West Ham players back council's Christmas Cheer campaign
- Credit: West Ham United
West Ham United players have taken time out from training to support Barking and Dagenham Council's Christmas Cheer campaign.
The club, through the West Ham United Foundation, is donating hundreds of toys to the council's appeal, which - among other elements - involves collecting gifts which will be distributed to those most in need.
Club captain Mark Noble joined fellow players Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice, as well as manager David Moyes, in handing over West Ham-themed goodie bags.
The support comes as the club marks the second anniversary of its Players Project initiative, which sees members of both the men's and women's squads focus on supporting a specific aspect of the community.
In addition to donating to the Christmas Cheer campaign, the Hammers are also giving toys to the Newham Christmas Toy Appeal - which is a partnership between the Post's sister paper the Newham Recorder and charity Ambition, Aspire, Achieve - and have made a financial contribution towards food banks.
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Noble said: “As players, we were more than happy to throw our support behind these vitally important campaigns.
"The efforts of the everyone during this challenging year have helped bring us even closer together as a team and lifted the spirits of everyone at the club.
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“Now we need to focus on tackling poverty which is a big issue locally, so that there is more equality out there for everyone, and I think the club’s increasing focus in that area will help us to do that.”
Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, added: “Mark Noble, and the whole of the West Ham United family have been friends of Barking and Dagenham for some time.
"Lots of our residents are fans, so to see their heroes take the time to support the local community, especially after a really difficult year, is a real boost for everyone.”
The Christmas Cheer campaign aims to support those who may need a bit of extra help during the festive season after what has been a challenging year, whether they are struggling with poverty, loneliness or another issue.
To make a donation towards the toy collection, visit gofundme.com/f/christmascheerLBBD