Coffee mornings, heat hubs and toy drives: How London’s EFL clubs are helping their communities this winter

 (Shutterstock)
(Shutterstock)

London’s EFL clubs are launching initiatives to help fans cope with the cost of living crisis this winter, including opening their stadium doors during the week to keep supporters warm.

The initiatives are part of a nationwide campaign by the EFL, which includes all 72 Football League clubs and is called ‘Together – Supporting Communities’.

The scheme has been launched to help fans cope with the rising cost of living in the UK and includes a number of matchday offers to make football more affordable.

Clothing donations, foodbanks and ‘heat hubs’ have also been created to help those members of the community who are struggling the most this winter.

Millwall’s stadium The Den will be holding a coffee morning every Wednesday, which is open to all supporters and members of the public and provides unlimited free tea, coffee, and cakes and biscuits.

QPR and AFC Wimbledon have launched similar schemes at their grounds, too. Leyton Orient, meanwhile, are holding a free monthly lunch from January, which is aimed at older people in the community and will be working with local groups, such as Age UK, to help both loneliness and the cost of living.

London clubs are working with food banks to help the community, while Watford have also launched a ‘toy drive’. They are organising donations of toys from supporters, staff and others, then wrapping and redistributing to local children from low-income families – selected in partnership with schools and hospitals.

EFL fans will also be able to benefit from ticket offers as part of the new scheme. Leyton Orient’s game against Brentford this weekend is just £1 for children, while for their match against Sutton United on December 17 all tickets will be £5.

EFL chief executive Trevor Birch said: “Providing a warm stadium for a coffee morning, a regular food bank or clothing collections, ‘Together – Supporting Communities’ will offer real tangible help for those people hit hardest by the cost-of-living crisis within our communities.”

“While EFL Clubs support people all year round, we recognise that now more than ever we should come together and maximise the power of our network to support people who are struggling.”