Nottingham Forest Football Players visit Himmah

NFFC Player's visit to Himmah during Christmas

Video credits belong to Nottingham Forest Football Club

During this festive season, the spirit of giving and community support shone brightly as the Nottingham Forest Community Trust joined hands with Himmah, Nottingham’s premier independent food bank. Throughout December, the Trust has been instrumental in providing not just food and toys but also their valuable time to help families in Nottingham, aiming to bring joy to those facing hardships.

The collaborative efforts reached a new high this week when nine first team players from Nottingham Forest teamed up with Himmah volunteers. They dedicated their Wednesday afternoon to form an efficient production line, distributing food parcels to local families in need.

At Himmah, we are dedicated to fighting food poverty, racial discrimination, and educational inequities. Our services include providing hot meals weekly, offering school uniforms to families in need, and running a mini-supermarket at our Radford facility. The assistance from Nottingham Forest's players was a boon, especially during the holiday season when the demand for food parcels typically doubles.

Uzair Hashmi, our Operations and Volunteer Lead, shared insights into the immense task at hand: “This week was particularly challenging as we aimed to prepare nearly 1,000 parcels for the Christmas period. We were fortunate to have the Nottingham Forest first team lend their support, helping us prepare over 300 emergency food parcels during one of our busiest weeks.”

While many are familiar with the concept of food banks, fortunately, not everyone has had to rely on them. Data from The Trussel Trust indicates a 16% increase in people turning to food banks since 2022, with many families seeking such assistance for the first time. The Nottingham Forest players were briefed on these sobering realities before starting their work, gaining a deeper understanding of the importance of their contributions.

Uzair Hashmi further commented on the significant impact of this collaboration: “In a year marked by financial struggles for many, the Forest team’s involvement brought a slice of Christmas cheer to Nottingham. It was touching to see the players not only prepare food parcels but also distribute them directly, creating a meaningful exchange between them and our service users.”

Defender Ola Aina from Nottingham Forest reflected on his personal connection to the cause, acknowledging the challenges he faced during past Christmases and the importance of giving back. Midfielder Ryan Yates expressed his deep compassion for the initiative, emphasizing the significance of their contribution to Himmah and the community.

Calum Osborne, CEO of Nottingham Forest Community Trust, highlighted the power of community engagement: “Our collaboration with Himmah is a true representation of our commitment to positive change. By bringing in the first-team players, we aimed to narrow the gap between the football club and the community, providing support that goes beyond mere donations. This initiative was about forming real connections and standing united with our community in difficult times, truly embodying the spirit of togetherness and lasting positive impact.”