Reporter : Stuart Littleford
On this year’s World Homeless Day, players and staff from Oldham Athletic Football Club (OAFC) are teaming up with homelessness charity Emmaus Mossley to raise awareness.
To mark the day, OAFC players and staff recently met with formerly homeless people supported by Emmaus to understand more about homelessness. The club has donated tickets and football boots to those supported by the charity and will hold a bucket collection at the game against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday 14 October.
Darren Phillips, a companion at Emmaus Mossley met with players and staff at OAFC’s SportsDirect.com Park to share his personal experience of life on the streets and how he has benefitted from being part of the Emmaus community.
Darren told Saddleworth News: “Thank you to Oldham Athletic for welcoming me to the club. It was good to talk to the players and staff about homelessness as it can affect anyone from any walk of life. Our community is very grateful for the support and donations we’ve received from Oldham Athletic and we look forward to meeting everyone again soon.”
World Homeless Day aims to draw attention to homeless people’s needs locally and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to homelessness. The inaugural World Homeless Day was marked on the 10th of October 2010 and has been observed every year since.
Peter Clarke, OAFC Captain, told Saddleworth News: “It was great to meet Harry and Darren from Emmaus, it was nice to get an insight into what Emmaus is all about.”
OAFC have supported Emmaus Mossley throughout 2017 with donations, visits to the club and player tours of the charity’s community base at Longlands Mill in Mossley. More is planned throughout the winter months in support of Emmaus Mossley’s outreach work, helping those who are street homeless.
Wendy Noble, Oldham Athletic Community Trust Operations Manager, added: “We have worked closely with Emmaus over the last year, and I have been fortunate to go to Emmaus several times. I have now got a better understanding of what’s involved and the great work they do within the community, we are looking forward to continuing our support throughout the season.”
The partnership between OAFC and Emmaus Mossley is part of the club’s outreach work in the community. Using the power of football, Oldham Athletic Community Trust works with groups and organisations to provide positive opportunities through sport to inspire the local community.
Emmaus Mossley supports 26 formerly homeless people by providing them with a home and work in a community setting. The charity runs a social enterprise in Mossley, selling donated and upcycled furniture, household goods, clothes, bric-a-brac and vintage wares.
To find out more or support Emmaus Mossley head to www.emmaus.org.uk/mossley. If you would like to get involved or donate an item, please call 01457 838608 or visit the store at Longlands Mill, Queen Street, Mossley OL5 9AH.