Football for Good Fund surpasses £2M following success of Christmas Appeal

Today, Celtic FC Foundation is delighted to announce that, thanks to the collective effort of so many across the globe, we have now surpassed the monumental Football for Good Fund (FFGF) milestone of £2M, following our most successful Christmas Appeal to date, which has raised an astonishing £380K.

Since March 2020, we have set out to help those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic via the FFGF. Through the Fund, we have focused on tackling three key issues – assisting those who are facing food and fuel poverty, and providing mental health support to those who need it most in Scotland, Ireland, the wider UK and overseas.

As the pandemic continues to affect so many, the FFGF remains our immediate focus. The Christmas Appeal phase was launched on Saturday, November 6, on the 134thanniversary of Celtic’s formation, with a wonderful £10K donation from the Club.

Through the Appeal we aimed 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 wished 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.

Despite the continued effects of COVID-19 and the financial challenges faced by so many, Celtic supporters have proven once again that their kindness and generosity is unrivalled, helping us to make this our most successful Appeal yet. As the great Tommy Burns once famously said, ‘They’re there, and they’re always there’, and he was absolutely right.

The support provided through the Appeal this year has been more vital than ever and the monies raised have now been distributed, to ensure that your efforts will make a genuine difference to those in need, ahead of Christmas Eve. In summary, beneficiaries include:

– Glasgow/West of Scotland families with children (£148.7k)

– Irish families with children (£8k)

– Gifts to Glasgow children (£71k)

– Local OAPs (£18.5k)

– Children/Family charity partners (£48.5k)

– Women’s Aid charities (£17.5k)

– Homeless and refugee charity partners (£67.8k)

As well as direct donations, we held a host of key fundraising events and initiatives as part of the Appeal, which included the return of physical events which weren’t possible in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Our fundraising activities included:

– Founding Fathers’ Fast – Saturday, November 6

– Celtic Sleep Out, Sligo – Saturday, November 6

– eBay Shirt Auction – Wednesday, November 10 – Monday, November 15

– Celtic Sleep Out, Glasgow – Saturday, November 13

– Ghirls for Good – Friday, November 26

– Celtic Sleep Out, London – Friday, December 3

– Light Up the Clover – Thursday, December 9

– Christmas Appeal Prize Draw – Friday, December 10 – Monday, December 20

– Christmas Appeal Bucket Collection – Sunday, December 12

– Celtic FC Foundation Letter from Santa

– Limited Edition Foundation Tommy Burns T-shirt

Eddi Reader’s unique version of ‘Auld Lang Syne’, featured in this year’s Celtic Christmas advert

Your support throughout the Appeal has allowed us to assist a total of 1,607 families in Glasgow, North and South Lanarkshire, Belfast/Lisburn and Dublin, who are facing poverty and hardship, helping them to enjoy the kind of Christmas that most of us take for granted.

352 vulnerable pensioners across Glasgow, received a fantastic Christmas hamper directly via donations to our partners at Glasgow’s Golden Generation, NG Homes and St Mary’s Calton and also as a result of a Festive Friends award through the SPFL Trust.

In addition, we provided donations to 31 grassroots organisations which support children and families, refugees, the homeless and those living in refuge primarily in Glasgow and the West, but also in Oban, London, Newcastle, Dublin, Belfast, Ballymote and Ottawa.

Through a Schools Project, we worked with the Head Teachers at 13 schools located in disadvantaged communities in Glasgow and provided individual Christmas gifts for 2,230 children, as well as supermarket vouchers for 991 of the families noted above.

We had planned to host a festive party for 207 local Primary 5 pupils at Celtic Park but, to ensure the health and wellbeing of the children and staff against the backdrop of the Omicron variant, we adapted our plans and, instead provided support to all six schools to ensure the children who were scheduled to attend received gifts or fun activities over the festive period.

As well as financial donations, we received over 250 brand new toys and gifts from guests at our Ghirls for Good event and passed these on to a number of beneficiary organisations, who distributed them to local children who are sick or disadvantaged ahead of Christmas.

A more detailed overview of the 2021 Christmas Appeal phase of the FFGF can be found HERE

Tony Hamilton, Celtic FC Foundation Chief Executive, added: “The Club’s and Celtic FC Foundation’s global supporters, staff, commercial partners, Trustees and Directors have made all of this possible. Not just through the Christmas Appeal this year, but since we first launched the Football for Good Fund in March 2020. Our sincere thanks to all of them.

“Our priority at Christmas is to provide normality for families and people who would otherwise be excluded, and we have achieved that again with your help. The response we’ve had has been overwhelming this year, and we are very grateful for the backing.

“Thanks also to our partner organisations and the schools we work with who have identified the right people – people whose lives are hit the hardest by COVID and its economic impact.

“We hope everyone who has contributed cash or time to this year’s appeal takes a moment to reflect on what has collectively been achieved, and the difference it has made to many people who had lost hope. Have a very happy Christmas, and a safe and peaceful new year.”

Speaking of the success of the Appeal, Acting Club Chief Executive, Michael Nicholson, said: “This achievement has been made possible by a phenomenal collective effort and I would like to thank all those fans, colleagues, sponsors and partners who have joined us in delivering such great support to people in real need.  The Club is built on the strongest of charitable foundations and it is fantastic that together, we are able to provide such important assistance through so many great and really meaningful projects.

“I would also like to pay tribute to all our fantastic staff at Celtic FC Foundation who work tirelessly on a daily basis to make a positive difference to the lives of others, throughout the year and of course at Christmas time which can be so difficult for so many.”

Together, we have continued to bring comfort to those who need it most.

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.