Sheffield Wednesday supporters group pledges £20,000 to help struggling organisations
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Wednesdayite, which is the largest independent supporters group for Owls fans with about 800 members, has been reimbursed £19,800 in business rates from Sheffield City Council thanks to the help of Labour Councillor Robert Johnson, who represents Hillsborough, and Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment.
The refund was for a bill they were hit with for a Penistone Road car park they ran on matchdays, which was used by their members.
Paul Holmes, director and chair of the group, said: “That bill took a lot of our surplus funds and meant we couldn’t make the donations we wanted to around August last year, which is when we normally donate.”
Every year Wednesdayite gives more than £15,000 to different organisations, including Sheffield Wednesday Ladies, the Sheffield Wednesday Community Programme, and other charitable partners. They also sponsor some first team players.
Additionally, they run services for their members and the wider community, including free football coaching sessions for schools and an away day coach service.
Paul said: “The council scored an own goal and wanted to give our money back.
“It was down to the two councillors, they could see what we were and what we were trying to do.”
Now, with their coffers bolstered, the group want to help as many as 20 organisations with donations of up to £1000.
Handsworth FC were the first beneficiaries of Wednesdayite’s generosity.
A tweet from the club said: “An unbelievable gesture of kindness from @wednesdayite. We have suffered some vandalism over the lockdown period and their brilliant gesture really does help us secure the boundary fence on our facility.
“Thank you. A true community organisation.”
Paul said: “We just put that offer out there for any local charity groups who need a bit of help at this moment in time.
“We can help local organisations with a link to the Sheffield Wednesday community.”
Anyone applying must be able to demonstrate an Owls connection, which can be as small as having employees or members who support the club.