THIS Saturday, June 20, marks World Refugee Day 2020 and Celtic FC Foundation, alongside Celtic Football Club, are proud to support this campaign that honours refugees around the globe and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution.
This year’s theme is ‘Every Action Counts’, which aims to remind the world that everyone, including refugees, can contribute to society and Every Action Counts in the effort to create a more just, inclusive and equal world.
Celtic FC was established in 1887 to help alleviate the struggles of the Irish immigrant community in the East End of Glasgow and this strong social dimension will always be fundamental to who we are. Therefore, the plight of the refugee community is an issue that strongly resonates with the club and its supporters.
Through the years, Celtic FC Foundation have formed strong bonds with a number of charities and organisations who provide vital support to refugees and asylum seekers. This includes financial and in-kind donations through our annual Christmas Appeal to partners such as the Scottish Refugee Council, Refugee Survival Trust, Refuweegee and Glasgow Night Shelter as they strive to bring the magic of Christmas to those who are vulnerable and often excluded.
We also welcomed 140 very special guests from Syria to Celtic Park in 2016 to share in our celebration as we lifted the Scottish Premiership title for the fifth consecutive time.
More recently, we have supported two partners working with refugees and asylum seekers through the Football for Good Fund – Celtic FC Foundation’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.
A total of £5,330 has been donated to Glasgow Night Shelter, an organisation that provides emergency overnight accommodation and a hot evening meal for destitute asylum seekers. Due to the current lockdown and ongoing coronavirus crisis, all guests were moved into a city centre hotel in order to have access to private bathrooms, their own bedrooms and a space they could stay safely for 24 hours a day.
Our donation, which included £330 raised by Luton Celtic Youth, has allowed Glasgow Night Shelter to fund hot breakfasts and dinners and purchase emergency meals when guests with restricted dietary requirements have arrived.
Project Director at Glasgow Night Shelter, Annika Joy, said: “We currently have up to 35 refugees staying in our shelter. We have two staff onsite 24 hours a day providing welfare checks whilst signposting and linking into other services as and when is needed.
“Moving into the hotel has meant that we are now tasked with providing three meals a day plus snacks and soft drinks in a new location, with no access to a kitchen. So we are very grateful for the continued support from Celtic FC Foundation in helping us deliver this vital service.”
A Football for Good Fund donation of £7,500 has also been made to the Refugee Survival Trust, which was set up in 1996 to provide refugees and those seeking asylum with practical support when it is most needed.
During the current coronavirus crisis they have focused on delivering key services for refugees who are destitute, homeless or vulnerable by providing temporary accommodation and support, and through grants for essential food and emergency living expenses.
For more information on World Refugee Day 2020 please visit https://www.un.org/en/observances/refugee-day.
To register 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 as soon as we possibly can.