York City FC Foundation & City Cruises Recreate Christmas Magic

Following the success of last year’s partnership, YCFC Foundation and City Cruises linked up again to purchase a pallet of over 150 presents which were donated to the City of York Council’s Community hubs last week to be distributed to families in need of support this Xmas.

In addition, the annual player’s visit to York Hospital was renewed for the first time since the pandemic, with members of the first-team squad visiting children spending time in hospital over the Christmas period, handing out goody bags and raising spirits in the wards.

The pandemic and ongoing cost of living crisis has hit the city’s economic activity and continues to affect low-income households with the pressure on families only increasing.

The Foundation has been offering free holiday activity places this week as part of the government’s Holiday Activity and Food programme, and provided over 200 advent calendars to many young people and a number of local charitable organisations including The Island, IDAS and Refugee Action York as well this festive season.

YCFC Foundation Manager, Paula Stainton, commented on the Foundation’s donations:

“Christmas should be a magical time for all families, not a cause for extra stress for those families who are having to make the difficult decisions between heating and presents for example. We are delighted to have been able to offer such a large donation of toys again this year thanks to the support of City Cruises, and know they will make a huge difference to some families and bring a lot of smiles to the faces of children in our home city who may not otherwise receive presents this Christmas.

In addition, to the toy donation, we were also delighted to resurrect our visit to the Children’s Ward at York District Hospital. We’ve continued to deliver gift bags, but haven’t been able to take the York City players into the Ward since prior to the pandemic, so it was great to be able to visit again this year.”

On behalf of City Cruises, lifelong York City fan Jo Dykes said, “We really appreciate the amazing work York City FC Foundation do for families and the community in York. We’ve been running Santa & Festive Experiences for 20+ years at City Cruises and the delight it brings to young children is our motivation to keep it going year after year.”

“Sadly, some families can’t afford to see Santa. We don’t believe any child should miss out on the joy of Christmas which is why we’re delighted to support the fantastic work the Foundation as they provide gifts across the Community Hubs and York Hospital this Christmas!”