Just a few short weeks ago former professional footballer Adam Yates spent his days organising school holiday activities for children in disadvantaged parts of Stoke-on-Trent. Now he’s busy masterminding the delivery of thousands of emergency meals to many of those very same families.
When it was launched in February last year no one could have predicted what the organisation would become just over a year later.
What started off as a way to offer activities, workshops and meals to children from deprived has become a vital lifeline.
In just the past three days alone Hubb Foundation volunteers have cooked and distributed 2,500 meals. Many of these were packaged up into food parcels to keep entire families fed for two to three days at a time.
Alongside food they deliver sports equipment, clay and activity worksheets to try to keep children engaged with learning.
Adam and his team have attracted donations from big businesses such as JCB, Wrights and Totally Delicious as well as cash donations and have found themselves cooking up 560 kilos of carrots.
Adam, from Werrington, said: “We were organising two to four hour sessions including sports, arts and crafts and other activities, all linked back to the curriculum and including food too. We’ve built up strong links with schools, which meant that many of the connections were already in place when it became clear that help was needed with the coronavirus effort.
“Port Vale Football Club, the Port Vale Foundation and also Synectics Solutions and Summit Hospitality, both owned by Carol and Kevin Shanahan, are also involved, with many members of staff volunteering their support.
“We’re trying to support as many different people as we can, and are finding that the number of people needing our helping is increasing week by week. We know the demand is going to increase even further the longer this goes on.
“We’re using fresh food, include plenty of fruit and vegetables, to make meals that people then just need to warm up in the microwave.”
Adam and his team of volunteers were used to meeting children and their families in school or community settings, but now they’re going directly out to their homes.
He said: “I visited one family that had five children. One of those children has a medical condition which meant the whole family has to self-isolate and they’re unable to leave the house to get food. We’ve got a lot of people in that position.
“For some families it’s helpful just to see someone else and to know someone is there and cares. There are a lot of isolated people, a lot of people with their own problems. It means a lot to them when someone goes to drop something off and to check on them.”
Adam, the Shanahans, Port Vale manager John Askey and club players have all been ringing people to offer any support they can.
“Lots of different people from the football club, Hubb Foundation and Carol and Kevin’s businesses are pulling together to do whatever they can. It’s very much a team effort,” he added.
Businesses or individuals who would like to contribute to The Hubb Foundation’s work are asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.