For six days of the week in one of the kitchens at the Riverside you could be excused for thinking football was returning to the stadium.

  Instead,the hive of activity is created by chefs,currently furloughed,who give up their time twice a week volunteering for Applebridge CL,the company working with MFC Foundation to provide 30,000 meals across Teesside over the course of the six-week-long school summer term.

  It’s isn’t just schoolchildren who are benefitting,these meals are reaching families,communities,those in greatest need.

  Just last week,the first full week of the initiative,3,760 meals were cooked,packaged and delivered by Applebridge and Foundation staff also volunteering their time.

  “We’ve been delighted to be able to help and touched by the number of people who have been in touch to say thank you,”says the Foundation’s Paul Shepherd,the man who pulled together a plan to make it happen.

  “There are so many people we need to thank,like Middlesbrough Council,but especially Applebridge.What they are doing,what we’re all doing,is making a big difference and that’s why we’re doing it.”

  The initiative is due to run until the last meal had been delivered on August 28.

  Our senior Academy age groups are back on the training pitches undertaking their first steps towards the new season…

  Our U18s and U23s have been following the same return to training protocol that the first team followed at the end of May as they start their countdown towards the new campaign.

  The players have been working in small groups and individually in line with the procedures laid down for a safe return to training.

  Mark Tinkler and James Marwood have been overseeing the U18s while Graeme Lee and Paul Crager have been keeping a watchful eye on the U23s,along with the Academy’s fitness and medical staff.