Duxbury: “We Feel Truly Privileged We Can Help”

By: Watford FC Staff

Watford FC Chairman & CEO Scott Duxbury said the club feels honoured to be in a position to support its NHS neighbours during their hour of greatest need.

Vicarage Road’s doors have been opened to West Hertfordshire NHS Trust staff and the stadium has been transformed into the Sanctuary, offering free meals, overnight beds, laundry services and meeting rooms to those fighting COVID-19 on the front line.

“From the football club’s perspective, there is really no need for any thanks. It’s entirely our privilege to feel we can in some way help the hospital during this difficult time,” said Duxbury.

“I think it wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the staff at this football club. It’s often said we are the first family club; the words are easy and the actions are sometimes a little bit harder, and I really do need to pay credit to the staff that work with me every day because it was them who came to me insisting that we do something, it was them that said they would volunteer every single day, 24 hours a day on a rota to make this happen.

“I think when you have that kind of mentality within the football club, that they just want to help, they want to and feel like they can make a difference, it’s really quite humbling.”

More than 1,000 NHS staff members are being fed at the stadium each day, meeting rooms have been used for well over 200 hours by hospital leaders and more than 10,000 pairs of scrubs have been washed by the club’s laundry facilities so far.

Phil Townsend, Chairman of West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and a loyal Watford fan, is grateful for how quickly Vicarage Road has been converted to a wellbeing hub for his staff.

“I’ve been a season ticket holder here for well over 20 years, I come down here to support the club, to support the team, and it’s absolutely wonderful that that role has been reversed, and what we now have is a football club completely supporting the hospital team and its staff,” he said.

“That’s been a truly remarkable turnaround and we are eternally grateful for everything that’s occurred. We come here to cheer the team on, and now Watford is cheering us on and providing us with an awful lot of facilities. This is an enormous effort for us, that kindness is truly remarkable.”

As the club continues to look for further ways to assist its neighbours, Duxbury insisted that football remains a secondary priority and reiterated his gratitude to all those volunteering their help.

“I’ve been amazed at the work that has gone into making this happen and again, it’s not for thanks, it’s only that we all feel privileged that we can actually make a difference and do something,” said the Chairman & CEO.

“We want to provide the support. It isn’t limited to what we’re doing now, we’re on a daily basis looking at ways we can offer further assistance, and again, I repeat, we just feel truly privileged we can help and we can assist.

“It’s a real demonstration of the quality of staff that we have at this football club that understand what our core values are and they’re actually demonstrating it with actions now and I couldn’t be prouder as the Chairman of this football club than I am today.”

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