Argyle and Ginsters Launch Project 35
We are excited to announce the launch of a brand-new community social impact project for Plymouth, Project 35, in partnership with Ginsters and the Argyle Community Trust.
Project 35 is our landmark social action initiative aimed at reducing poverty in Plymouth, through a comprehensive campaign of fund-raising, awareness raising, social outreach, food donations, education, and charity support.
The Project's titular number, 35, represents the percentage of children in Plymouth reported to be living in poverty in some wards of our city, according to the most recent (2019) pre-pandemic data.
For us, Project 35 is not just about raising awareness. It is also about taking action. When Argyle has needed the people of Plymouth to support us, they have done so. Now, in a position of relative strength, the club, in a long-term partnership with Ginsters, will take an active role in supporting those most exposed to poverty.
By partnering with Ginsters - a nationally renowned food business who share Argyle's community- focused values - we can use the power of Argyle, our stakeholders, and the Green Army to deliver a large-scale social impact campaign through the Argyle Community Trust.
A wide range of food poverty initiatives will take place throughout the lifespan of Project 35, including providing free meals for children from deprived areas during school holidays, weekend hampers, and dedicated food appeals at Argyle matches throughout the season, alongside permanent food donation points being introduced at Home Park. In addition, Project 35 will support families most affected by poverty with additional educational and pastoral care.
Project 35 will adorn the front of Argyle's men’s, women’s and Academy shirts for the duration of the 22/23 season to raise awareness of the harsh reality that many local families are facing amid a cost-of-living crisis.
While appearing on the club's front of shirt for a season, Project 35 will be a multi-year commitment. Year one will focus primarily on food poverty, starting with a pledge from Ginsters to deliver 100,000 free lunches to local children in 22/23 via the Argyle Community Trust, as well as donation of staff time at both Ginsters and Argyle over the course of the Project.
The club had strongly considered offering our front of shirt sponsorship to a charitable cause for 22/23 – assessing a range of options, from going alone with what is now Project 35, to offering exposure and support to a local organisation.
Despite several promising conversations with local and national brands whose values complemented those of Argyle, ultimately, the chance to deliver a club-led campaign to tackle poverty in our community alongside Ginsters was the stand-out choice.
Argyle Head of Commercial Operations, James Greenacre, said: "This is the most exciting and ambitious front of shirt partnership I have been involved in at the club, and we cannot wait to bring it to life in the season ahead. Project 35 has the potential to have a huge impact on our local community, using the power of Argyle for social good."
As a result of this partnership, Ginsters will remain the club’s Principal Partner, but the renowned pasty manufacturer has opted to donate shirt sponsorship to Project 35, as well as committing operations and awareness support.
Andrew Parkinson, Argyle Chief Executive Officer and Argyle Community Trust trustee, said: “Firstly, I must express our gratitude to our partners at Ginsters for their incredible backing of Project 35 – the opportunity to effect change in our community would not be as great without their participation.
“Project 35 is a chance for us at Argyle to give back to Plymouth after decades of unwavering support – through good times and bad. The club deeply understands its position in the city, and we have a responsibility to represent our people.
“The figures on child poverty are stark, and times are tough for a lot of families. Ultimately, being able to be involved in football is a privilege – but the last few years have shown us that it is not the same without a shared passion in the stands.
“A strong Plymouth is a strong Argyle, and we are excited to play our part with Project 35.”
Sam Mitchell, Managing Director of Ginsters, said: “It’s an absolute honour to be involved with such an important initiative in the local area and in partnership with the great Plymouth Argyle.”
“The statistics surrounding food poverty across Devon and Cornwall are shocking; and being the largest food manufacturer in the region, we believe it’s our duty to support our local community in partnership with Argyle, which we will do through the provision of free lunches and with the donation of this season’s shirt space to increase awareness of the project.”
Councillor Rebecca Smith, Cabinet Member for Homes and Communities for Plymouth City Council, said: “It’s great to see Argyle get behind the ongoing efforts to address the issue of child poverty in the city with the launch of this new project.
"Tackling child poverty in Plymouth needs to be a team effort and our Child Poverty Action Plan brings together private and voluntary sector support to tackle the wide ranging complex issues around improving children's chances in life and empowering families to move themselves out of poverty for good.
“Helping families with children overcome poverty not only makes a huge difference to their lives but to the lives of their families, communities and to society as a whole, so I’m delighted to see the launch of Project 35 in Plymouth.”
Supporters can read about Project 35 in more detail by visiting the dedicated webpage here, and they can see the Project 35 logo on our new 22/23 home shirt later this month.