Bolton Wanderers' Under-18s made the short journey to Urban Outreach's Restore Centre on Thursday afternoon to lend a hand in the organisation of their food bank festivities.
A nine-strong group of first year scholars were in attendance, consisting of Adam Senior, Matthew Alexander, D'Neal Richards, Callum King-Harmes, Kwame Osigwe, Demarlio Sterling, Myles Edmondson, Joe White and Sonny Graham.
And upon their arrival at Urban Outreach's Restore Centre on Pool Street in the town centre, the teens were set to work by Samuel Bagley, Food Team Project Coordinator for the charity.
Firstly unloading over 1,300 packets of sausages and storing them in the centre's various fridges, the scholars were then asked to distribute their personal food donations into specific containers which will be donated to families in need.
They were then shown exactly what families receive when they come to use Urban Outreach's foodbank and helped to make up numerous bags that will be distributed over the festive period.
Offering a brief overview of Urban Outreach meanwhile, Bagley said: "We provide food for between 150 and 180 families a week at our food bank sites across Bolton.
"We also run a homeless cafe that will open at weekends between January and March and will cook around 2,500 meals.
"On Christmas Eve, we will be sending out 1,300 'Christmas Dinner on Jesus' hampers to individuals and families whose Christmas wouldn't be the same this year otherwise.
"The 1,300 hampers will provide around 4,500 people with a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.
"We really appreciate the support and help from the players today - their efforts will play their part in all of the above and making sure that more people across the town can have an enjoyable Christmas, regardless of their circumstances."
Midfielder Sonny Graham also offered his thoughts following the visit, adding: "It's been really enjoyable coming down here with the lads today to lend a hand.
"We know that we're very lucky to be able to do what we do and being able to give something back to the town and community is really important."
About Urban Outreach
Founded by Dave and Chris Bagley from their attic in 1990, the charity began by providing short term care for troubled young people.
It then responded to the street homeless concern in Bolton in the late 1990s by launching an overnight winter cafe called Winter Watch.
This provided hot food and shelter. As Winter Watch also became a place of safety for street sex workers, the charity developed its outreach support to both rough sleepers and prostitutes, establishing an office base in the red light district of Bolton.
As many of the men and women being supported had an offending history and had been child runaways, the charity expanded to support men leaving prison, children missing from home and then female offenders.
In more recent years, the charity has developed its work in health and complex needs, troubled families and food poverty.
Today, they deliver a range of commissioned and grant funded work in four main areas:
- Offender Support
- Health and Homelessness
- Children and Families
- Food and Cold Weather Provision
They believe they can pull people together and make things happen and have an established track record delivering excellent outcomes.
Urban Outreach are supported by over 250 volunteers in the areas of food handling and sorting, foodbank and winter café volunteers, and their support is growing among local businesses.
For more information on Urban Outreach, please visit www.urbanoutreach.co.uk.