In December 2019, following consultation with Newham Council, LS185 and the LLDC, we were given permission to collect donations for the Newham Foodbank based in Beckton. They supply food parcels through 7 centres throughout Newham. The demand on foodbanks had grown progressively and we were hopeful that with over 1 million visitors attending games at the London Stadium over a season, that we could make a difference to our local community. Following the successful trial at the Leicester City game, we were given permission to continue collecting at every home game, subject to any ‘high risk’ games. By the end of February we were collecting approx. £700 per game in food value and cash.       

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2024 Easter Eggs Appeal

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Mixed Success for Irons Supporting Foodbanks at East London Community Heroes Awards

Earlier this month at the Annual Awards in East London hosted by Rotary Stratford at the Tereza Joanne Function Rooms, King George V Dock, ISF were again finalists and received a Highly Commended acknowedgement in the Outstanding Initiative in Community Cohesion category, the same as in 2022.

Better success came to ISF founder John Ratomski, who received the East London Community Hero of the Year 2023 Award.

ISF are shortlisted for another award, which they won last year, in the Newham Chamber Business Awards, for Civic and Community Engagement which takes place at Stratford Town Hall on 23rd November.

Since they began almost 4 years ago, ISF have delivered over £1 million of new clothes for homeless groups in the Newham, east London and Essex areas, and several £100,000’s of food and seasonal chocolates to local foodbanks, all with the support and backing of West Ham fans, who, as supporters, support their local community more than any other club supporters group in the country.

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West Ham United recognise Irons Supporting Foodbanks Founder John Ratomski

As part of the Premier League Supports campaign this week, West Ham United have recognised Irons Supporting Foodbanks Founder John Ratomski as the Club’s ‘One of Our Own’ recipient.

The ‘Premier League Supports’ campaign gives clubs the opportunity to celebrate the positive impact they have on their local communities. The campaign will be visible on-pitch at all Premier League fixtures between 1 April and 9 April.

To mark the campaign, West Ham United has recognised Ratomski as the Club’s ‘One of Our Own’ recipient, with a special presentation taking place ahead of the Club’s fixture against Southampton at the London Stadium.

The Irons Supporting Foodbanks #bringaquid Campaign

Irons Supporting Foodbanks in conjunction with the West Ham Network have announced the beginning of their ‘Bring a Quid’ initiative to raise awareness of the group’s work and also raise much needed funds for the underprivileged across the Newham borough and beyond. There is an ever increasing pressure on the Foodbanks as more and more people are unfortunately having to turn to them for support as the cost of living crisis hits us all.

The majority of cash donations are through ISF’s matchday collections, where currently we average £350-400 each matchday – but we need more to help those less lucky than ourselves. It doesn’t take a lot to increase, we appreciate people across the board are suffering as times are very tough for us all – but it only takes a quid to help, that’s all! A quid can make a massive difference!

April sees a number of West Ham home games with league games against Southampton, Newcastle, Arsenal and Liverpool – in addition to the Europa Conference League quarter final game at the London Stadium and the FA Youth Cup Semi-Final – in total, we could see in total over 325,000 fans attend those games. Even if only 1% of that group donated a quid, that would result in over £3,000 cash donations – which, due to the ISF partnership with HIS Church, would result in £15,000 worth of food becoming available to the various organisations the ISF works with across the borough and into Essex.

We are kicking off this initiative with a 24-hour live stream from 5pm on Friday 31st March with our friends at the West Ham Network – which will involve contributions from other West Ham fan channels, West Ham players and staff as well as special guests.

This Sunday 2nd April also sees the return of 3 generations of Pearly Kings who will be collecting with the ISF at the usual location on Stratford Walk and will be interviewed pitch-side before the game to talk about their activities supporting local communities. Donations from fans unable to make the games can be made anytime here www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ironssupportingfoodbanks2022

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More help needed

Our partners at One Newham advise that there are many families struggling with a lack of online access.

If anyone has a spare unused smartphone, tablet or laptop please drop us a line or contact https://skillsenterprise.co.uk/ directly.

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Colin Milne Remembered

Friends of the late Colin Milne, a life-long West Ham United fan have contributed to a Trust Fund created in his name to benefit local foodbanks. Over £800 has been raised allowing Newham Foodbank to buy £4,000-worth of the food that they need from HIS Church, the emergency goods redistribution charity based in Lincs.

Foodbank trustee Adeola Osunbade said ‘Words cannot express our gratitude as we serve a diverse community and this donation will enable us to get a good variety of items to meet an increasing need for food supplies that HIS Church is able to provide. Thank you so much.’

One of Colin’s friends added ‘When Colin was dying we talked to him about creating a legacy to help those in need, in his name. He didn’t hesitate on wanting it to be in support of local charities and was a passionate supporter of Food banks and homelessness in Newham. We all are. We have supported the good work that Rev Elwin Cockett does over the years. The need grew, as you know, when we moved from the Boleyn and the community was shattered. It would be lovely to remember Colin in this way. He was an amazingly giving and caring man.

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PPE Visors

During lockdown, Merseyside’s Fans Supporting Foodbank donated funds to the Knowsley PPE Hub for the purchase of PPE-making equipment and raw materials for the manufacture of visors for local hospitals and front-line workers in Merseyside. After a few weeks they were able to offer the visors nationally via the established football foodbank groups in Newcastle, Huddersfield, Manchester City and United, and West Ham. We identified the hospitals in East London and Essex and were able to have delivered 1,000 visors locally by volunteer Nigel Kahn

We also distributed a further 300 visors to local care homes in Redbridge.

Newham Children

Newham borough has over 76,000 under-15s, with over 51% living below the poverty line. We wanted these children to have something for themselves at Easter, so we started with our appeal in February. Lockdown put an end to our scheme running up to Easter, however we were pleased to receive the support of so many West Ham fans and local friends who provided over 1,100 Easter eggs for local children. The Club and Expedient Security made substantial donations and we were also supported with donations from LLDC, Newham Council and Spire London East Hospital.

Alongside the West Ham fanbase we are delighted to have the support of our club, with staff, owners and players helping us to support Newham Foodbank and allowing us to make a difference to around 8,000 Newham children this Christmas.

We are looking forward to the time when crowds return to the London Stadium next year and we can continue the friendships made with the fans who have supported us since we began working with the local community to fight food poverty a year ago.