West Ham captain Mark Noble organises £10,000 donation of sleeping bags and coats for the homeless
PUBLISHED: 16:00 20 December 2018
West Ham United captain, Mark Noble, organised the donation of £10,000 of sleeping bags, hand warmers and coats for the homeless.
Together with the head of Studio 3 Arts, Liza Vallance, today (Thursday) the midfielder oversaw 17 boxes of goods going to those in need in Barking and Dagenham.
The gifts were donated by adventure equipment company Highlander.
“The way it started, I was having a bit of lunch in the Boathouse in Barking,” the footballer said.
“I bumped into Liza and she was telling me about all the stuff she was doing in the community.
“I do a column every week in The Evening Standard, and I said for that week, my fee for the column was going to be put towards helping her.
“When I met Liza and she told me what she was doing, I thought it was the perfect opportunity.”
Some of the goods will be given out at Studio 3 Arts, where Liza is cooking a meal for 50 homeless and vulnerable on Christmas Day. The rest will be given to Barking and Dagenham CVS and Community Solutions, an organisation which works to end homelessness.
“What I found most important was that it’s easy to say I get paid by the Evening Standard and I could just give that straight to a charity, but you don’t know where it goes and who it goes to,” Mark added.
“Buying the equipment for the homeless, you can see where it goes. It’s shocking how many homeless people there are in this country now and something needs to be done.”
To see the donation before it was distributed, Mark and Liza were joined by council leader, Darren Rodwell, Hammers mega-fan, Neil Crowley, and Terry Miller, from Individual Living Agencies, who’ll be distributing the goods.
“Donations like this are so important,” councillor Rodwell said.
“It goes back to Charles Dickens. If the story of the Christmas Carol can’t grab the meaning of humanity among us all, then when can it grab us?
“At Christmas we all make merry but there are people that will suffer and have to worry about where the next meal is coming from.
“If a football player can give a donation that serves a chairty in the borough that does excellent work in the most vulnerable situations, that seriously is what we’re all here to do, and that’s why Christmas is such an important time.”