Tony: “I can’t believe how much my life has turned around. The support of friends I have met through Extra Time Hubs has been vital.”

As part of our Extra Time Hubs launch this week, we’re highlighting the story of one particular person who has found a new lease of life through the programme…

Tony, who is retired and found himself very lonely after going through a divorce late in life, credits Derby County Community Trust’s programmes, including EFL Trust Extra Time Hubs, for turning his life around.

After a period of what he describes as ‘lonely depression’, Tony realised he needed to change something and as a lifelong Derby County supporter, the work of Derby County Community Trust really appealed to him.

He joined the Rams’ EFL Trust Extra Time Hubs as a volunteer and thanks to the programme, now finds life more fulfilling, has made many new friends and has something to look forward to every week.

He said: “I had retired from a very fulfilling job in education. I thought my life would involve normal things that retirement brings: family, friends, holidays and plenty of time in the garden.

“However, things didn’t work out as I anticipated. A sudden, and to me, unexpected relationship breakdown turned my life upside down and I found myself living alone feeling quite bereft from the retirement I anticipated.

“After a period of what can only be described as lonely depression, I realised I needed to do something.

“I now volunteer at Derby County Community Trust’s Extra Time Hub, where we bring people together in a comfortable, welcoming environment with the goal of helping people improve their health and wellbeing.

“And that is precisely what my involvement with Derby County Community Trust has done for me.

“My life is now full of activity and I now have more friends than I have ever had before.

“We meet socially at the EFL Trust Extra Time Hub, have meals out and organise many other social events.

“The support and camaraderie of the friends I have met through the Hubs has been vitally important in giving me back my self-esteem and confidence. I can’t believe how much my life has turned around.”

Studies show that 42% of those over the age of 55 are inactive and would like opportunities to meet peers to feel less isolated, live well and do things they enjoy.

Funded with the support of Sport England’s Active Aging fund from the National Lottery, the EFL Trust Extra Time Hubs programme will initially be delivered by 12 EFL Clubs across the country, harnessing the power of football in local communities to bring people together. All 12 Clubs will hold launch events at their respective grounds throughout the week.

To find out more, follow the hashtag: #ExtraTimeHubs or visit