The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and Leeds Rhinos Foundation, official charity arms of Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds Rhinos, are teaming up this Christmas with homeless support charity Emmaus Leeds, to collect donations for ‘The Foundation’s Box’.

Leading up to Christmas, The Foundation’s Box will collect cricket and rugby kit and equipment, as well as everyday apparel. All sports items donated will be given to children who work with the Foundations on their community projects. Anything additional will then be donated to Emmaus Leeds, to help with their mission of helping to reduce homelessness and poverty.

“I’m really excited that the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and Leeds Rhinos Foundation have teamed up to produce the ‘Foundation’s Box’. Both Foundation’s deliver fantastic community projects, that aim to solve local issues, with a lot operating in more deprived areas. It’s a great way, especially at Christmas time, to give back to those on our projects and also help Emmaus Leeds in their mission to fight homelessness” – Charlotte Jones, Yorkshire Cricket Foundation.

All cricket kit and equipment will be donated to Yorkshire Cricket Foundation’s project Wicketz. Wicketz is a community cricket programme, funded nationally by Lords Taverners and delivered in Yorkshire by the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation. The seven hubs, operating across areas of Leeds, Bradford and Hull with higher levels of social deprivation, gives children from these areas the chance to play cricket and also receive a meal or snack too, working in partnership with food distributor Fareshare.

“Wicketz is completely free and always will be because we want remove any barriers that kids might face getting into Cricket. The children at Wicketz will really benefit from any kit donated, it’s always good to bring new equipment into the sessions, to do something different, and a lot of our kids have really got a passion for the game now and are moving onto hard ball. So anything we can give to help them progress will be brilliant.” – Ben Fraser, Wicketz Development Officer, Yorkshire Cricket Foundation.

Meanwhile, the rugby kit and equipment donated to The Foundation’s Box will be distributed to junior players at the Rhinos’ network of ‘Ambassador’ community rugby league clubs, which is a key arm of the charity’s Rugby League Development Plan with Mears Group to help improve standards and increase participation in the sport across Leeds. Any spare adult clothing will then be donated to learners at Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s ESOL programme; often including refugees, asylum seekers and people from other vulnerable communities who the Foundation support by helping to improve their English and employability skills.

Bob Bowman QPM, Chief Operating Officer of Leeds Rhinos Foundation, commented: “More often than not, the simplest ideas can have the greatest impact and put smiles on faces. We are delighted to partner with our friends at The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation on this excellent project which typifies what the ‘season of giving’ is all about. I am confident it will be well supported and make a positive difference to the lives of people who our Foundation’s support.”

Emmaus Leeds supports 26 formerly homeless people by providing them with a stable home and work in its social enterprise. The charity has its main community building and social enterprise on St Mary’s Street, a stall at Kirkgate Market and a charity shop in Halton.

How can YOU get involved?

From Monday, November 18th until Thursday 12th December, we will be taking donations. You can drop items off at the Foundation Box, in the Yorkshire Cricket Centre, between the hours of 9am and 4pm.

What can I donate?

We will be collecting cricket and rugby kit and equipment, such as bats, helmets, cricket pads, rugby balls, boots, headguards, as well as everyday sportswear and clothing.

How can I find out more?

For more information or general enquiries, please contact [email protected] | 0113 2033 664

Click on the below link to find out more about the Yorkshire Cricket Foundations work.

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