16th May 2019, 12:08 | Oldham
Oldham's ever-developing community programme is breaking new ground by forming links with the local Foodbank.
Ben Whisker, a member of the club's new management team, has been talking with Oldham Foodbank for the past few weeks and the outcome is a visit by Foodbank staff and volunteers to the Betfred League 1 game against Coventry Bears at the Vestacare Stadium on Sunday, May 19 (3pm kick-off).
They will set up a collection station inside the ground where fans will be able to donate non-perishable, tinned or long-life packaged foods and other items such as toiletries like soap, toothpaste and shower gels.
Roughyeds hope this will be just the start of a long and beneficial relationship with Oldham Foodbank in which the club and its fans can do their bit to support such a worthy cause in the local community.
Club Chairman, Chris Hamilton, said: "We will be delighted to welcome Oldham Foodbank to our game against Coventry Bears.
"People are aware of their vital work in providing much-needed help to people and families in difficult times and Oldham RLFC is keen to help them.
"We hope our fans will bring donations of non-perishable food items with them to the Coventry game to boost Foodbank supplies and to help fellow Oldhamers who are perhaps less fortunate than themselves."
Lisa Leunig, one of the Foodbank managers, said: "This is a fantastic initiative by Oldham RLFC and we are truly grateful.
"I don't know whether any members of our team are rugby league fans, but I'm sure they soon will be as a direct result of our new relationship.
"This is a classic case of Oldham people helping fellow Oldhamers and that's what we're all about."
Last year the local Foodbank supplied 7,435 three-day emergency food supplies to Oldham people in crisis.
Situated at The Three Crowns Centre in Manchester Street, Oldham, (tel: 0161 622 1061; email: email@example.com), the Foodbank is desperately short of carrier bags and would love to receive some along with appropriate food.
Added Lisa: "There will be a team of us going to the game and we're really looking forward to it.
"While we are grateful for anything, we have about 10,000 tins of baked beans in stock, but we are really in need of long-life milk, tinned fruit, tinned tomatoes, jams, tinned rice puddings as well as all sorts of toiletries."
This year already, the club has donated kit and rugby balls to local schools; launched Roary's Pride, a new supporters' club for children; forged specific links with Co-op Academy, Failsworth; and have welcomed more than 200 children, teachers and parents to the home game against London Skolars as part of the club's backing for The Oldham Pledge, a local schools' initiative designed to prepare children for life after school.
Also, at home games this season, boys and girls from Roary's Pride and from the junior sections of local community clubs, have had official match-day duties like flag-bearing and escorting players down the tunnel and on to the pitch.