Blackburn Rovers have today donated £4,000 to a number of local charities from the money raised from the club’s Christmas food box appeal.
The club – in partnership with Sodexo, Blackburn Rovers Community Trust and Blackburn with Darwen Council – raised over £16,000 during the festive period to help 600 households and over 900 local children have food on their table on Christmas Day.
Due to the amount of money raised, Rovers have been able to show further support to the local worthy causes who received a luxury food hamper as part of our 12 Days of Christmas initiative, as the club paid tribute to our community heroes, key workers and fantastic frontline staff for everything they have done over the past 12 months.
East Lancashire Hospice, Blackburn Foodbank, Age UK Blackburn with Darwen, Blackburn Samaritans, Nightsafe, The Fire Fighters Charity (on behalf of Blackburn Fire Station) and Pendle Brook Care Home, who have all played a key role in supporting the local community throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, have today received a share of £4,000, which will aid their continued efforts during these challenging circumstances.
Sheralee Turner-Birchall, of Blackburn Foodbank, said: “Blackburn Foodbank would like to thank Blackburn Rovers Football Club and Blackburn Rovers Community Trust for their ongoing support to the Foodbank and their donation of £500.
“The support and donation from the club ensures that we can continue to support people in crisis in Blackburn and Darwen, especially during these unprecedented times.
“Demand on our service is inevitably increasing as the impact of the pandemic deepens and it is wonderful to be able to help as many people as need our service. We will use the money to purchase items of food that we are in short supply of.”
Katie Elliott, of East Lancashire Hospice, added: “It costs £3.9m a year to run the Hospice, which equates to over £10,000 a day and as a charity, the Hospice relies on fundraising from both individuals and organisations in the local community.
“Every donation received helps to ensure that all of our patients at the Hospice are able to make the very most of life. By supporting East Lancashire Hospice, Blackburn Rovers are helping families get the support they need at the time they most need it, with all monies raised going directly towards the provision of patient care in the Hospice and in the local community.
“We are incredibly grateful to the club and would like to say a huge thank you on behalf of everyone here at the Hospice.”
Vicky Shepherd, of Age UK Blackburn with Darwen, said: “Age UK Blackburn with Darwen are delighted to receive £500 from Blackburn Rovers, which will be used to support our free Advice & Information Service, which supports over 3,000 older people each year.
“We were also grateful to receive the lovely Christmas gift hamper, which we were able to distribute amongst staff as an extra thank you for all their work during this challenging year. Working in partnership with the club has really made a difference to our work, particularly through the very popular Remember the Rovers, sessions supporting people living with dementia.
“We are grateful to the club, Community Trust and players for their support for our local charity at Christmas and throughout the year, and look forward to our continued partnership.”
Claire Rothwell, of Pendle Brook Care Home, added: “Thank you all so much for the donation of £500 from Blackburn Rovers players, which will be used to purchase a laptop for the activities department.
“This will allow us to connect to a large screen TV so that residents can enjoy speaking to their families on Zoom and also for us to use to connect to group activities on Zoom. We have increasingly come to depend on technology over the last 12 months, to allow video calls to take place between families, to host singers and entertainers, to take part in Zoom sessions such as ‘Remember the Rovers’ and ‘Joyful Noise’, both run by Age UK Blackburn with Darwen.
“A laptop will make a huge difference to Pendle Brook’s activity department and will make such a big difference to the residents. It will reduce the feelings of loneliness and isolation that residents are experiencing, as it will enable them to see and speak to their families on a large screen.”
Margaret Jepson, of Blackburn Samaritans, said: “I'd like to say a big thank you to Blackburn Rovers for the Christmas food hamper, which was enjoyed by one of our volunteers.
“The £500 is very welcome, as fundraising opportunities have been reduced to almost nil in the past year.
“We're currently working on a project where we'll be sending information packs and goodie bags into schools, which might help remind pupils, who are leaving school or going into secondary school, that we're here. Hopefully it will help bring the attention of younger people to our service, should they need it."
Blackburn Rovers is proud to offer its continued support in the fight against COVID-19 through a variety of important initiatives, such as the Christmas food box appeal, and will continue to raise awareness and support for those most vulnerable and in need during the current crisis through our #OneRoversTogether campaign.
The club is determined to play an active role in the bid to tackle child hunger in the local area and aims to support similar projects over the coming weeks and months to ensure that no family in the Borough goes without food.