Following the launch of the EFL’s ‘Together – Supporting Communities’ initiative last week, we wanted to update supporters about the projects that Grimsby Town Football Club, in conjunction with Grimsby Town Sports and Education Trust (GTSET), are currently facilitating to assist during the cost-of-living crisis.
We have all seen and read in the media about people having to make the difficult decision to “heat or eat” due to the rising cost of living. A football club assumes an important role within a community and, as a collective, along with the Mariners Trust, we want to help those who need it most during what will be a challenging winter.
This is what we are currently doing to support our local community during these tough times:
We open up Blundell Park once a week for a couple of hours to offer a warm room, hot meal and drinks, to families within walking distance of the stadium. The children can do homework, play board games, colour, read and write with GTSET staff whilst parents can join in or socialise with other adults. There are limited spaces available on a first come, first served basis.
The Community Partnership Fund
We have launched the Community Partnership Fund so like-minded local businesses can come together to help families and individuals from the most deprived areas of our community to discover a love for their local team. The initiative has already helped people in our town to attend games and even receive hats, scarves and gloves from the Club Shop. Also, the Community Partnership Fund purchased a pallet of Lindt advent calendars from HisChurch and they have been distributed to charities around the town.
Back in October our generous fans donated over 150 winter coats. The coats were collected as part of the coat donation appeal and were distributed into the community to organisations who work with those people most in need.
Christmas Food and Toy Appeal
The GTSET and the Mariners Trust Christmas 2022 appeal is still open for donations of toys, food and pet food for the Ark Animal Rescue Centre. Items can be left at the club offices during our normal opening hours, (10am – 4pm, Monday to Friday), in the Mariners Trust Bar on Thursday 8th (4 – 6pm) or Sunday (10am – 12pm) and there will also be drop off stations on each of the turnstiles and in the Fan Zone this Saturday. Also in the Fan Zone tomorrow is a tree with tags for supporters to add message on for £2 per go – all proceeds will go to the Christmas Food and Toy Appeal.
NSPCC Free Ticket Project
The Mariners Trust have facilitated a ticket exchange project with the NSPCC which allows young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to the opportunity to watch games at Blundell Park for free. The project called ‘We Are Town: Fan’mly’ is funded by the generous donations made by supporters to subsidise the cost of tickets and travel to London for the play-off Final in June. To find out more about the project including how to apply or nominate someone for tickets, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject header ‘Tickets’, or phone 01472 803500.
Free Premier League Kicks Sessions
GTSET continue to deliver free football sessions every night of the week in deprived areas of the town, using football to help reduce crime and improve engagement with secondary school aged young people.
Free Football Sessions
Throughout the Summer, GTSET delivered free football sessions on two of the town’s parks for children of any age. These will restart again when the clocks change in Spring 2023. Over the Winter months, free indoor football sessions take place twice a week at the Shalom Youth Centre.
Free Holiday and Food Activities (HAF)
GTSET’s ‘HAF’ provision has continued throughout 2022 and it will be delivered over this Christmas period as well. It offers children in receipt of free school meals the opportunity to do activities with GTSET staff and have food during school holidays.
As a football club we talk a lot about being ‘Greater Together’, and at times of crisis, communities need to come together to help those most in need.
Whatever we do will never be enough, but we hope these initiatives go some way to supporting people in our community this winter.
If you have any other suggestions of what we can do to respond to the cost-of-living crisis, please email email@example.com.
We Are Greater Together.