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Winning article for the week ending 20 December

Crystal Palace Football Club Hospitality for those who need it most at winter

Crystal Palace football club founded in 1905, a team in the premier league and most importantly famous for it’s amazing fan base. This club, like no other, really has a diverse, close community held together by the love for football and supporting the local team.

This year, as temperatures are said to drop to below freezing, you can only imagine the difficulties that those most vulnerable at winter have to undergo. There are said to be around 170,000 people living on the streets of London and last winter at least 78 people passed away due to the treacherous temperatures. It really does undermine the idyllic Christmas that most of us get to experience each year spending time, in the warm, with our loved ones receiving gifts of all kinds when in the background people similar to each and every one of us are sleeping outdoors alone and cold.

I feel proud and moved by the fact that the team I support have provided a space for the less-fortunate at such supposed jolly times; converting “The Glaziers Lounge” at Selhurst Park into a homeless shelter able to withhold up to 10 people ran by the staff at the club and other volunteers. New arrivals are welcomed with a bed for the evening as well as a hot meal, breakfast and washing facilities until the next morning when the space is changed back for normal club usage. Whenever the club isn’t open for the day they try to take in as many homeless possible and during their stay Croydon Council’s Gateway Homelessness Prevention Services’ Staff come and give advice on how they can get off the streets and back into a home. Last year they found jobs two people who were sleeping rough.

This is just a start and other clubs should follow in the footsteps of Crystal Palace when it comes to helping out those who need it most. Also please do keep the thought in your head, whilst you’re indoors this Christmas celebrating, you are so very lucky to be able to do so and there are thousands of people out there sleeping rough. There are so many little things we could do to make another person’s life so much better e.g. Volunteering at a Local Homeless Shelter, donating to charities like Centrepoint etc.

Article written by Hannah Sterling, see the link below.

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