Tranmere Rovers` `Super White Christmas Appeal 2016` was a huge success.
A three-year-old girl who attended the Christmas Day lunch with her family, who were struggling this Christmas, told us that she was told ‘Father Christmas couldn’t go to her house on Christmas Eve and instead would be bringing her presents to Tranmere on Christmas Day’, showing just one example of how the Appeal helped the local community.
In line with our #SWA2 initiative which enables disadvantaged local people to attend Tranmere Rovers matches at Prenton Park, the Super White Christmas Appeal helped both children and adults enjoy some of the festive experiences which most of us take for granted.
We held three Super White Christmas Events, one for children on 3rd December where we gave children from our #SWA2 charities the chance to play football, get involved in dancing activities and meet Santa Claus and then watched Tranmere’s match against York City after the party. One of the children that attended the party had never seen Santa before and was overwhelmed by meeting him. His words were “this is the best day ever”.
We also received some touching feedback from other kids who attended, with one saying “I wish I could do that all over again” while another said “I have never seen Father Christmas before”.
Our next event was on Christmas Day where we were feeding people socially isolated as well as families struggling at Christmas time. This day was really well attended by both guests and volunteers, who very kindly gave up their time at Christmas to help the local community.
We had food donated from local businesses such as Smylies, Willaston Physio, Finsa and Hillyer McEwan and also monetary donations from club sponsors such as Airways Solutions, AIB, Bromborough Paints, Hill Dickinson, and to some of our fantastic supporters. These generous donations enabled us to put on a three-course lunch for everyone in attendance. Father Christmas made an appearance and distributed presents for each guest and the smiles on their faces when they received their own Christmas present was great to see.
On Boxing Day, we held an event for homeless people, where they had the opportunity to have a kick about on the futsal pitches, get a free haircut from Ragtime Barber, enjoy a turkey curry followed by apple crumble and custard, before going into the stadium and watching Tranmere Rovers vs Macclesfield Town and get a burger and chips after the match donated from Willow Catering.
The guests who attended had a great time and got lots of gifts and food to take away with them after the game as well as clothes and warm hats and gloves. One of our guests from the Charles Thompson Mission said it had been his ‘best Christmas ever’ and others were so pleased that they could join in at an event like this and Christmas didn’t have to be the same sad time for them.
As well as these events, we also held a Christmas Gift Appeal sponsored by Finsa Home. We collected donations of food and gifts which we distributed between Neo Café and Home Start Wirral. Home Start told us that the families had been ‘overwhelmed’ with the hampers and we had helped to make their Christmas special.
Vice-chairman Nicola Palios said: “For most of us, we take for granted the joy around Christmas whereas others are less fortunate. It was fantastic that Tranmere Rovers was able to come together and help bring some of that joy to the local community who are lonely, homeless or in financial difficulty.
“We catered for more than 150 people over the course of the three events and I would like to pay special thanks to the 43 people who volunteered to help us with the running of the events as well as the local schools and organisations who acted as gift collection points for the Appeal.”
After the success of the events in 2016, we’re already looking forward to Super White Christmas 2017!