GTFC for the Many: taking the club back to the community

Cod Almighty | Article

by Matthew Barrow

4 January 2018

When GTFC for the Many was formed, they decided their first act would be to highlight the role of the club in the community by collecting for a local foodbank. The response was overwhelming

GTFC for the Many collecting foodbank donations

A couple of months ago a few Town fans came together to create the group GTFC for the Many. We are a progressive movement which aims to fight injustice in the area and combat prejudices.

Our first action was to launch a collection drive for the local foodbank. The effects of a continued and unnecessary austerity programme pushed on the people by an uncaring Conservative government are seen in the record numbers of people forced into using foodbanks in 2017. We wanted to make a difference, and to involve the GTFC fanbase in making that difference.

One of the roles of a football club is to be a part of the local community, and what better way than for the fans to come together and help those in need.

One of the blokes who came to collect it said it was the single biggest donation he had seen in 20 years of charity work

So we decided that organising a collection for the local foodbank before one of our home games would be a brilliant show of solidarity.

We contacted the local CARE foodbank in order to let them know what we were planning, and to ask what their most needed items were. Then we set to spreading the word via social media that we were going to be collecting on Imperial Avenue before the home game against Forest Green on 9 December.

We got a great response from people online, along with some cash donations, which were combined with our own money into a massive shop on the eve of the collection, resulting in a living room overtaken with bags of food.

When we turned up early on the afternoon of the 9th, with a few cars for storage, a sign to stick up, and some cardboard boxes for people to dump their donations into, we expected to get a reasonable amount. Instead we got an immense amount over the course of an hour and bit. A combination of food and cash left us stunned as to the generosity of the fanbase. We had to make multiple trips to the cars within the first half an hour in order to avoid being overwhelmed at the collection point. The pile was added to by the bags handed over by the Mariners Trust, who had also auctioned off a shirt in order to raise funds for CARE.GTFC for the Many foodbank donations

By the time the food had all been carted away after the match, that living room had been practically taken over by bag upon bag of food, which was collected by CARE the following Monday. One of the blokes who came to collect it said it was the single biggest donation he had seen in 20 years of charity work.

This whole episode shows us what a football fanbase should and can do for the community. Coming together to help those in need is the mark of a strong community, and is a credit to this borough.

We salute everyone who helped this happen, in any way no matter how small, and hope that it will be the first of many such community initiatives which will improve the lives of the less fortunate residents of North East Lincolnshire. We hope the football club will be a lot more proactive in the future, as with its backing even more of a difference could be made.

Interested in helping GTFC for the Many organise their next event? You can get in touch at @gtfcforthemany or by email. Visit the CARE website for more details of the support they provide – and need.

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