We’re pleased to announce our players and backroom staff have donated a sizeable sum of money towards ‘Off The Streets’, a charity who have worked closely with the Shrimpers Trust this year and before.
The charity’s Christmas campaign will involve putting rough sleepers in accommodation through the coldest months of the year and working intensely with them to help find permanent housing in the future.
The players were keen to show their support in the community this Christmas and at what is a difficult time for most.
The current restrictions in place hasn’t made this easy but seeing the campaign “Off The Streets” are leading, with backing from the Shrimpers Trust, this was a very worthwhile cause they wanted to support which will help change people’s lives.
Manager Mark Molesley praised his players and explained it was the least they could do.
“It’s really tough out there at the moment with the Covid restrictions which meant we couldn’t get out into our community as we would’ve liked.
“We know what a large part we play in our community and how much the community play a large part in helping us. Christmas is always a time for giving and as a group we got together and really wanted to do something.
“The lads raised a lot of money and we didn’t have to go chasing them, they dug deep and wanted to do something special so we’ve decided to support the “Off The Streets” charity which the Shrimpers Trust have done a wonderful job with too.
“We’ve raised some money and that will go towards putting a roof over people’s heads and give them a hot meal which is so important.
“We wish we could be out active in our community, but Covid’s putting paid to that so we felt this was probably the best we could do at the moment under current restrictions.
“I’m pleased with the lads’ attitude that they wanted to go and do it and that shows the mentality and togetherness of the group.”
Paul FitzGerald from The Shrimpers Trust said: “We have been delighted with the response to our appeal on behalf of "Off The Streets".
“The previous year's food drops had gone well and clearly captured the imagination of Southend United fans but I'm delighted that we've been able to move to a different level this year.
“In these horrible times it is heart-warming to see the work that "Off The Streets" do in the community and I am delighted that we have been able to help with their appeal and particularly proud of Mark and his team for getting involved.”
Kirsty Fields, founder of the “Off The Streets” shelter, said the money is really going to help them deliver their Christmas campaign.
“We’re delighted to have the team supporting us, helping us to create safer futures for people that are in need and securing a safe space.
“It’s more than just accommodation, it’s actually giving them a purpose and making them feel like they’re worth something.
“For us it’s a shelter but to our guests it’s their home because it’s where their safe space is."
Blues defender John White added: “It’s our opportunity to give back and we’d like to support our local community like we are supported by them. Anything that we can do to help is hopefully going to be a big bonus.
“At this time of the year it’s about giving and if we can give back something to the community, it’s a privilege for us to be able to do that.
“The boys have stuck their hands in their pockets and we’re glad to see it go to the Off The Streets charity.”
Product of the Blues Academy, Elvis Bwomono, was also only too happy to help.
“It’s the least we can do, helping the community with all the help they do for us.
“As a club you always think you can do more and we always want to do more for the community and this is a touching charity. It’s reaching people who don’t have access to a home and roof over their head.
“I know churches usually open up but due to Covid they can’t.
“You can’t always help everyone, but you help who you can and to know that we’re funding for people to have a room to sleep in over Christmas is nice.”