The scheme, which was activated by Vice-Chairman Karren Brady at London Stadium on Wednesday, will see every member of the Hammers’ men’s and women’s team play their part in one of eleven strands of the club’s wide-ranging community work.
For Newham native Noble, that means joining the fight against poverty and holiday hunger that is unfortunately more prevalent in east London than anywhere else in the capital.
In both Newham and Tower Hamlets, nearly two in five residents are living below the poverty line, while Newham is home to the highest proportion of low-income employees of any London Borough.
One of the effects of this poverty is that thousands of children from across east London are eligible for free school meals.
However, when schools are on holiday, those meals are not available, which is where The Players’ Project and West Ham United Foundation’s Holiday Hunger programme comes in, providing free three-day multi-sport and health-based sessions for 5-11 years olds whose families are eligible for free school meals, tax credits, Jobseeker’s Allowance or any other kind of benefit.
It’s a case of feeding the kids who would normally go without in the summer holidays and all the other holidays, and that’s what we’re trying to do
“The Players’ Project is just something the Club has come up with to help the local community, really,” said the skipper. “There’s a lot of trouble with poverty, especially in children, because when the kids are in school they obviously get the free meals and they’re able to eat.
“But when they’re on holiday and school is gone, those free meals aren’t available, so it’s a case of feeding the kids who would normally go without in the summer holidays and all the other holidays, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
As a lifelong Hammer, Noble is acutely aware of the huge power for good in east London that West Ham United is.
And, as ambassadors for the club, the captain says The Players’ Project will only serve to strengthen the bond between the Irons and the community.
In turn, Noble hopes the scheme’s focus on battling poverty and holiday hunger will improve the lives of those children who benefit from it.
“What seems to be happening is that, if they haven’t got the food or the income or money from their parents to get food, then they’re going to just try and take it most of the time and that’s not right and not what we want.
“That’s why schemes like this are fantastic. It’s great.”