Preston North End Community and Education Trust is launching a Festive Hampers campaign to support those most in need over the Christmas period.
The initiative is being delivered in partnership with the club, who will be making a donation to support the campaign, while the general public are also being invited to donate to assist with the running of the campaign via the Trust’s JustGiving page.
The Christmas initiative will be supporting people who are experiencing issues such as loneliness, social isolation or poor mental health as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Hampers will also be delivered to anyone in financial hardship, living as a single parent, registered carer or in temporary accommodation, as well as anyone who is currently homeless, disabled or a refugee or asylum seeker.
The Trust will be working in partnership with schools and other community organisations to identify vulnerable individuals and families who would benefit from receiving a hamper.
There is also a referral process open, meaning members of the public can nominate someone they know who is in need of receiving a Festive Hamper.
The Christmas campaign follows the PNECET Helping Hampers initiative that delivered essential goods to the most vulnerable earlier this year, and the Festive Hampers will have the continued inclusion of essential goods and mental health resources, while being accompanied by seasonal items such as ready-made Christmas dinners and mince pies.
Christmas cards designed and written by primary school children from schools across Preston will provide festive messages of hope for recipients, while reading materials such as the club’s official matchday programmes will also be included in the hampers.
There are a number of local partners supporting the initiative, with boxes provided by the Cardboard Box Company, while essential goods are being donated by local supermarkets Morrisons Riversway, Aldi Deepdale and JTF Warehouse, waste management firm Biffa Preston, and baking firm Warburtons.
Alongside PNECET and Preston North End club staff, PC Paul Elliott, football officer for Preston North End, is assisting with deliveries, which will take place from 1st December in the lead-up to Christmas Day.
Community staff will also be supporting the initiative with a ’12 Days of Fitmas’ physical activity challenge, where participants will be invited to join in from home with daily challenges and encouraged to obtain sponsors in aid of the Festive Hampers initiative.
Head of community Tom Drake said: “Following on from the success of the PNECET Helping Hampers initiative and recognising that Christmas time can present many difficulties for families – regardless of the pandemic we find ourselves in – we are determined to again provide for those most in need in our community in these challenging times.
“Our hampers delivered earlier in the year contained essential goods and materials to support individuals’ mental health, and the Festive Hampers will again continue in a similar vein, but to mark the Christmas season we’re excited to be including a number of other festive items.
“We hope that the provision of ready-made Christmas dinners, mince pies and Christmas cards designed by primary school children will allow those in financial difficulty or experiencing loneliness and social isolation to enjoy the Christmas season while feeling connected with the local community.
“We are again delighted to be working in partnership with the club, who are providing financial, resourcing and staffing support, as well as a number of local partners – all of whom are coming together to show the value of community, particularly at Christmas time.
“We are also seeking donations from the general public to assist with the running of this initiative, no matter how great or small the amount, and we’d be grateful for any support that is forthcoming.”
As well as donating, there are a number of other ways that members of the public and local business can get involved in the Festive Hampers initiative.
To donate items for inclusion in the hampers, offer support from your business, volunteer your time to pack and deliver hampers, or to offer or any other form of support for the initiative, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you can donate to support this initiative, please click here.