By Foundation Staff
As the old adage goes, “Charity begins at Home” and York City’s Foundation believe in that and are delighted to use their standing “In the Heart of the Community” to launch a Winter Campaign to make a difference in supporting those who are less fortunate and in difficult life situations right here in our City.
The campaign will involve numerous activities, levels of support, fundraising and awareness raising for the issues locally around food poverty, social isolation, financial disadvantage and homelessness or rough sleeping, and we will be working with a number of partners and other third sector organisations/charities to increase our impact within York.
The campaign starts with a call to action from fans and the wider community to support our collection for HOPING Street Kitchen, will encompass various initiatives in the run up to Christmas and will culminate in April 2024, with the return of CEO Sleepout here in York which raised over £30000 for local charities last time we were able to do this at Bootham Crescent pre-pandemic.
Who are HOPING and what do they do?
In 2016 the number of homeless people on our streets was rising and many were dying so HOPING was formed with a group of volunteers who desperately wanted to provide food, care and friendship. King’s Square became the hub, where volunteer cooks brought home-made hot meals to serve, alongside a HOPING foodbank. It was a twice weekly service which developed and became vital to the homeless community.
When Covid struck, the volunteers dug in and continued to provide an offer by serving hot home-cooked food into cartons for those housed in hotels to microwave, which worked well until it was possible to return to the street in late 2021.
For the past two years, HOPING have been able to help a growing number of homeless and destitute people by providing up to ten hot meal options with hot and cold desserts on a weekly basis, serving up to 80 diners on Sundays from 2.30 to 4pm. They also now offer hot and cold drinks, a Farmfoods foodbank, toiletries, petfood and thermal sleeping bags, hats, gloves and scarves. In addition, both on Sundays and mid-week, the volunteers also provide meals and grocery deliveries to people who can’t get out of the house and families struggling to feed their children.
Most importantly HOPING offers a homely welcome- both non-judgemental friendship and affection, and a listening ear which means they can try to give their beneficiaries a voice in the community and a bond of trust with people who may never have experienced the security that this instils.
HOPING has recently registered as a charity, and as an entirely volunteer run service, every penny donated goes to making a difference.
How can you help with the Winter collection?
From Saturday 18th to 24th November, the Foundation office and Vangarde Management office will be drop off points for fans to donate to, as well as the matchdays themselves. Full details for days and times to drop off are below, along with the kind of items that can be of value.
Drop off points:
Saturday 18th 1-3pm – Prematch Stand outside Turnstile 1-6
Sunday 19th or Monday to Friday 4.30pm+ – Vangarde Management office
Monday – Friday 9.30am – 4.30pm YCFC Foundation Office
Tuesday 21st 6.30-7.45pm – Prematch Stand outside Turnstile 1-6
Worn but good condition clothing ie coats, hats, scarves gloves, jumpers (no underwear, night clothes, bedding)
Non-persishable food items – tins, packets, boxes.
Cash – to the Prematch stand only
Paula Stainton, Foundation Manager, confirmed “We recognise that times are tough for many. We don’t want to ask our football family for money at a time so close to the upcoming festivities, but any and every donation of clothes or food, can make a huge difference to another family.
Being in the heart of our Community and being in a position to respond to local need is vital to us as a Charity. We are delighted to be able to host our Winter Campaign and to work alongside the Club on the upcoming matchdays and our wonderful fans to help for this first stage, and there is lots more to come spreading our usual festive cheer pre-Christmas.
Big thanks to our friends at Vangarde Shopping Park for their help as a donation site, and to everyone who feels able to contribute.”