Burnley FC stars show support for community foodbank with festive visit

Burnley FC stars Josh Brownhill, Nathan Collins and Olivia Wilson visited a town centre foodbank to find out more about how the facility is helping record numbers of people in the community.

By John Deehan
Friday, 10th December 2021, 3:45 pm
(Left to right) Nathan Collins, Josh Brownhill, Sean Danaher (Burnley FC in the Community Kitchen and Foodbank manager), and Nathan Norris (assistant Manager Burnley FC the Community Kitchen)
(Left to right) Nathan Collins, Josh Brownhill, Sean Danaher (Burnley FC in the Community Kitchen and Foodbank manager), and Nathan Norris (assistant Manager Burnley FC the Community Kitchen)

The foodbank, situated in the heart of the town’s shopping centre Charter Walk, is operated by Burnley FC in the Community, the official charity of Burnley FC.

Working in partnership with Burnley Together community hub, the facility has provided food for more 22,000 people since it opened in March 2020.

To show support for the work being carried out at the facility, the players joined foodbank manager Sean Danaher and assistant manager Nathan Norris for a tour and to hear how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted demand.

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(Left to right) Nathan Norris, Burnley FC in the Community Kitchen assistant manager, Olivia Wilson, and Josh Dunne, Burnley FC in the Community Kitchen driver.

Josh said: “It’s a very important cause and what’s interesting is it’s not just a foodbank, they support other charities as well which shows how big they are. For Nathan and I to come and see it in person and get more of a feel of what a good job they do is amazing.

“It goes on all year too, there’s no rest day for the foodbank and coming up to Christmas it’s going to be more hectic but speaking to them I think they are fully prepared.

“One of the first things I noticed coming here was how big the football club is in the community and what it means to everybody. It’s not just about us, it’s about everybody that works for the club, it’s important everybody shows and does their part.”

Burnley FC Women’s Olivia Wilson, who donated some food parcels to the foodbank on the day, joined the players in preparing parcels to be distributed by Burnley FC in the Community staff.

“I think it’s important to give something back to the community and I wanted to make a donation to the good work they are doing here. I got some shoe boxes from home, wrapped them with some wrapping paper and filled them with some items, not just food, toothpaste, and toiletries too.

"I just thought it could be something nice, especially for someone who wouldn’t get something this Christmas.

“I think it’s great to have both the men’s players and me from the women’s team here today showing our support.”

Foodbank manager Sean Danaher said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic having the players visit. Obviously with the pandemic we haven’t been able to have the players down here, but we know they’ve wanted to see the work we’ve been doing here, so to have them finally in the building has been amazing.

“The team have operated here throughout the pandemic, feeding lots of people in the town and delivering parcels to them. It is something we are really proud of, we have met the demand as it’s escalated throughout covid and the restrictions, and the number of people in need has been going up.

“With Christmas coming up we will start to see those spikes in demand, but we’ll work hard to ensure that everybody who needs our help over the festive period gets it.

“The support we’ve had from the club has been amazing, it’s brilliant being a part of the Burnley FC family. Everything that we try to do here is for the benefit of the town and the community.”

There are many ways to support the foodbank this Christmas, including by making a food donation or cash donation. To find out more visit burnleyfccommunity.org.