Plymouth Argyle FC – Project 35

We are delighted to share this amazing community social-impact initiative from Plymouth Argyle FC – Project 35. In conjunction with their partners, the Argyle Community Trust and Ginsters, Plymouth Argyle FC have launched this landmark initiative. They aim to reduce child poverty for children in Plymouth, Devon, and Cornwall.

Project 35 has been named for a very significant reason. According to the most recent pre-pandemic data, in certain wards of Plymouth, 35% of children were reported to be living in poverty. In some areas, the percentage is reported to be much higher.

Project 35 – The Campaign

The team’s not only organising permanent food donation points at Home Park Stadium, and raising funds through various projects. But they’re also raising awareness of food poverty through social outreach programs; supporting families through education and pastoral care. Project 35 is a long-term initiative that’s here to make a real sustainable impact in our communities.

“Project 35 will be a multi-year commitment. Year one will focus primarily on food poverty. Starting with a pledge from Ginsters to deliver 100,000 free lunches to local children via the Argyle Community Trust. As well as the donation of staff time at both Ginsters and Argyle over the course of the Project.”

Plymouth Argyle FC – Project 35, Millfields Trust
All Images supplied by Established By Her

Argyle Community Trust

Dwain Morgan is the Head of Business and Impact at Argyle Community Trust and is one of the main figures behind Project 35. The Argyle Community Trust is the official charitable partner of Plymouth Argyle FC and provides sport, health, well-being, and educational opportunities for the people of Plymouth, Devon, and Cornwall who might not have access to mainstream provision.

According to Dwain, Project 35 is a response to information gathered during the pandemic. All of the Club’s core activities came to a bit of a standstill. This created an opportunity. They had to adapt and diversify – their work moved towards very current issues affecting the community; food and fuel poverty, social isolation and loneliness. The Trust connected with other charities in Plymouth with more experience in this area. Data received from Plymouth Children in Poverty unearthed the seriousness of the problem. Project 35 is the Trust’s way of pledging its ongoing commitment to driving positive change in the city.

‘One of the kind of key aims of project 35 is not to duplicate or replace or dilute the existing work that some of these amazing charities are already doing it’s about supercharging and growing.’

Dwain Morgan

Understanding what child poverty is…

The Trust is learning from the other charities and organisations already working in this area. And understanding what child poverty is and how it affects families differently is an essential part of tackling the problem. Food poverty could mean frequently relying on food banks. Those suffering from weekend and holiday hunger. But food is only one aspect of the issues families are facing. Purchasing school uniforms is an ongoing problem. Accessing dental treatment, and a number of other challenges concerning access to general health, and well-being information. As well as opportunities to live an active lifestyle.

‘The one thing we have learned is that you can’t really categorise what child poverty is, it differs so differently and it’s so complex.’

Dwain Morgan

Organisations the Argyle CommunityTrust has recently developed relationships with those they would love to support going forward:

Plymouth Energy Community

Action for Children

Plymouth Citizens Advice

FareShare Southwest

Plymouth Children in Poverty

Devon and Cornwall Food Action

For all the details on Project 35 head over to their website and find out more about all the amazing events, and activities planned for 2022 and beyond. There are also a number of ways you can get involved so check out the Project 35 page and see what opportunities are available.