Supporting the homeless
The Aston Villa Foundation have been supporting the homeless community in Birmingham since 2018.
In March 2018 the Aston Villa v QPR fixture was cancelled due to snow and bad weather, and over 750 packed lunches had been prepared for the game for matchday staff.
We did not want the food to go to waste, so we put an appeal on social media for organisations to collect the food. Following the appeal, we had a range of organisations collect the food and it was then we started to understand the issue of homelessness in Birmingham.
In May 2018, the Aston Villa Foundation organised a Big Villa Sleep Out to raise funds to support homelessness. £12,000 was raised and we donated half of the money to Change Into Action and the other half was spent on purchasing essential items for rough sleepers.
The Big Villa Sleep Out grew significantly in 2019, raising £34,000. We wanted to use Villa Park as a base for support, and so Villa Kitchen was created.
Homeless and hunger is a 365-day problem and so we wanted to provide support throughout the whole year which is why we created Villa Kitchen.
The Aston Villa Foundation, Aston Villa FC and Levy UK (AVFC’s in-house catering partner) are working in partnership to provide meals to the homeless in Birmingham, using Villa Park as a base to cook hot meals, provide cooking tutorials and hold food collections for the local foodbanks all year round.
We will be utilising Villa Park’s industrial kitchens to help tackle hunger through our project, Villa Kitchen. We will provide over 700 hot meals each month to outreach organisations, as well as supporting them with their storage to support them in getting more nutritious meals to those who need them most.
Villa Kitchen is funded through the Aston Villa Foundation’s Big Villa Sleep Out event which takes place annually.