Brother Walfrid’s London legacy continues as Sleep Out returns to St Anne’s

On Friday night, Celtic FC Foundation returned to St Anne’s Primary School and Church in Whitechapel, London for our third Sleep Out of this year’s Christmas Appeal, following the success of events in Ballymote, Co Sligo and at Celtic Park back in November.

Having previously hosted the London event in 2017, 2018 and 2019, it was put on hold in 2020 due to the pandemic so we were delighted to welcome supporters once again this year, who turned up in their numbers to spend the night outdoors, battling the elements – from 9.00pm until 5.00am on Saturday morning.

Through their magnificent efforts, the group are on course to raise a fantastic total in the region of £17K and there is still time to lend your support HERE.  All monies raised will be distributed to charity beneficiaries in London.

Participants arrived from 8.00pm and were welcomed into St Anne’s Church for the introduction and briefing elements of the event, not only by members of the Foundation team but also by a number of local parishioners who had generously arranged a plethora of hot drinks, sandwiches and snacks.

Eager to get started, the group made the short walk across the road to St Anne’s Primary School, where they would spend the next eight hours, braving the cold – all for a good cause.

Both the church and school hold huge historical and emotional significance for the Celtic Family. In 1892, five years after his leading role in the formation of Celtic Football Club, the Marist Order moved Brother Walfrid from Glasgow, to the Whitechapel area of London’s East End.

Over the next 15 years, as Head Teacher at St Anne’s Primary, Brother Walfrid transformed the school and also established local boys’ clubs and a project to provide meals to the poor in the local community.

Our Sleep Out hosts – St Anne’s Primary School and Church – will be two of this year’s London-based Appeal beneficiaries. As always, we would not have been able to deliver the event without their wonderful hospitality. We would like to express our thanks to Head Teacher, Sheila Mouna and School Premises Manager, Keith Rashid of St Anne’s Primary and to Father Patrick Francischini and Father Jose Eduardo V Medeiros of St Anne’s Church – who popped by later in the night to express their thanks and bless the group –  as well as their parishioners.

In addition to a number of individual fans who were in attendance, there was also fantastic representation from Celtic Supporters’ Clubs, with members of the Brother Walfrid East London CSC, Harrow Shamrock CSC, Hayes Bhoys CSC, Hitchin CSC, Maidenhead CSC, Medway Emerald CSC, Reading Martin O’Neill CSC, Wimbledon CSC and West London CSC all taking part.

Despite some challenging conditions faced throughout the night, our participants remained in high spirits throughout and the event came to a close at around 5am.

We would like to thank all of our Sleep Out participants for their fantastic efforts, as well as everyone who has sponsored them and provided support along the way. Funds raised from this and our other Sleep Out events will play a pivotal role in the Christmas Appeal phase of our Football for Good Fund (FFGF).

Through the Appeal we want to give hundreds of families in our communities the Christmas they deserve, making sure there’s food on the table and gifts under the tree.

We also wish to help pensioners, women and children in refuge, the homeless community and refugees – as well as a whole host of others facing poverty and hardship.

Charity, and the generosity and compassion of the Celtic Family, will always be our past, present and future – it’s our heritage, our responsibility, our lifeblood.

Thank you for joining Celtic FC Foundation in making a difference this Christmas – it’s our reason for being.

Other ways to get behind the Christmas Appeal 2021, include:

  1. Donate by text – text ‘CELTIC’ followed by ‘£1’, ‘£5’ or ‘£10’ to 70085*
  2. Donate online HERE
  3. Donate via PayPal HERE
  4. Donate via Facebook HERE
  5. Donate in Cash – there are collection boxes located in all Celtic Stores
  6. Donate by Cheque – payable to ‘Celtic FC Foundation’ and sent to Celtic FC Foundation, Celtic Park, Glasgow G40 3RE.
  7. Provide support through your Christmas shopping via Give as you Live and AmazonSmile HERE
  8. Make a donation to receive your ‘Celtic FC Foundation Letter from Santa’ HERE
  9. Purchase our brand new Foundation T-shirt HERE
  10. Download Eddi Reader’s unique version of ‘Auld Lang Syne’, featured in this year’s Celtic Christmas advert HERE
  11. Support our Light Up the Clover initiative on Thursday, December 9 or matchday bucket collection on Sunday, December 12 – to register as a volunteer collector, call 0141 551 4486 or email [email protected]
  12. Enter our new Christmas Appeal Prize Draw – further details to follow.

Thank you for your magnificent support.

*Texts will cost the donation amount, plus one standard rate message.