Wednesday 17 Jun
Updated Wednesday 17 Jun 16:00
Foundation

Snodgrass surprises Walking Football volunteer with lockdown Zoom call


West Ham United midfielder Robert Snodgrass surprised a volunteer at the West Ham United Foundation’s Walking Football programme with a Zoom call during lockdown.

The measures implemented due to the coronavirus pandemic means the Walking Football participants have had to call a temporary halt to their games, so Snodgrass was keen to check in on them.

He spoke with Gareth Williams, who volunteers at the sessions for over-18s, which help keep our supporters active, regardless of their age or ability.

You can watch the call in the video above, in which Williams recalls some of the group’s highlights, and explains to Snodgrass how they have been getting involved in the local community during this difficult time.

Williams said: "Walking Football helped me adjust to retirement. It meant I remained active, both physically and mentally, and I know I've made new friends for life.

“We really appreciate the support of the players, so thank you to Robert Snodgrass for taking the time to call.”

Maria Abraham, Foundation Health Manager, added: “Walking Football is an excellent way of meeting new people, socialising with training, tea and biscuits and attending tournaments; a big part of it is that bond you have as a team.

"We know that the social aspect of the programme is very important. It brings structure to the lives of people who might experience isolation and loneliness – there’s no judgment in the group, everyone is there to help each other and they really have become like a mini-family.

"That’s why throughout lockdown we’ve tried to still bring those kinds of elements to the group through video calls, group chats and newsletters. We understand that during this challenging time feeling connected is more important than ever and being part of the Foundation and West Ham United means that you aren’t alone even when we can’t do the activities we normally would.  

"Gareth has made a tremendous difference in that regard, the participants feel so supported on and off the pitch and he’s built an incredible rapport with them. With him being such a great West Ham fan we were delighted to thank him for his volunteering efforts with a surprise call from Robert Snodgrass."

For more information on Walking Football please email MAbraham@westhamunited.co.uk