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Thursday 22 December 2011

Walters spreads Stoke's Christmas spirit

Striker 'plays Santa' as part of Potters scheme to help local residents during festive period

Ken Downs was among those to receive a visit from Stoke's Jonathan Walters

Stoke City striker Jonathan Walters has tried his hand at playing Santa for the benefit of local residents.

Republic of Ireland international Walters, 28, took part in a big operation to distribute special Rescue Packs for people in the Bentilee area of Stoke-on-Trent.

Walters joined volunteers in packing up bags of essential food and household items at Sainsburys in Stoke-on-Trent before heading up to the Bentilee Neighbourhood Centre to assist with handing out the packs to many local residents.

It was part of a week of voluntary work organised by Stoke in conjunction with Stoke-on-Trent College and Stoke-on-Trent Challenge with the aim of making a difference to the lives of less fortunate people at this time of year.

"This programme will give the club an opportunity to make Christmas a much happier occasion for many."
- Adrian Hurst

Other events included bag packing at Sainsburys to raise money for the club’s Community Fund and the red and white Santa Dash at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday 17th December.

But the focus of attention will initially be on the distribution of the Rescue Packs, which were organised with help from Sainsburys and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue.

"Christmas is a time for giving and this programme of voluntary work will give the Football Club an opportunity to make it a much happier occasion for many people within the local community," explained City’s Head of Community Adrian Hurst.

"We could not have organised this event, or indeed others this week, without the tremendous support we have received and I would like to express our gratitude to Sainsburys, Stoke-on-Trent College and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue."

He added: "The enthusiasm and commitment shown by them and indeed the volunteers will bring some welcome cheer to many local people."

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Key Points

  • Stoke scheme aims to help local people at Christmas
  • Walters helped distribute Rescue Packs to locals
  • Club working with other local agencies for benefit of residents