View from the Street: Homeless figures in area astound me

PUBLISHED: 08:30 07 April 2019

PA Wire/PA Images

The club opened its doors at London Stadium to offer homeless people vital services and respite from life on the street.

The event was only a couple of hours for us and makes a massive difference to these people’s lives.

The clothing that we gave them, the various food and the haircuts will all have a big impact on their lives.

As footballers we are in a wonderfully privileged position because of our job, so any time that we can give at events like this we are more than happy to do so. You feel good afterwards knowing you have made a difference to these people’s lives and we are more than happy to do it.

I was lucky enough to grow up in this area and some of the stats and figures I hear around homelessness astound me. It means even more for me coming to these events because I can resonate with the local people.

I grew up on these streets and played football around here, so I am more than happy to give back at any opportunity.

It really puts things into perspective when you see the smiles on faces and makes you realise how lucky you are.

We get 60,000 fans at our games every week, and these people can’t afford to eat never mind a ticket. You could see how grateful all the people were for what we were providing, and when you are really grateful for a hot meal that is when you know that people are really struggling.

The club continues to do great work through the Players’ Project and we are really making a difference to people’s lives through these kinds of events.

I speak on behalf of the players and myself when I say that we will continue to support these initiatives and using our status to make a difference to people’s lives on a regular basis.

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