Community and the voluntary sector in a pandemic: the significant role of a local football club

Alan McNiven, John Harris*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The COVID-19 crisis highlighted the important ways that communities can support each other in and across neighbourhoods. Volunteers played a fundamental role assisting individuals with basic needs and with keeping people connected. In a number of different settings, volunteering is part of everyday life for many people, making a huge and often hidden contribution to the lives of individuals and communities. This paper looks at the specific case of a community football club in Scotland who played a significant role in engaging with its local populace and becoming a focal point for people during a very challenging period. The case study club looked at here were like many Third Sector agencies and community groups the ‘go to’ agencies for local council’s during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many social, community organisations adapted quickly to undertake a huge range of critical roles in neighbourhoods such as food distribution and prescription delivery services. This paper suggests that these types of locally owned and operated ‘hubs’ may offer the best opportunities for important co-designed and co-delivered services, accessible to all.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-326
Number of pages15
JournalLocal Economy
Issue number4
Early online date7 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Scotland
  • place
  • support
  • sport
  • belonging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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