Chiefs’ support Exeter in coronavirus response
Published: 14 May 2020
The Exeter Chiefs are an important part of our city’s culture. When the crisis hit, they were quick to respond in the form of £100,000 donated by the Trustees of the Chiefs Foundation to Exeter Community Wellbeing, the COVID-19 response service set up by Exeter City Council and Wellbeing Exeter.
The Chiefs’ donation has now all been distributed to Exeter community groups, organisations and charities, to support them through this crisis and in the incredible work they are doing for their communities at this challenging time.
The Chiefs haven’t stopped there, though. Showing the pro-active attitude, resolve and leadership skills we know them for, the club and players have been busy while their ground gets a rest. Their match-day kit van and other fleet vehicles, emblazoned with the Chiefs’ livery, are out and about on the essential business of delivering PPE to hospitals, care homes and doctors surgeries across Devon.
Keeping our keyworkers safe is only one part of their contribution. Players have joined in with the #MakeThatCall campaign to look after mental and emotional wellbeing, too. The initiative was started by Gallagher Premiership rivals Wasps, and 12 top clubs including our Chiefs have answered the call.
Players have been phoning season ticket holders and fans nominated by friends to have a chat and check on their wellbeing. Tom Hendrickson spoke to a supporter who recently lost his wife and is finding ‘lockdown’ hard. Tom was touched by how the man was managing this difficult time and the two have arranged to meet up for a pint when it is safe again to do so.
The club have also been active on social media, hosting Q&A sessions and weekly quizzes, which you can join on Facebook at 8pm on a Sunday. Quizmaster Haydn Thomas needed to remind some quizzers who were new to Facebook Live not to post answers in the comments section and give them away!
‘Challenge a Chief’, a video series on the Exeter Chiefs Community page, has been very popular with thousands of views on the home-based skills challenges the players and coaches are demonstrating. The team have also shared their virtual catch-up chats online and player Harry Williams, prop for the Chiefs and England, recently made an orange drizzle cake live on Instagram in his own version of the Great British Bake-Off.
In addition, fellow Chiefs and England star, Luke Cowan-Dickie is hosting a 24-hour online game stream on Friday 15 May. Donations collected from the event will go to the club’s official charity, the Exeter Chiefs Foundation, which assists numerous charities and organisations in Exeter and Devon.
We look forward to reporting good news about how the Chiefs’ generous donation has impacted local community groups, organisations and charities over the coming weeks. In the meantime, it’s well worth following the club on social media if you can. Whether you are a rugby fan or have yet to discover the excitement of the game, there’s no doubt you will find their antics entertaining and their community work inspiring.
Mark Stevens, Head of Media & Communications for the Exeter Chiefs, said: “These are incredibly testing times for all of us, including everyone associated with the Chiefs. As a club, we know how much the community give to us in terms of their support each week, so we felt in these times of need that it’s only right that we now give something back to that same community.
“Our players, coaches and staff have been fantastic in not only helping to brighten up the spirits of so many people during lockdown, but as a club we have felt the need to also play our part in trying to get life back to some kind of normality. Whether that is through charitable donations, volunteering or acts of goodwill, we know we can help to make a real difference.
“Everyone at the Chiefs is committed to continuing the good work for as long as it takes and we thank the Chiefs family as a whole for their support in the past, now and the future.”
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Exeter Community Wellbeing
To volunteer your time or to request support, get in touch with Exeter Community Wellbeing:
Phone: 01392 265000
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