KIRKLEY & Pakefield FC are playing their part in the battle against coronavirus.
The clubhouse at their Walmer Road ground (pictured above) is being used as an asymptomatic testing centre for those who are unable to work from home during the pandemic.
The club, who play in their Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, has been open for testing since last Friday.
Club chair Paul Underdown said: “One of our committee members works for Suffolk County Council who were looking for test centres and she was approached and asked if the club would be interested.
“I then received a telephone call and following a brief chat we arrange to meet and they said that as it was a large centre with off-road car parking it would be ideal to use.
“That was on the Friday and by the following Thursday they were in there setting up and the first people were going in for testing the following day, which was last Friday.
“The clubhouse is only being used for asymptomatic testing, which is designed for people who are frontline workers, who can turn up without a booking and be tested and get the result within 20 minutes.”
Underdown said that the club were more than happy to help during these difficult times.
“We are a community club and it was important for us to open the clubhouse as a centre to allow people in Kirkley and Lowestoft to be able to use the facilities,” he said.
The clubhouse is currently open as a testing centre from 7am until 6pm seven days a week until March 31st, although it has provisionally been booked out until July 21st.
“Even with the snow we have had during the past few days it has remained open and people have been tested,” added Underdown, who said that although club members were not involved in testing, four female bar staff were on standby in case they were needed.
“We are just trying to help protect people and keep them safe. Football is secondary to that as the Government needs facilities like our clubhouse, so that takes priority over everything else.”
Club members, meanwhile, have come together to raise some much-needed funds by undertaking their own walking challenge by recreating the story of Phileas Fogg’s attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days.
Their ’80 Days Around the World’ walk is aimed at all club members – Youth, adult, parents, coaches and staff – collectively walking the 24,901 miles from the club, round the world and back.
They are now into their fourth week and after three weeks had completed 10,489 miles and reached China.
The challenge has so far raised £1,110 towards their £2,000 target.
Anyone wishing to donate to the JustGiving page can do so by clicking on the below link:
Kirkley & Pakefield FC