Next Steps for the NHS
With Home Park Stadium’s events calendar filling up, we are writing to supporters to provide an update on the latest developments in partnership with the NHS.
From Friday, 1 October, a new agreement has been struck with the NHS to allow them to continue to operate within the club’s facilities, with a few changes made to the format of the vaccination centre.
All events booked at Home Park Stadium will continue to go ahead as planned. However, on dates where there are no events booked at the stadium, the NHS will use the venue to support the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine booster programme.
Having taken on supporter feedback, this new agreement contains a number of material changes to the layout of the vaccine operation, and these changes have been implemented in order to improve the match-day experience at Home Park for supporters seated in the Mayflower Grandstand.
As such, the large marquee currently placed outside of the Mayflower Grandstand entrance will be removed in the coming days, with a smaller marquee replacing it. This will serve a purpose for NHS vaccinations, but double-up as a covered area for supporters on match-days.
As a result, we are able to enhance our Fan Zone for supporters in the Mayflower Grandstand, providing our best-ever experience on that side of the ground, including the return of a number of food kiosks, bars, live entertainment, and a covered area with tables and chairs – which will be really beneficial for supporters throughout the winter months.
The reception area in the Mayflower Grandstand will once again return to club use, serving as the main entrance to the stadium for the first time since March 2020. It will serve as the entry point for guests to Club Argyle, as well as a traditional reception area for events use throughout the week.
Argyle is proud of its partnership with the NHS throughout the pandemic, and we remain eternally grateful to NHS staff who have gone above and beyond to keep us safe throughout the pandemic.
As such, the club has chosen to mark the NHS’ contribution to the local community by dedicating our Sky Bet League One fixture against Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday, 28 September to our healthcare heroes.
As part of this recognition, the fixture against the Railwaymen will see 1043 tickets donated to NHS workers. This figure is made up of over 600 tickets pledged and generated through our Crowdfunder scheme during lock-down, as well as a contribution of over 400 tickets from the club as a gesture of our gratitude.
These tickets will be distributed to those who have played an active role in the community throughout the pandemic, including NHS staff, volunteers, security, COVID-response teams and their families.
Members of the Pilgrims’ playing and coaching staff, alongside our mascot Pilgrim Pete, will wear unique warm-up tops to mark the fixture, and supporters will be encouraged to wear blue for the occasion. Special displays, markers and pitch-side activities will also occur as part of the pre-match entertainment.
Alongside these activities, our match-day programme, The Pilgrim, will also pay tribute to our wonderful health-care service, and NHS representatives will also be invited into the Jack Leslie Boardroom and Club Argyle for a true VIP experience.
Christian Kent, Head of Venue at Home Park, said: “We are tremendously grateful to the NHS for the vital contribution they have made to our community since the pandemic began. On a club level, our relationship with the vaccination team here at Home Park has been fantastic.
“By taking up this new arrangement, we are able to continue to put our facilities to community use, but also address some of the challenges it has brought to the match-day experience, and build our events profile.
“Our intention was use the Mayflower Grandstand 365 days a year, by extending the NHS agreement we can ensure that the venue is fully booked until March 2021, which is in line with our long-term goals.”
We are now taking bookings for our hospitality, conferencing and events spaces at Home Park Stadium for the final quarter of 2021 and beyond, and the calendar is filling up quickly.
If you are interested in holding your event at the Theatre of Greens, contact [email protected], or call 01752 302206 for more information.