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Oxford United mask distribution praised in parliament

Layla Moran tabled a motion in the House of Commons last week to celebrate the work of Oxford United Football Club in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon expressed her gratitude to the League One club “on behalf of the whole community” for their actions in response to the pandemic.

The Us (Oxford United) distributed approximately 10,000 masks to Season Ticket holders and local charities after receiving a large batch from Chairman Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth’s native Thailand.

The motion went on to praise “the efforts of individuals across the county who have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic by working together to support the most vulnerable in the community.”

Over the past week, staff at the football club, including manager Karl Robinson, have helped with the distribution of the fabric face masks. Their destinations initially prioritised the NHS, local government and local charities, before being broadened out as 2000 masks were posted to Oxford United season ticket holders over the age of 55, as well as those at a higher risk of contracting the virus. Robinson personally delivered masks to charities including Sobell House.

In a statement posted on their website, the United manager said that, with English football currently suspended indefinitely, the club could use its resources to help the response to the pandemic.

“Everyone is doing their best to play their part at the moment, whether that is calls to fans, volunteering with the NHS, or helping in their local community. I think we can feel very proud as a group of people and the team spirit really shone through this morning.”

The fabric masks feature the club’s badge as well as the logo of its sponsor Singha. They await further testing before being used by NHS staff.

On Monday, the club issued an update confirming that all masks had been delivered, saying: “we hope that the masks help those who need them most”. The club also apologised to any fans who had requested a mask but would not be receiving one due to high demand.

“We are still receiving a lot of requests for masks but there are simply none left – we hope that fans agree with how they were prioritised and although we would love to help others the very last mask was sent out over the weekend.”

The statement concluded by reminding supporters that the masks were not the “best solution” to the current pandemic, which remains staying at home and avoiding all but essential journeys outside the house.

Image Credit to Richard Rogerson / Wikimedia Commons. License: CC BY-SA 2.0

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