Bolton Wanderers Community Trust joined forces with Stuart Holden to host ‘Holden’s Gifts of Hope’ prior to the fixture against Charlton Athletic to help those less fortunate in and around Christmas.
Assisted by family, friends and BWCT staff, Stuart collected food and clothing outside Tesco & Asda in Horwich to distribute to Bolton based charities assisting those in need of emergency accommodation and /or food parcels and helping to build supplies for local Food Banks.
The day was a great success with a wide variety of items being donated from shoppers and Bolton Wanderers supporters.
Speaking about Holden’s Gifts of Hope, Stuart said;
"The idea to hold a food and clothing drive ahead of Christmas came about from chats with my brother Euan and girlfriend Karalyn about how we wanted to do something to help people in the local area who might be struggling at this time of year."
“We teamed up with BWCT who helped us to identify three local organisations - Bolton Young People’s Housing Scheme, Urban Outreach and Farnworth & Kearsley Food Bank – who work tirelessly throughout all seasons to assist people from all ages and backgrounds who find themselves in need of help due to homelessness, domestic abuse, financial difficulties and other issues."
“I have had great support from the players and the Club and it was great to get as many Bolton fans and shoppers down to come and visit us at any one of our three collection points on Saturday and help us to help others whether this be with unwanted clothing or food items.”
Following on from the collection day Stuart, Euan and Karalyn along with Bolton Wanderers Community staff visited the Urban Outreach Centre to sort the donations, making up food packs which will be distributed around Bolton over the winter months.
Ben Laycock from Bolton Wanderers Community Trust said;
“The day has been a great success, working with Stuart and Holden’s gifts of hope to collected these items has worked well, the huge amounts we have had donated means that a lot of people will benefit from the generosity of the people of Bolton. We are very grateful to both Tesco & Asda for allowing us to use there stores to carry out the collection's."