Joint-Chairman backs Xmas homeless project

West Ham United Joint-Chairman David Sullivan is helping to spread Christmas cheer over the festive period by funding a special initiative run by the Hammers’ Foundation and homeless charity Crisis. 

Just as he did last year, Mr Sullivan is personally backing the cause which sees the West Ham United Foundation provide much-needed support to the homeless over the holidays. 

The week-long project, which began on Wednesday 23 December, saw Foundation coaches delivering fun football sessions, as well as supplying West Ham kit and match tickets for this afternoon’s meeting with Southampton.   

The project comes on the back of a tremendously successful first year, which began with over 200 guests turning out on the first day alone at the City Academy, Hackney.

The Crisis at Christmas initiative offers local homeless people some welcome respite over the holidays, with football, hot food and access to healthcare among the provisions on offer.

The Foundation football sessions have been running throughout the festive season and are to be concluded by a five-a-side tournament, where West Ham is to run the contest and provide kit to all participants.

Mr Sullivan said: “At this very special time of year, it is particularly important that we, as a community and a football club, reach out to those who are in need. 

“I know that our Academy Staff and players have already donated gifts to the Salvation Army for children who would otherwise not receive any, while our first teamers surprised youngsters at Richard House Children’s Hospice and Newham University Hospital last week. 

“We pride ourselves on being a community football club and so this is at the very heart of what we’re all about. Just as I did last year, I’m proud to again be supporting Crisis over the Christmas period and would like to thank our dedicated Foundation staff for all their hard work.”

Ian Richards, Head of Crisis at Christmas, was delighted with West Ham’s generous contribution to this year’s project.

“Crisis at Christmas is only made possible by the generosity of our donors, volunteers and partners. 

“We would like to thank David Sullivan and the West Ham United Foundation for their support both last year and this year in providing football training and match day tickets for our guests, as well as a financial donation. 

“Your support helps us provide a lifeline for homeless people this Christmas, and to take their first steps out of homelessness for good.’’

Additional funds have also been raised by Foundation staff through a bucket collection, and as a result of the Foundation’s partnership with Barclays Talent Match, the project has been assisted by Barclay’s Brentwood branch who have matched the collection pound for pound.

With rough sleeping and homelessness rising and seeing some 7,581 people sleeping rough on the streets of London during 2014/15, projects like Crisis at Christmas are vital in offering people a place to feel welcome over the holiday period. 

For further information on Crisis, the national charity for single homeless people, visit >