Portsmouth defender Christian Burgess volunteers to help Heart of Hayling Boxing Academy staff with medicine deliveries
Staff and coaches from the community-led Heart of Hayling Boxing Academy have been out seven days a week to deliver more than 1,000 prescriptions to elderly and vulnerable people across the island.
The group has been mobilising alongside the Hayling Helpers, a group of volunteers set up by Wendy Ball to help islanders in need, and have been collecting medication from four local pharmacies to hand out twice a day.
And on Saturday, Christian Burgess, Portsmouth defender and keen supporter of the boxing club, spent the morning out in the community helping to support people who cannot get out of their house.
The footballer, who will be returning to do more deliveries, said: ‘They’ve done a fantastic job here on Hayling delivering hundreds of prescriptions daily.
‘I was proud to know them and thought I would come and see what it was like.’
Mark Coates from Heart of Hayling said: ‘We’re just one arm of the extraordinary community movement that is the Hayling Helpers. Thanks go to the volunteers, the community centre and Wendy Ball - the humility and sense of purpose is the real impressive factor.
‘I think Christian quite enjoyed the fact that a lot of the older people didn’t know who he was. It’s nice for us as well.
‘There’s that reversal of kudos to who the real key workers are, I think he’s had the humility to realise that immediately and help out where he can. I think he’s an extraordinary role model.’
A pair of young boys who are self-isolating with their mum were wearing their Pompey tops by coincidence and were very excited to have a good chat with Burgess.
In a message to fans, Burgess added: ‘Thanks for all your support over the season and thanks for coming together at this time.
‘There are so many people across Portsmouth and Hayling and the wider areas volunteering to help the community, it’s just brilliant to see.’
For help or more information, call the Hayling Helpers Community Hub on (023) 9246 7545.