Preston North End’s PFA Community Champion Louis Moult has been praised for his involvement in the Big PNE Sleep Out campaign after being named as the club’s PFA Community Champion for the 2019/20 season.
Moult was an advocate for the event which raised more than £90,000 for the Foxton Centre to buy a house for the use of homeless people in the city, with funds raised by more than 300 people sleeping rough on the Deepdale concourse last November.
The North End No.9 had previously visited the Foxton, which works with vulnerable young people in Preston dealing with issues such as homelessness, alcoholism and addiction, well before the Sleep Out.
Moult championed the event on social media, meaning the Big PNE Sleep Out’s initial fundraising target of £50,000 was comfortably exceeded, and made an appearance at the Sleep Out on the night itself despite his injury.
Head of Community Tom Drake said of Louis’ contribution: “We chose Louis as our PFA Community Champion because of the role he played in the Big PNE Sleep Out, he was vital in what was a really successful event.
“Louis was able to use his own personal journey and story to really influence people to get involved in what was a really successful event which raised over £90,000. At the beginning, we all agreed that that was near impossible, but the community really came together and Louis was key in that.
“Louis’ journey with the Foxton Centre goes back to around Christmas 2018 where he visited some of the clients and he took the time to serve them tea, coffee and some lunch.
“He then went around and talked to all the clients and spent a good couple of hours there. From that, it’s really hit home about homelessness still being a massive issue across Preston and he’s really used that to inspire the community to come together.”
Louis involvement in the campaign has extended well beyond that, though. A month after the Sleep Out, the striker visited EFL House in Preston, where a Christmas dinner was provided for the Foxton’s service users, again mingling with clients and presenting a cheque to the Foxton which was then valued at £80,000.
And as a follow-up event inkeeping with lockdown restrictions incurred by the Coronavirus pandemic earlier in the year, Louis bedded down on the floor at home to stand in solidarity with homeless people and raise awareness of homelessness, which also helped to raise further funds for the Foxton cause.
Tom added: “It didn’t just start with the Sleep Out, he carried on and did the Big PNE Sleep In, which raised another £5,000 for the Foxton Centre.
“Louis presented the cheque which at the time was for around £80,000 and the money has still continued to come in after that. What was key on that day was Louis influencing some of the younger players coming through and shared the story and inspired them to get involved in community initiatives.”
The striker’s contribution to community programmes last season went well beyond his involvement in the Big PNE Sleep Out campaign. Louis also made time to visit ill supporters during their time of need, recognised other deserving fans as part of the club’s Whites Christmas campaign, and joined the Junior Whites matchday club for an exclusive Q&A session.
Congratulations to Louis from everyone at the club on winning our PFA Community Champion award!