Important Play Your Part Update

Playing Your Part

Football, of course, must take a back seat and I know you will join me in thanking all those, many of whom we know from Barrow Soccer, who are working tirelessly during this crisis, in a variety of key roles. We were reminded of this last Saturday when one of the many nurses and care workers within our support, Phil, had this to say when he won the online raffle.

“I work in the NHS and some of my colleagues are off due to Coronavirus. Please share a reminder about social distancing and importance of staying at home and proper hand washing with soap and water thanks”

We were very glad to do so. I think we all agree that this is, by far, the most important way we can play our part in the weeks ahead.

Barrow in the News
You will have seen that Barrow AFC and the town itself has been much in the sporting news in the last few weeks. It is a difficult and unknown situation with regards to football matters, with many competing issues and views. As a Trust, we have supported the efforts of Ian Evatt in particular and the club as a whole to express our point of view. We feel that this been done in a passionate, clear and dignified way. Whatever the outcome of this uncertainty, all of us will be able to say we did the very best we could, in the correct manner.

Where are we Now?

You may remember the newsletter of 15th March, where I explained we had agreed to pay early, a proportion of the supporters’ share stake for this season, £43,000 of the £65,000 target. A brilliant achievement from you- our near 600 members and the wider Barrow support. This purchase of this future share equity was duly transferred and properly recorded.

Of course, we are now in a situation where there is a great deal of financial uncertainty and a lack of match day income. Thankfully then, our current board (including our Trust director) contains people who were able to make necessary alterations and had some small contingency built in to the planned shortfall for the season.

No forecasting can possibly be certain at the moment; but as you’d expect, Trust and club have been in very close dialogue throughout. As things stand, our £65k share of equity for the season’s shortfall is still a realistic figure for maintaining our 10% stake in Barrow A.F.C. What’s more, we were able to add in some of the incredible fundraising you have undertaken in the last few weeks, to yesterday contribute another £15k towards our total.

This means we, all of us, through the Bluebirds Trust have raised £58,000 of the target to maintain our 10% of our football club. A fantastic effort by you all. It is also a fantastic effort from our board, where the other 90% is contributed from. This ‘perfect storm’ off the pitch is going to be vital in the month ahead. Paul Hornby wanted to me to share his thanks with you all.

“What the supporters and Trust have achieved has been nothing short of phenomenal. We are in unprecedented times and whilst our focus has been on family and community the continued giving and hard work has been truly amazing.”

So this is where we are today. The trust will now update the totaliser to reflect all the monies transferred. We are now at our agreed baseline-there are no more reserves. Therefore we have seven thousand pounds to raise by the end of May. It will be a challenge to reach (and hopefully surpass) our agreed target but your vital support of our initiatives can help us over the line. Remember, everything raised, over our baseline, will go to purchase share capital in the future. And any ‘rainy day’ money raised towards this will be a huge help.

What Do We Need to do Next?

Essentially, we need to keep doing what we are doing! There have been so many great contributions, not only with money but in terms of fund raising ideas, time and encouragement. Here’s how:

1) Contribute part of your ‘matchday costs’ , such as your refunded match ticket money, or anything else you can afford to the Play Your Part initiative at https://www.bluebirdstrust.co.uk/play-your-part/
You can also contribute by monthly instalments, either by contacting us through our Facebook or e-mailing info@bluebirdstrust.co.uk
2) Cyber-Russ! Our ‘halftime draw raffle’ for any games missed is one of our best chances of smashing our target. There’s been well over a thousand pounds both raised and won in the last few games. https://www.bluebirdstrust.co.uk/russ-raffle/
3) Our football card empire is going Furness-wide., with both Andy and Chris giving us opportunities to support this online. Keep an eye on our Bluebirds Trust Facebook to take part. https://www.facebook.com/bluebirdstrust/
4) Easter Egg Competition- A bit of Easter Fun with a chocolatey prize! https://www.bluebirdstrust.co.uk/easter-egg-jar/
5) Don’t forget, we have always had a weekly online lottery which has some fantastic prizes! This can be found on https://www.bluebirdstrust.co.uk/lottery/

Play Your Part Benefits – Updates

We are in contact with our exclusive local pin badge supplier however all their production has stopped just now, please bear with us in this matter. Likewise, there will be time to determine the design of our ‘All Bluebirds’ wall at the Holker End for contributors. None of these things have been forgotten and our ace administrator, Richard Ingham, is also beavering away with memberships, certificates, prizes and all sorts of correspondence which will be sent out in due course.

A Final Thought

Giving me a gentle but well-deserved ‘telling off’ a week or so ago, one of our best known forum contributors reminded me of this:

‘We are Barrovians and have come through hard times and excruciating disappointments along the way with a strong backbone and cast iron will to carry on no matter what.’

WE ARE BARROW AFC.

And they are right. It is who we are as a club. And the way you have all moved mountains in the last fortnight, shows how right they were and there is nothing as a support, as a football club and as a town we can’t overcome.

Strength overcomes adversity indeed: we have all certainly proved this, through OUR support of OUR club, again and again. And I am sure we will do the same in the months ahead.

All Bluebirds are Blue,

SH
8.4.2020

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