The University has launched the first charity football league in Plymouth to raise money to support children living in poverty in the city.
Plymouth has 11,500 children living in poverty. Each of these children has less than 35% chance of achieving five good GCSEs, and only 50% have a chance of a household income of £20k (compared to an average UK income of £25k).
Reverend Nick Griffin, Chaplain at the University of St Mark & St John says: “This is not good. Not for our proud city. Not for our kids. One child born in Devonport may live for 10 years less than a child from Peverell. This is like comparing Vietnam and Switzerland. In one city there is virtually unprecedented inequality.
“So at Marjon Chaplaincy we’ve decided to try something to make a difference. We’re starting a charity football league which will do two things; firstly we will raise money for projects working to battle child poverty. Secondly, we will unite businesses, charities and churches in friendly competition forming a network to bring change to our city.”
Reverend Griffin continues: “Raising money is almost the easy bit. Poverty is more complicated than material lack but comprises educational attainment, health inequality and social isolation and with complex problems you need a multi-layered response. Secondly, we will sponsor and organise our own students to go and use their skills to run community projects that make a difference in our city.
“Imagine if we could send nutrition students to run free cooking workshops through toddler groups or trainee teachers to provide after school homework clubs? Finally, we will use the remaining funds to support local partners offering great community interventions like food banks and youth work projects.
“Yet money only goes so far. Real change doesn’t come from coins and paper but from people; people united under a common cause. And this is the bit I am really excited to see develop. What happens when we get men of the city united to make a difference against poverty? What will these new networks do for your street, for your community, for your city? This is happening Plymouth. Together we’re gonna kick poverty out of our town.”
How will it work?
There will be three mini tournaments played by 16 teams on the following dates: 1 October, February 3-4, and April 28-29. Each team will need 14 men over 16. Players will contribute £10 per tournament and we need businesses, to sponsor, food vans to feed and volunteers to help make this happen.
A social evening to launch the league takes place this Friday 30 September at Marjon Chaplaincy from 7pm. Everyon is welcome.
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