and unhealthy relationships.

Staff were on hand to talk about the organisation’s far-reaching work, and in addition to meeting adults and young families currently residing at the refuge, Nick handed over the club’s donation of different presents for all people to enjoy including toys and games for children and young people.

Alex Atkinson, Head of SafeNet services said: “It’s been a really difficult and challenging time with Covid-19, to work in a communal setting and keep everybody safe but while helping people to escape, feel safe and live with families that they don’t know.

“Everybody has been so excited for the visit; it just means so much to have Nick here and for people to think about us and to think what do the children in refuge need. Having a player from Burnley Football Club come and spend time with them, they will remember that forever.

“The children and young people living in our refuges, they need that safe space to be able to play freely. Teenagers need a space to do their gaming and to engage with their own peers and age group. It’s been really important that they are thought about too and that people in the community have done this and donated, it means the world to us.”

Earlier this year (November 2021), Burnley Football Club and Burnley FC in the Community commemorated White Ribbon Day by opening the conversation on the importance of taking action to end domestic abuse and violence that occurs in our society. Reaffirming the club will now start working towards taking steps in developing their own action plan in support of becoming an accredited White Ribbon member to raise awareness, prevent violence before it starts and to never excuse or remain silent about violence.

To find out more information about SafeSpace, Be Free and Waterside Community Centre including how to access the service, visit Positive Action in the Community.

To find out further information about the work of SafeNet and the Calico Group or for details on how to receive their help, visit their website.

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