Striker Louis Moult has urged the community to get behind the PNE Donation Centre prior to this weekend’s game against Millwall with the cause coming close to his heart in more ways than one.
Fresh from his winner against Nottingham Forest last weekend, Moult spent an afternoon at the Foxton Centre this week, a cause which works with those who face problems with poverty, addiction and mental health.
The centre is one of two charities that North End are collecting items for this year alongside Rock FM’s Cash for Kids, and the 26-year-old spoke about the impact people’s donations can have.
“However small or large your contribution, it’s important that we try and help others,” said Moult at the Foxton Centre which celebrated their 50thAnniversary recently.
“We’re very lucky to be in the situations that we are in and to have a roof over our heads for one - and to be fit and healthy so if we can help in any kind of way it’s massively appreciated.”
North End has been open to donations all week up until this Saturday’s game against Millwall, and is encouraging members of the public to donate the following items before the game:
- Non-perishable foods, (items that require a minimum of preparation/cooking, food tins etc)
- Toiletries (such as razors, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, flannels, towels, combs and brushes – no sanitary products.)
- Clothing – particularly warm and waterproof outer garments, gloves, scarves, hats, new underwear and socks.
- Gifts for children (we ask that they are new and unwrapped)
- Washing powder
Ahead of Saturday’s game against Millwall where fans can drop off items before the game at the community offices behind the Alan Kelly Town End, Moult spoke to PNE.Com on a subject which he knows all too well after losing his mother in tragic circumstances at the age of just 15.
“These kinds of places are close to my heart” Moult added. “I’ve seen people suffer with these issues.
“My mum was an alcoholic and was just 43 when she died which is such a young age and it’s a horrible thing to go through.
“That’s why I want to help people in similar situations and people that were in my situation that have been left with not knowing where they’re going to go in life. I was 15 at the time and I had a couple of dark years but always tried to stay positive and I was lucky I had people around me who helped me.
“Everything I do, I do it for my mum, my dad, my brother and now, my wife and my kids who mean so much to me and It’s made me the person I am today.
“I had to grow up fast; people say you’re the most mature 26-year-old I’ve ever met, but that may be because I’ve had to go through that hardship. Time’s a healer and talking about it has helped me and if me talking about it helps other people, I’m more than willing to do that.”
Moult visited the Foxton Centre armed with selection boxes that had been donated by local company HGS and PNE hats, and took time out of his schedule to play pool and table tennis before making everybody a cup of tea and coffee!
“Some people haven’t got family and that’s what this place does remarkably well,” added Moult on the type of atmosphere at the Foxton Centre.
“It’s almost become like a family here; they welcome everybody in and if they’re doing what they should be and they’re on track then I am led to believe that they become part of this family.”
One individual who was able to meet the North End striker was Laura, who spoke of hardship stories of her own.
“I was homeless and I had pneumonia, but then the Foxton Centre helped me so much,” she said. “If it wasn’t for them, I’d still be out on the street. I get food parcels, I get clothes, toiletries and it helps so much.”
Louis is also more than aware of the issue of homelessness in communities; his uncle has also endured nights on the streets as he too battled with alcoholism.
“My dad’s brother - my uncle was homeless which again was down to alcohol.
“We managed to get him on the straight and narrow but then he went off the rails again and lived on the streets for about a year and a half.
“Fortunately, he was able to fall back on to a similar set up like this and got back on his feet again and was able to get back into accommodation and is now a bit more happier as a result.”