Wigan Athletic have teamed up with The Brick for a second season to help rebuild the lives of people facing homelessness, poverty and debt crisis across Wigan and Leigh.
Following a selection process, the Wigan-based charity will work closely with Latics throughout the 2018/19 season to aim to raise an incredible £100,000 to buy the Brick Works centre on Hodson Street near the town centre, which will secure their long-term future.
The Brick provide a safe, solid building block for people in crisis to begin to construct a new life and become valuable members of society. Services run by the charity include a Crisis Intervention Service and Wigan’s largest food bank, managed by a small team of staff and dedicated volunteers.
Latics fans will again be able to donate food and toiletries to The Brick’s collection points on home match days this season, starting tonight against Hull City where representatives from the charity will be outside the South East corner of the stadium, as well as bucket collecting around the ground.
The Brick Works, one of the charity’s innovative programmes, offers training to increase the employment opportunities for people who are unemployed for a variety of reasons, which may include homelessness, those who have been released from prison, people with mental health, low employability skills or the longer-term unemployed.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said of the partnership: “I’m really pleased about this news because as Mayor of Greater Manchester I’ve made ending rough sleeping and tackling homelessness a top priority. I want to get all Greater Manchester borough’s pulling behind that objective, so to have one of our successful football teams partnering with such a great charity sends a hugely positive message out not only in Wigan Borough, but right throughout Greater Manchester.
“We can see the growing number of people huddled in doorways all over Greater Manchester and it’s a reflection of life becoming so much more insecure these days. We’re all just a couple of bits of bad luck away from being in those doorways ourselves, so this partnership is a recognition that rough sleeping and homelessness could hit any of us and that’s why we all need to understand the causes of it.
“We’re living in times where mental health is a bigger concern, people are feeling more stressed so we’ve all got to come together as one society to say it’s not acceptable in this day and age that anyone spends a night without a roof over their heads. We all believe that we can come together in Greater Manchester to look after everybody and that’s what this campaign is all about.”
“I know many of the great supporters of Wigan Athletic and know just how loyal they are. They will rally around this important cause and I’m really pleased to see Latics not just succeeding on the pitch but making sure it doesn’t forget its root in the community, like some have, but not this club. They’re successful on it and are doing all the right things off it.
“Every time I visit The Brick I’m just blown away by what they’re doing. I obviously saw The Brick grow first hand when I was MP and heard people talk about the difference the staff there had made to people’s lives. It’s an organisation that everyone in the borough is hugely proud of, but this partnership with Wigan Athletic as it goes into its second year means they can do so much more and help more people.”
Jonathan Jackson, Wigan Athletic Chief Executive, said: “We’re delighted to partner with The Brick once again this season to help tackle homelessness, poverty and debt crisis across the borough. There were a number of highlights from last year’s partnership, and we look forward to working with the charity this season to raise the funds needed to secure their long-term future.”
Ged Bretherton, Business Director for The Brick, said: “On behalf of our charity I’d like to thank Latics for trusting and supporting us for another 12 months to enable us to build the charity up brick by brick, but importantly to secure our long-term future by making the Brick Works our future home.
“The Brick aims to tackle homelessness and poverty right across the Wigan Borough and support some of its most vulnerable people, so we hope the club’s supporters will continue to show their immense generosity towards us as we embark on another exciting year-long partnership.”
Please text BRIK18 £5 to donate to The Brick.