'It's made them feel valued and worthwhile': Charity thanks Bristol City for generous donation ahead of Sheffield United FA Cup match
A generous donation from Bristol City ahead of their FA Cup match against Sheffield United last night has reminded young homeless people they are not forgotten, a charity boss has said.
Staff from the Championship club visited Roundabout Sheffield on Tuesday and Wednesday to drop off dozens of hot meals for 27 residents at their hostel near London Road.
The charity, which supports 250 people aged 16 to 25 every day who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness, was recommended by the Blades, who won the tie 1-0 to reach the Quarter Final.
Caitlin Hodgkinson from Roundabout said: “It was lovely because there are so many different food banks and there are lots of amazing homeless charities in Sheffield that are all doing fantastic work so it was really nice that Sheffield United had thought of us.
“It’s something that a lot of us take for granted but having so many hot meals that just need to be heated up, it’s great.”
The gesture was organised by Bristol City’s head of player logistics, Matt Parsons, and the club’s head of fitness and conditioning, Patrick Orme.
Caitlin said: “It makes a massive difference. It’s difficult right now anyway, all of the young people in the hostel are trying to self-isolate and stay safe.
“Having a football team come to your project and give you food, which is something you may not be able to afford yourself, is a huge thing and it’s really lifting and motivating.”
She added: “In the past when we have had donations like this it’s really meant a lot to them, it’s made them feel valued and worthwhile.”
A Robins spokesperson said the club regularly donates spare food to charities in other cities when they travel away.
Ben Keegan, chief executive of Roundabout Sheffield, said: “The gift has lifted spirits at a very difficult time for our young people and on their behalf I would like to say a massive thank you to Bristol City from everybody at Roundabout.
“This donation tells them that they are not forgotten and that there are people who care about them.”
“It’s something we’ve been doing at away games this season,” said Dave Barton, Bristol City’s head of communications.
“We are very fortunate to be able to be playing football at a difficult time for everyone and this is just a small offering from us to the communities that we visit as a team.
“The food is left over from the players’ evening or lunchtime meal and we package it up and take to a local charity – it could be a homeless shelter, a women’s refuge or a soup kitchen.
“Bristol City Robins Foundation make weekly food deliveries from Ashton Gate to families across the South Bristol area and this is an extension of that ‘on the road’ as it were.
“We now have a list of charities in different areas of the county and would be happy to share with other clubs who are interested in doing something similar when they are on away trips.”