Local community heroes are being celebrated up and down the country from Friday 12 January to Saturday 20 January as the EFL, EFL Trust, 72 EFL Clubs and their Community Club Organisations launch the first-ever EFL Community Weekends.
And Bristol Rovers Community Trust are thrilled to reveal our two Community Heroes, who have gone above and beyond, volunteering within their respective projects.
Helen Cox was the first participant of the Rebound with Rovers group, which supports those who are experiencing mental health issues. At first, Helen was reluctant to get out of her car to take part in the session but decided to give it a go. Since that first session, Helen has continued to prosper and has become a key part of the project and volunteers on our ‘Match Day Experience’ at The Memorial Stadium.
Helen said, “I am delighted to have been awarded the EFL Community Hero award with Bristol Rovers Community Trust. Rebound with Rovers has been an integral part of my life since that first session, and I haven’t looked back. Since then, I’ve gained a mental-health first-aider qualification, a coach for the Rebound sessions and are coaching a local girl’s team. This is something I never thought I’d be able to do and it’s a pleasure to support our participants and watching the project grow.”
Debbie Philips became the match secretary at Bristol Rovers Women’s FC in 2020 and has also utilised her skills as a mental-health first-aider to support the girls amongst the two squads. Debbie has played a significant role in ensuring that the first team and development team have an outlet and trusted individual to support them with any mental health issues or concerns. She has been called upon on many occasions throughout her years within the role and has gone above and beyond to offer advice and support.
Debbie said “I am thrilled to have become an EFL Community Hero at Bristol Rovers Community Trust. Working within the Gas Girls setup has been amazing and to work with the players and offer mental health advice and support has been truly humbling. As a massive Gas Head, it means the world to me that I’ve been recognised, and I hope to continue making a difference.”
Both Helen and Debbie were presented with their award on Saturday at half-time and spoke to stadium announcer Lance Cook about the EFL Community Weekends and their fantastic work within the Community.