Whitehawk FC will be one of the first football clubs to offer the Covid-19 vaccine at a football match this weekend

Whitehawk Football Club has teamed up with the NHS to offer Covid-19 vaccinations at the football ground this Saturday during a special community day.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 3:28 pm
Whitehawk FC has teamed up with the NHS to offer Covid-19 vaccinations from its ground on Saturday during a special community day. 
Picture by JJ. Waller
Whitehawk FC has teamed up with the NHS to offer Covid-19 vaccinations from its ground on Saturday during a special community day. Picture by JJ. Waller

The Brighton-based Isthmian League south east club is hosting a special fan’s Community Day match on Saturday from its TerraPura Ground in Wilson Avenue and during the event Covid-19 vaccines will be available for local residents.

All adults are now eligible for their vaccine, and the NHS team will be on hand during the Community Day to offer first vaccinations for anyone eligible who is yet to receive it.

People receiving their first dose will be prioritised but the team may also be able to support people to receive their second vaccine if they had Pfizer for their first and are after eight weeks from their first jab – if vaccine supply on the day allows.

The Eastbourne District Scout Ambulance that will be used on Saturday for vaccinations at Whitehawk Football Club in Wilson Avenue, East Brighton

The service is being offered by community not-for profit Social Enterprise Group HERE who have been running vaccination services at Brighton Racecourse and from a mobile ambulance and bus across the city. It will also be the first time the NHS in Sussex will team up with the Eastbourne District Scout First Aid Association, who are supporting with the vehicle and helping with the set up on the day.

During the Whitehawk FC Community Day there will be a match between Hawks fans and Guernsey FC’s ‘Manelander’ fans. It will be the first football match played at the club since October 2020, and is raising funds and awareness for The Whitehawk Foodbank, and The British Heart Foundation. The doors open at noon.

Hawks’ head of commercial and marketing Kevin Miller said: "Our Community Day is a ‘welcome back' and a ‘thank-you’ to our amazing community for sticking with us throughout the dark days of the pandemic. We’ve been working with many community groups across the region to set this up, and we thought that having a vaccination unit at the game would be a perfect way to encourage those who perhaps have missed their slots, or have had second thoughts about having a jab, can do so in a familiar environment. We hope that people take up the opportunity, and of course we thank our local NHS for their incredible work and for making this happen.”

Denise McSween, primary care innovation operational lead at the Brighton Racecourse covid vaccination centre, for Here said: “Being able to have one of our vaccination units at Whitehawk means that even more people can gain access to receiving a Covid-19 jab who may otherwise not have the means or the confidence to make it to one of the larger local vaccination sites. We would like to thank everyone involved at the club, as well as our vaccinators and volunteers for making this possible.”

To receive a vaccination, people should bring one form of ID and their NHS number if they know it. For second doses, previous evidence of your first dose would be preferred but isn’t essential.

Alongside the vaccinations, local GP surgery, Wellsbourne Healthcare CIC, will be supporting on the day with information about the surgery, provide basic health checks and promote the community garden and volunteering at the surgery.

Dr Christa Beesley, GP and co-founder of Wellsbourne Healthcare CIC said: “This is a great day for the fans of Whitehawk FC and everyone in Brighton and Hove. I’m so pleased that we can all come together safely at the club’s beautiful ground in East Brighton. We will be there on the day, so I hope people will come and find us for a chat, or a health check, or even to register with us a patient. As a GP, I know full well how important these community events are to people’s health and wellbeing so we are delighted to be supporting Whitehawk FC in this

way. We know some people have struggled with time, work and childcare to get their jab – so this is a great opportunity to get it done while having some fun for all the family.”

There will be a number of local stands, stalls, and entertainment over the course of the day, and the club’s first team will be cheering on the Hawks fans team.

Doors open at 12pm. The match is ‘pay what you want' and due to current Covid regulations capacity will be restricted.