Chairboys defender Michael Harriman is urging fans to pledge support to Wycombe Homeless Connection by donating items to the charity at the forthcoming game against Grimsby Town at Adams Park on Monday 2nd April.
Harriman and his wife Amy became ambassadors for the charity earlier this year after visiting the night shelter in High Wycombe to meet and learn more about the 500+ people who fall into housing crisis every year and receive help from Wycombe Homeless Connection.
Michael said: “I feel so fortunate to have a happy home life of my own, and so I want to do all I can to raise awareness, and encourage all our support for this fantastic local charity. Please bring what you can from the list below to be given direct to the charity, who will, in turn give it directly to those people who have lost everything, and who are setting up their new home from scratch, with the help of Wycombe Homeless Connection.”
There will be collectors standing close to the stadium gates at the match against Grimsby on Monday 2nd April, to receive any of the following (in new or very good condition) that you can bring:
Heavy duty adult sized sleeping bags
Men's underwear (socks, underpants, vests - must be brand new)
Self-heating camping meals
Small chopping boards (plastic)
Small frying pans
Right here in High Wycombe, we have a big problem with homelessness. It’s estimated that between 10-30 people sleep rough somewhere in the town every night, with a much larger number staying with friends or family ‘just for a short while until I get myself sorted out’.
It can happen to anyone; you may know someone affected by homelessness. When it strikes, it takes almost everything away – your bed, a place to get yourself and your clothes clean, privacy, safety, maybe your job and definitely your hopes for a better future.
Heather Morley, communications and fundraising volunteer, explained: “The people we help are often young people who don’t have anywhere else to turn, and don’t have anyone to help them pick up the pieces when things in life don’t work out how they planned. Maybe they’ve lost a job, come out of a relationship, or come to the end of a shorthold tenancy on their property and struggle to find another home. Most people in life might experience at least one of those situations, and for some people, they fall into homelessness as a result.
“Having Michael and Amy on board will help us engage with more young people who might share similar interests. Guests at the shelter are given food, a bed and facilities to wash, but the most important thing is that they’re treated with human respect. When Michael and Amy came to sit with them, talk to them, share the same food and play board games, that’s incredibly powerful and helpful for them.”
Sheena Dykes, WHC Chair of Trustees, added: "We are delighted and very grateful that Michael and Amy have come forward to be our first charity ambassadors for Wycombe Homeless Connection. We hope that their involvement will encourage Wycombe Wanderers fans to understand homelessness in our town, and also to consider how they might get involved in tackling it. This is a community issue, and as a community we can work together to face it."
For more information about local homelessness, what WHC is doing to tackle it, and how you can get involved as a volunteer or donate to the charity, please look at www.wyhoc.org.uk. Also on Facebook and Twitter.