Ramsgate Emerald Celtic Supporters Club’s gift to the Thanet Winter Shelter

Carl Whitewood and Julie from the Salvation Army receiving a donation Photo Natasha Bizarra

Every year since 2012 the Ramsgate Emerald Celtic Supporters Club begins its Christmas Food Bank Appeal in late October. They co-ordinate with the Saint Vincent DePaul, which distributes the food, gifts and monetary donations throughout Thanet in early December.

Jim Mc Garry, President of the Club, said: “It is important to all our members, family and friends to remember the ethos of Celtic FC, especially at this time of year. Celtic FC was founded in the East End of Glasgow to help the poor and destitute immigrant community who lived in poverty to help provide food, work and lodging.

“Our supporters club, and many others like it, collect for many charitable causes throughout the year. Our CSC select a ‘charity of choice’ each year at our AGM and over that year/season, we host quiz nights, functions, sell scratch cards and raffles to raise as much as  we can for the chosen charity.

Food Bank Appeal

“We began the Food Bank Appeal a few years ago and it gains support year on year from friends, family, patrons of the Elephant and Castle pub and locals. This year we are delighted to be able to make a cash donation to the Thanet Winter Shelters Appeal.

“They do an amazing job looking after those who have no-one else to turn to. We all know what a special time of year this is – so we are happy to contribute to their efforts and activities.

“Local community activist Raushan Ara was able to arrange the meeting for us, so we’d  like to thank her for arranging the time to catch up with Carl and Julie at the Salvation Army, and our thanks to them for meeting with me.”

The Thanet Winter Shelter operates across seven church halls in Ramsgate and Margate between December 1 and February 28. The aim is to provide shelter, food, company and rough sleepers off the streets during the harsh winter months.

As well as providing bed, clothes and food, a key aim is to better equip some of the district’s most vulnerable people to help them secure and retain longer-term accommodation There is also help with training and employment.

The Winter Shelter is again to run alongside Glo Gen’s Aspire Homelessness programme and the homeless charity, Porchlight. The co-ordinated response means that individuals won’t simply leave after breakfast as they are provided with practical help throughout the day. Guests can access support, including training and skills, from one place, helping them to make the difficult move from homelessness to rehabilitation back into the community.

The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers who can offer a few hours of their time at the shelter.

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Read here: Meet the volunteers at this year’s Thanet Winter Shelter scheme