Project 35 Summer Update
Project 35, the club’s social action campaign delivered with the Argyle Community Trust, and in partnership with Ginsters, may only be a couple of months old, but it has already generated tens of thousands of meals for local families.
With the summer holidays drawing to a close, members of the Argyle Community Trust team have pulled together the data behind the staggering volume of support delivered through Project 35 initiatives to those most impacted by the deepening cost of living crisis.
In the school break alone, over 16,000 meals have been delivered to local children and families, while education workshops have also been delivered to hundreds of individuals and families across Devon and Cornwall.
Over the past six weeks, Project 35 has used one of the busiest periods in the Argyle Community Trust calendar to supercharge campaign delivery.
Across the South West, thousands of food hampers have been delivered to homes. These hampers have not only provided families with vital nutrition, but also came accompanied by packs to provide vital information on where to access hardship support, resources, and further guidance.
Argyle’s headline partner in Project 35, Ginsters, has been integral in driving support through the summer, with over 2,500 food hampers distributed through the Trust’s network, ensuring that households in Devon and Cornwall continued to be fed across summer weekends.
Ginsters’ public and significant commitment to delivering Project 35 has led a groundswell of offers of support from dozens of organisations of all sizes, all sharing in our collective vision to help start a conversation and effect lasting change in the vast range of communities touched by Argyle and our charitable arm, the Argyle Community Trust.
Another long-term supporter of the Trust’s operations, the supermarket chain Morrisons, has held food collection points at tills throughout the summer months, delivering household essentials direct to families in Plymouth, as well as to vital local organisations like the Four Greens Community Trust in Whitleigh.
While a key element of Project 35’s activity is focused on generating and distributing food to those who need it, long-lasting impact can only be achieved through holistic support – crucially, supporting families and individuals to be able to overcome the challenges of food and fuel poverty. As such, educational programmes and initiatives delivered by the Trust are now in full flow throughout the region.
Educational support has been rolled out through a targeted Project 35 newsletter, offering regular guides on food preparation, nutritional information, and eating on a budget, while our ‘Food for Thought’ education sessions have been delivered to over 250 young people. The Food for Thought programme of learning included sessions on foraging food, making fires, and cooking in the wild, as well as learning about healthy food and striking a nutritional balance.
Project 35 was never intended to supercede or distract from charitable and community activities taking place in Plymouth, Devon, and Cornwall, and so a great deal of time and resource has been diverted towards projects already making a tangible difference in the community – using the Argyle Community Trust’s tried and tested network of charitable partners to achieve maximum results.
One such partnership, with Devon and Cornwall Food Action, has seen 24 families in Stonehouse, and a further dozen in Whitleigh, provided with weekly food and essentials.
The mission of Project 35 has also resonated with Argyle supporters, with the club and Trust receiving hundreds of pledges of support from members of the Green Army – from requests to join food drives to financial support, and everything in between.
More information on ways for individuals to get involved with the next stage of Project 35 will be revealed very shortly, but families and children have already experienced the warmth of the Argyle family at a number of home games this season, with tickets, mascot packages, and memorable experiences awarded to families identified through Trust partners for a number of fixtures at Home Park this season.
Meanwhile, members of the online supporter message board PASOTI clubbed together to fund the purchase of 80 replica home kits for children who might not otherwise have been able to purchase them – underlining the collaborative nature of Project 35.
Speaking on a summer of hard work and strong start for Project 35, Argyle Chief Executive Officer and Community Trust Trustee, Andrew Parkinson, said: “We are delighted with the progress made over the summer.
“Project 35 is about instigating lasting change in the region and using the power of the collective, under the Argyle badge, to make a real difference. It is an incredibly complex and challenging effort, but one very close to the heart of everyone involved, and in-line with the core values of Argyle.
“The work over the summer demonstrates that we can make a real difference – and every member of the community can contribute – from Argyle fans, to staff, to club partners, and the wider business network.
"We are just getting started but know there are many families affected by the cost-of-living crisis and much more work needs to be done. We will shortly be announcing how supporters can get involved in the next phase of the Project, and we urge anyone who wishes to play their part to get in touch when the time comes.”
For more information on Project 35, visit our dedicated landing page.