Bristol City have played 23 away games in 2021 and are one of the first sports clubs in the area to start giving consistent donations to charities after continuing their foodbank support scheme. The Robins have been giving leftover food from away match hotels to local charities all over the country since the Coronavirus pandemic started in 2020.
Organised by Operations Manager Matt Parsons, the scheme was created to reduce the amount of food waste from away games for the club, with all hot food remains being packaged and sent to local hostels. After nine away games already this season, with three more before Christmas, Parsons’ idea has already helped 22 shelters since January, bringing unexplainable value to the charities and the people that it provides food to.
One of the non-profit organisations that have benefited is the Coventry city centre Salvation Army. With the capability to hold 80 residents, Captain Martyn Evans, the Chaplain, admitted just how valuable this contribution is to the charity and its residents:
“We work solely from donations, but we have relied heavily on ones from the public. Because we knew what this donation from Bristol City was, it went out literally within 10 or 15 minutes of it coming.
“It was just a case of making sure we’re prepared, making sure we’ve got plates and stuff so it’s not breaking up and to then distribute it to our residents.
“All of the guys and girls enjoyed it so yes, it was really good.”
Although Wasps Rugby Football Club have been regular donators to this specific charity, these are the only two sports teams that donate to Evans’ hostel. Even though the Robins Foundation at Bristol City already offers committed post-16 and higher education courses, fitness projects working to improve male and female fitness, and inclusive access to football for disabled children and adults, there is a severe lack of support towards homeless people from sports clubs nationally.
City are making the necessary strides to provide more for those in need ahead of winter which is the toughest time of all for those who are homeless.