Recognition of our member volunteers at the Barça Foundation
The vice-president of the Social Area, Antonio Escudero, held the event in the Box at Camp Nou
The President Suñol Box at Camp Nou was the venue for a special award ceremony held this Tuesday 29th June by the Barça Foundation to acknowledge its members who, over the course of this complicated season, have volunteered at social programmes for the Barça Foundation, with the backing of the Club's Social Area.
The event was presided over by the vice-president of the FC Barcelona Social Area, Antonio Escudero, and by the Director of the Barça Foundation, Mària Vallès, as well as Anna Aznar, Director of the Club's Social Area, and Francesc Garcia, head of the Foundation's volunteer programme.
This recognition event and season closing ceremony was attended by thirty of the 45 FC Barcelona Players Group member volunteers, who collaborated over the last few seasons in the Foundations' programmes for Social Inclusion and Paediatric Emotional Wellness.
This season, operation of these programmes was affected by the pandemic, forcing organisers to restructure and adapt the activities. While the member volunteers were not able to participate in the social inclusion programme this year, they were able to work on the Paediatric Emotional Wellness programme through the Robot Pol project. This is thanks to the Barça Museum management team, which, despite being closed for a long time, decided to open its doors exclusively for the purpose of carrying out this activity for the Foundation, and a total of 103 children were able to enjoy it this season, with help from 25 volunteers.
Because of the restrictions to hotel visits, a new way to visit the Museum was also devised: LiveTour (Virtual Museum visit, where children connected via Teams from the Hospital using a Foundation laptop and volunteer staff interacted with them on a smartphone).
Antonio Escudero and Mària Vallès thanked the volunteers for their work during this very difficult period due to the Covid-19 pandemic and handed out diplomas to the volunteers for their work this season. Vice-president Antonio Escudero has given thanks "for their hard-work in helping to convey the excitement and magic of Barça to all the boys and girls at the hospitals, helping them to escape from the reality of their illness for just a moment". Mària Vallès also commented "I've always been excited by the double role that the volunteers play, as not only do they contribute towards improving the lives of children, despite their illnesses, they also help to promote the Foundation's work".
The Barça Foundation runs a volunteer programme, which offers members the possibility of taking on an active role and participating in their social projects. This programme is targeted at adults who, motivated by altruism and a desire to create change, want to devote part of their time towards creating a more egalitarian and inclusive situation for the most vulnerable children, or those with the sensitivity to be able to deal with sick children, who are also dynamic, committed, and good communicators, as well as having a good knowledge of the Club's history and Museum.
Within the Paediatric Emotional Wellness Programme, the Robot Pol project is a social innovation proposal aimed at children and young people who have been hospitalised due to serious illness, allowing them to take a virtual tour of Camp Nou via a remotely-controlled smart device (Robot Pol) that they steer from a computer. The volunteers accompany the children in person at the hospital or virtually at Camp Nou, where they provide support to the children whilst controlling the device remotely, guiding them with information.
Furthermore, the Foundation's Social Inclusion Programme uses sport as an educational tool to promote equal opportunities for children and young people in socially disadvantageous situations using the FutbolNet methodology, created by the Barça Foundation team.