It’s fast approaching two years since Celtic FC Foundation set up our Football for Good Fund (FFGF), and in that time countless thousands of the most vulnerable in our communities have been given vital assistance, thanks in no small part to the outstanding generosity of the Celtic support.
Our focus has always been on helping individuals struggling as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic took their toll. And now, with the worsening cost-of-living crisis having far reaching implications, we thought it worthwhile to update supporters on the work we are doing in a number of key areas.
A third strand of the FFGF was set up in January 2021 to help combat fuel poverty through a continued partnership with Spirit Aid.
Spirit Aid is a Scottish humanitarian relief organisation dedicated to alleviating the suffering of children and young people whose lives have been affected by poverty, neglect, abuse, lack of opportunity, humanitarian crisis or even blighted by war.
The Wise Group, who are supporting Spirit Aid with our partnership project, deliver free, impartial energy advice and advocacy support to help people in the UK stay in control of their energy bills and keep warm and well at home.
Over the past 12 months, both organisations have worked closely thanks to your donations, with Spirit Aid delivering food hampers and supermarket vouchers to vulnerable individuals and families. They have also identified at-risk individuals of fuel poverty, with the Wise Group providing emergency financial and 1-to-1 mentoring support.
The number of people affected by fuel poverty is expected to rise in April, when the energy price cap is renewed, pushing fuel bills up to a predicted £2,000 a year per household.
However, this is just the tip of the iceberg, with increases in the cost of food, travel and clothing expected to rise over the course of 2022 and the near future.
Speaking about the difficulties expected over the coming months, Patrick Rolink of Spirit Aid said: “As a charity based in Glasgow, we would say it’s not a cost-of-living crisis, it’s a tsunami of poverty.
“The amount of people that now require food hampers is unbelievable. We have delivered them every single week of the year for more than 14 months and we don’t see that ending anytime soon. And it’s not just families on benefits that are struggling, there’s a whole new layer of poverty amongst families who are working full-time, often in low paid jobs or zero-hour contracts.
“It’s relentless but this is real food poverty. This is a poverty where when you get up in the morning and your kids are running about, you can’t have a shower as you need to put money in the electric meter.
‘To be perfectly honest, without the support of Celtic FC Foundation we would have been turning people away a year ago.’
Marion Tominey of the Wise Group said: “We’re all scared. We’ve never known it as bad as it is now and our fear is that it’s getting worse. It’s not just affecting people who are in desperate need, it’s affecting people who are in full-time employment.
“The support from Celtic FC Foundation via Spirit Aid has been an absolute godsend. By identifying the families that are in need, we are quickly able to assist and support them.”
Tony Hamilton, Celtic FC Foundation Chief Executive, said: “We’re living through a pandemic and a huge hike in the cost of living, which means that life for many ordinary people is very difficult. These crises around increased costs of food and fuel are resulting in families having to make some very difficult decisions.
“We’re fortunate enough to have been able to assist in that through our Football For Good Fund, and the many partners that we have allow us to make an impact.
“That’s all possible because of the backing we have from our supporters and funders and now, more than any other time, is when we need help to be able to continue that.
“Thank you if you’ve supported us so far and thank you in advance if you can help us now.”
For further details on the Football for Good Fund or any other Celtic FC Foundation activities, please email [email protected] and we will respond to you.