by Matthew Durrant · 15/01/2018
Shortly before this weekend’s set of fixtures, the club was contacted by West fan and volunteer Jim – known mainly by his online alias Barca Jim – with regards to accepting donations to Barakah Food Aid at both the men’s and women’s games. Barakah is a local charitable organisation that we have held collections before and we were very happy to be involved once again: thankfully, those in attendance at Brookburn Road on both Saturday and Sunday were also keen to help out too.
Despite the relatively small time to prepare, we were able to accept somewhere in the region of 40 bags of shopping, which will now be distributed to some of the most vulnerable members of our local community. Items included food (coffee, tinned vegetables, and rice were requested – and delivered by those able to offer a donation), along with toiletries and other essentials which will help tide over many families for the time being. While we understand that one off donation drives like this are short term fixes, they are sadly necessary. The Trussell Trust – a nationwide Food Bank organisation that the club has worked with in the past – released statistics last year that showed how demand for their services has grown over the past decade. Shown below, they illustrate how Food Banks have become a necessity for many: a sad state in a country that boasts the world’s 5th largest economy.
Our usual major drive for donations comes on the day of our annual Christmas Miracle game: this was sadly rained off at the end of last year. However, plans for an equivalent day (where a donation to a local organisation earns you a free drink at a game) are being put in place. In addition, we’ll hopefully being doing lots more one-off donations drives like the one that happened over the past weekend – if you have any suggestions, please contact us here: Contact Us.
Once again, we’d like to thank Jim for his suggestion, hard work in making it happen, and for taking the time to drive donations from the club to Barakah Food Aid once they had been collected. We’d also like to thank all those who brought down donations – however big or small – to contribute to those who need assistance at this difficult time of the year. That fans, volunteers and members of the teams donated items was especially heartening. Most importantly, we’d also like to thank Barakah Food Aid themselves for all the excellent work they do in our local community – you can find out more about them here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/BarakahFoodAid/about/?ref=page_internal
If you or someone you know is struggling to afford to eat, please get in touch with Barakah through the link above, or speak to another organisation that may be able to help: Reach Out to the Community, Chorlton & Didsbury Food Bank (Trussell Trust), and Citizens Advice Manchester are all vital resources that should be able to offer some guidance on the situation.
Thanks again to all got involved – and we hope to see you down at Brookburn Road again soon.
-Matthew Britton, West Didsbury & Chorlton committee member