Building on its longstanding partnership with Stevenage FC, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is teaming up with the football club’s Foundation charity for a toy donation drive ahead of Christmas.
This will be the ninth year that the rail operator has worked with Stevenage FC, offering its Academy players free train travel on the Thameslink and Great Northern network. The partnership helps to upskill the next generation of football stars, no matter their background.
Taking the partnership one step further this December, GTR is supporting the club’s official charity – Stevenage FC Foundation – to combat the cost-of-living crisis and ensure that disadvantaged children living across Hertfordshire don’t miss out on a gift this Christmas.
As well as donation points located at the football club and Academy club grounds, people living in Stevenage can now drop off their new and unwanted toys at Stevenage train station too.
Shaun Smith, Great Northern Station Manager at Stevenage, said: “We’ve worked with Stevenage FC for a number of years, so when we heard that the Foundation was launching a Christmas Toy Drop, we wanted to extend our support because we know there will be lots of local families struggling this Christmas.
“People who travel through the station or live in the area can drop off good-quality toys throughout the month of December and we will work with the Foundation and the Toyshed to get the items to those who need them most.”
The Toyshed is a community initiative run by Stevenage Vineyard Church, who also run a local foodbank throughout the year, open to anyone living in Stevenage and surrounding villages.
Joe Goude, Chief Executive of Stevenage FC Foundation, said: “This year our community needs us to play our part as the cost-of-living crisis becomes a reality for more and more within our town. The opportunity to support families in need is something we’re proud to be doing and we’re really grateful to have GTR’s support to help the Toyshed reach its target of 230 toys.”
New and unopened toys can be donated to the Christmas Toy Drop by speaking to a member of staff at Stevenage train station, taking donations to Stevenage FC Foundation at The Lamex Stadium, or dropping items off at Stevenage FC Academy, next to Shephalbury Park.
The football club’s next home game is on Saturday 10 December against Mansfield Town. Those attending the game can take toys along with them and drop them at the KidZone.
To find out more about the Foodshed, run by Stevenage Vineyard Church, visit the website here: https://stevenage-vineyard.co.uk/compassion/foodshed