As Christmas Eve draws closer, Celtic FC Foundation tonight hosted a special festive celebration for a number of Ukrainian families who are currently displaced in Glasgow.
We are experiencing one of the largest refugee and humanitarian crises in recent times with an estimated 6.6million people forced to leave their homes and over 11,000 Ukrainian refugees arriving in Scotland.
With thanks to support from the ECA Ukraine Relief Committee and the UEFA Foundation for Children, Celtic FC Foundation has worked closely with these families over the past couple of months and recognises how much of a challenging and emotional time it is for them being away from home, and apart from families left behind in extremely difficult conditions.
Through the programme we have put in place, we have worked with Ukrainian families and children, offering support for mental health, physical wellbeing and social integration, all delivered within Celtic Park.
With that in mind, it was important to spread a bit of festive cheer. Parents and children who visited Celtic Park today enjoyed music, fun games and a visit from Hoopy and the main man himself, Santa!
Celtic captain, Callum McGregor and two of our B Team players Ewan Otoo and Mitchell Robertson also surprised our families by taking time out for a special visit to see our guests at the stadium.
Callum said: “I was delighted to meet the kids and families at Celtic Park today. Clearly they have been through so much in recent months and I know that Celtic FC Foundation has been here for them, welcoming them to the city and doing what we can to assist in any way.
“We send our sincere best wishes at Christmas to all those who continue to experience such a difficult period.”
Tony Hamilton, Chief Executive of Celtic FC Foundation, said: “Helping displaced people coming to Scotland with food, clothing and shelter is completely in line with our own values.
“We have been pleased to be in a position to do that in connection with the Scottish Refugee Council across a number of refugee crises and also to build on this by delivering our own project at Celtic Park for those Ukrainian people in the city who need further support.
“We’re delighted to be able to welcome our guests to the stadium today and to try and provide a bit of light, in what has been such a difficult period for so many. It’s important we play a small part and recognise the importance of events like these that help bring comfort and support to those displaced in our local communities.
“Our sincere thanks to everyone who has contributed to the work that we’re doing as we seek to make a positive difference to the lives of so many who face such huge challenges.”
Anyone who would like more information on Celtic FC Foundation projects, please contact [email protected]