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PL clubs offer helping hand in tough times

23 Dec 2022
Senior Saints at Christmas

Find out how clubs provide support and comfort in their communities over the festive period

As winter draws in, Premier League clubs are working hard in their communities, offering support to people hit hard by the cost-of-living crisis at Christmas.

- Southampton's fundraising appeal
- Palace launch Warm Hub programme
- Old Trafford opens up for community
- Everton's Blue Base Pantry helping out on Merseyside

Southampton

The Saints Foundation is holding a Christmas fundraising appeal for its successful Senior Saints programme, which engages with more than 200 participants aged over 60.

The funds will help people like 72-year-old Chris, who lost her self-esteem when her teeth were removed several years ago.

"We're old-age pensioners and there are times where our money is a bit scarce, so to know that we don't have to come with money in our pockets is really good," Chris says. "I do feel so much more confident and accepted, and that's very important."

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Crystal Palace

The Eagles' charitable arm, the Palace For Life Foundation, has been providing over-65s in south London with weekly events at Palace's Selhurst Park stadium via its Warm Hub programme, which will continue until the end of February.

"We recognise many in the community may be concerned about rising food and energy costs, but hopefully these sessions will provide guests the chance to switch their heating off for a few hours and enjoy a warm, friendly atmosphere, some hot food, and the opportunity to socialise with others," said Palace chairman Steve Parish.

See: Palace offer weekly Warm Hub

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Manchester United

In a similar fashion, United's Old Trafford has opened its doors this month to those facing financial and isolation difficulties as part of the club's United By Your Side campaign.

The Red Cafe gives those in need a space to stay warm, chat, have a hot drink and snacks. There are also "talking benches" on the Old Trafford forecourt, which provide a welcoming place for people who may feel lonely or worried to sit and talk to others.

"We want people who are struggling to know that they are not alone, particularly in our local community," said United's Chief Operating Officer, Collette Roche. "We want to make Old Trafford a second home by providing winter accessories, company, warmth and food for those who need it."

See: Old Trafford opens up for community

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Everton

On Merseyside, Everton in the Community (EitC) are providing people living in the local area with access to discounted food as well as further support as part of their Blue Base Pantry.

In its first six months, it has helped out 8,000 participants.

"The area surrounding Goodison Park is one of the most socially deprived wards in the UK and we have a duty of care to our community to help them equip them with essential tools to deal with the cost-of-living crisis and the amplified needs that have arisen as a result of the pandemic," said EitC senior programme manager Adam Howard.

See: Blue Base Pantry - six months on

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Also in this series

Part 2: Premier League clubs show support during festive period
Part 3: Clubs at Christmas: Hospital visits bring festive cheer

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