Celtic and it’s official charitable arm, Celtic FC Foundation are currently participating in the European Football Development Network’s (EFDN) four-week #Morethanfootball campaign, as clubs and associations across the continent highlight the incredible work they do within their communities.
With that in mind, it’s important to reflect on the fact that Celtic and everything that the Club stands for, is about far more than just football.
In 1887, Brother Walfrid had one key wish, ‘A football club will be formed for the maintenance of dinner tables for the children and the unemployed’.
And this was exactly what he did as, together with Celtic’s other founding fathers, he formally constituted Celtic Football Club in St. Mary’s, on November 6 that year.
Proceeds raised through the Club helped to feed impoverished Irish immigrants in Glasgow’s east end and the rest, as they say, is history.
Over 133 years have since passed but unfortunately, so many families within our communities continue to live in poverty.
Food poverty is a particularly prevalent issue and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has thrust this to a new level altogether following what has been a year like no other.
Celtic FC Foundation exists today to carry on Celtic’s charitable ethos created so many years ago and this is ordinarily done through the delivery of a series of key needs-led projects, aimed at creating opportunities for society’s most vulnerable and marginalised groups.
Monthly donations are vital in continuing the charitable heritage of the Club and for that reason, our regular giving scheme is called Walfrid’s Wish, with a key focus on providing support for those living in poverty. This includes a partnership with Glasgow North East Foodbank and annual lunches for Glasgow’s homeless community.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, our traditional project delivery and fundraising activities were temporarily paused, however, the Football for Good Fund (FFGF) was formed in response to the pandemic and, thanks to the phenomenal backing of the Celtic fan base worldwide, it has risen to over £1m and thousands of those most in need have since been provided with urgent food and essentials.
Ordinarily, the fundraising calendar would have been packed with a host of initiatives including gala dinners, sponsored events and match day collections but these have simply been impossible to deliver and only now, as restrictions appear to be easing, can we start planning for a return to some fundraising normality further down the line.
Monthly donations have, therefore, been even more vital than ever before and will continue to be an invaluable source of income, at a time when so many of our usual methods of engaging with supporters have been removed.
Walfrid’s Wish donations since March, 2020 have been dedicated to the FFGF and, through a new COVID-19 project in partnership with Glasgow North East Foodbank, almost 18KG of food (29,000 meals) has been distributed to those in need.
With many people still struggling, Celtic FC Foundation will continue to be there for those who need our support but none of this would be possible without the continued backing of the Celtic support.
As Jock Stein said, ‘Football without fans is nothing’ and for the Club’s charitable arm, the fans and their incredible support means absolutely everything.
Sadly, Walfrid’s wish of alleviating poverty through football is just as vital in 2021, as it was in 1887 and regular giving has taken on more importance now than ever before.
It couldn’t be easier to sign up and give from as little as £3 per month. Details on all of the donation options can be found HERE.
A massive thank you to all of the supporters out there who continue to play their part – you are making a huge difference.