Blackburn Rovers players joined fellow staff in packing food hampers to those most in need within the local community.

The football club, in partnership with Asda, Blackburn Rovers Community Trust and Benefit Mankind, organised the distribution of 200 food hampers to families during the month of Ramadan.

Rovers star Scott Wharton, as well as Academy duo Jake Batty and Will Blease, were on hand to assist with the special initiative, which forms part of the club’s wider work in the local community under its OneRovers umbrella.

Rovers, who have been shortlisted for the Diversity Award at this weekend’s EFL Awards, have run similar projects over the festive period in recent years, ensuring families wouldn’t go without food on their table on Christmas Day, and said they were keen to replicate the gesture during the holy month of Ramadan.

The hampers were packed full of everyday essentials and tasty treats, including soup, rice, pasta, cereal, fruit, cake, biscuits, crisps, chocolate and dates, and were delivered to less fortunate families by Blackburn Rovers Community Trust and a number of local mosques.

Benefit Mankind – Rovers’ charity partner for the 2021-22 season – also distributed 60 food parcels to refugee families and victims of domestic violence in the Blackburn and Accrington areas. 

Lancashire Telegraph:

The hampers were packed full of everyday essentials

Lynsey Talbot, Rovers’ Head of Operations, said: “As a diverse club at the heart of a diverse town, it’s important that we reach out to all parts of our fanbase and our community. This is an initiative that we dedicate a key focus to at Christmas time and so it’s only right that we replicate it during Ramadhan as well.

“It’s great for the staff and players across all three sites – Ewood, the Senior Training Centre and the Academy – to come together with our Community Trust and get involved in initiatives such as this. We are a family club and so it’s part of our makeup and it’s now part of our annual calendar of events.

“We recognise that we reside in one of the most underprivileged parts of the region and so it’s important that we try to give back where we can.”

Gary Robinson, CEO of Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, added: “I’m immensely proud to see the club, the Community Trust, the Academy, players, Benefit Mankind and other organisations all come together to benefit others at this special time of year. It’s amazing to see and to be involved in.

“When like-minded people come together social things can happen and that’s what’s happened today. This football club was born from the community, at the heart of a working class area of the town, and without the fans and the wider community there wouldn’t be a football club, so it’s so important that we give back.”

Dr Mulla, CEO of Benefit Mankind, added: “It’s been an amazing year working with Blackburn Rovers. We’ve done a lot of projects together, but this initiative for Ramadhan is very important because not only have families had to face lockdowns due to Covid, but because of the recent situation with bills going up, many families in the Borough are struggling, so these food packs will be going to them, as well as refugee families and those suffering from domestic violence.

“We receive phone calls on a daily basis from families in need of urgent help. Usually we’d hear that from war-torn countries, but to hear that locally is something unheard of, so these food packs will go a long way to help these families, even if just for a few weeks, so for Blackburn Rovers and the Community Trust to generously support this is crucial at this moment in time and we greatly appreciate it.”     

Rovers said they would like to pay a special thanks to Asda for their generous support of the Ramadhan food hamper initiative.