Stuart Holden Joins the Charity Train with Holden's Gifts of Hope

Jamie McDonald

The Reebok is full of giving souls...

A while ago, Kevin Davies found his own charity, Kids of Bolton, unsurprisingly aimed at help the children in the Bolton area. Recently Fabrice Muamba has been doing a lot of work around England to raise awareness about cardiac arrests and encourage CPR training. Stuart Holden is no stranger to the charity game, having started Holden's Heroes in 2009. His most recent effort is in conjunction with the Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, Holden has arranged a food and clothing drive to go on all around the Middlebrook centre, called Holden's Gifts of Hope.

Stu explained,

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've teamed up with BWCT who have 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 would be 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.

Those three collection points will be Tesco, ASDA, and the Premier Suite in the Reebok. Tesco will be open for donations from 8:30am-12:00pm, accepting both clothing and food. Stu himself will be there accepting donations from 11am to noon. The ASDA location will be accepting donations of both food and clothing from 8:30am-2:00pm, joined by Stu from 12:05-1:05. The Premier Suite inside the Reebok will open at 12:30pm and collect donations of clothing until 2:45pm, just before the kickoff of Bolton's match v. Charlton Athletic. Stu will be helping out there from 1:15pm-2:15pm.

The head of the BWCT, Ian Laithwaite also spoke to the official site about the efforts,

It is great to be partnering up with Stuart in bringing some benefit for the people of Bolton. Christmas can be a difficult time of year especially within the current times of austerity and to be able to donate vital food and clothing to local community groups as this time is a worthy and seasonal cause.

Bolton as a town, with the support of the Council, has been working hard across it's partnerships to respond to the needs of people at this time and to the real problems people are facing. Both the BWCT and BWFC is playing its part in addressing these social issues

They will be collecting all clothing, men and women's for all ages, and also all food, though non-perishable items are preferred. If you're going to the match on Saturday, be sure to bring something along.

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