Can you spare half an hour to help make a difference to our community?

Irons Supporting Foodbanks provides an update on recent activities and future projects

As we approach the season end, with just one home game collection left, it’s a good time for us to recap on what we’ve been up to. Fans have been incredible in their matchday support, with an average matchday donation allowing us to buy a half tonne pallet worth over £2,000 for local communities and we are so grateful.

That’s the best part of £50,000-worth of food. Across the season, we’ve also had top support from a number of clothing suppliers, allowing us to deliver to two local councils, and numerous homeless centres. The Club also donated a good quantity of sports kits that were sent to Morocco. Whilst the season is coming to an end, as a group of volunteers, we’re even busier, working on new projects for the community.

We’ve recently teamed up with the Plaistow Little Free Pantry scheme. Some residents have placed food boxes on their front garden walls, with a ‘take what you need, leave what you can’ suggestion. There are about six in the borough at present, set up for those who can’t access a foodbank. We’ve arranged to top up these boxes regularly.

We were pleased to be interviewed before the Bayer Leverkusen game by BBC Radio London’s Emma Jones. It was the second time in recent months that she has had us on the programme, showing an interest in what our fans do for the community. She was also interested in how the Morocco trip went in January, and what our future plans are.

Last November we were invited on to Essex’s Phoenix FM to talk about our activities in the community, on Nigel Fitzmaurice’s regular Sunday evening 6pm slot, Stepping Out. We’ve been invited back again at the end of April to discuss the Morocco trip and future plans. Nigel is a Palace fan so I’ll try and avoid any football talk.

The Club is providing us with our own gazebo, which will be set up pre-match at our usual location outside the Aquatics Centre, around three hours before kick off. As usual we’ll have our hoodies, tees and beanies on sale.

Ahead of our game against Liverpool, we welcomed our Merseyside friends from Fans Supporting Foodbanks, who were a big help in getting us set up. And, for the third year running, we had the Pearly Kings collecting with us again. Local businesses continue to support us; James, the landlord at the Boleyn Tavern has our QR code on the bar and will have a supply of our button badges. Brian, the owner of Eastenders Pie and Mash shop in Poplar is also supporting us.

We’ve come across a few local groups holding nearly new clothing swops. We’ve offered our new clothing to these events, recently run in Plaistow, Canning Town and Silvertown. We’ve also delivered clothes to Ambition Aspire Achieve, who are running an awareness and support session for local homeless.

Over £100,000 in new clothes have been received this year, and they’re being distributed as quickly as they come in. Recent deliveries have been made to Friendly Faces in Lonely Places in Bethnal Green, Ascension in Custom House and Warm Hearts for Cold Hands in Jaywick-on-Sea.

We’re also talking with Sanctus Chelmsford, and the Save The King charity group in Romford about delivering for their initiatives. A group of fans will be organising an Eastenders Fundraising Night in Poplar at the end of July, with some proceeds going to Irons Supporting Foodbanks. More details to follow.

As always, the more matchday volunteers we have, the more we can collect. Even if it’s for just half an hour, it does make a difference. Every penny we receive is used to buy more food pallets. Just drop by on a matchday, grab a bucket, slip on a hi-vis vest, and talk to fellow fans.

For regular updates, have a look at our website And if anyone wishes to donate, our details are

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