On the bench: Fans pitch in to help open Welfare drinking area

On the bench: Fans pitch in to help open Welfare drinking area

Throughout lockdown, the South Shields FC Supporters Alliance has been working hard behind the scenes to raise much-needed funds for the club’s charitable foundation.

A weekly Irish Lottery bonus ball draw has accumulated more than £500, which has now been donated to the Foundation.

Foundation Manager Steve Camm said: “We are extremely grateful to the Supporters Alliance for organising the weekly draw and making the Foundation its beneficiary.

“We know that times have been hard for everyone over the last year but once again we are overwhelmed by the generosity of South Shields FC supporters.

“We wanted to make sure that we reinvested the donation in something that will help us build up income streams as we start to reopen and recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The funds raised have been used to purchase six picnic benches which now take pride of place in the beer garden at Harton & Westoe Miners Welfare, where the Foundation is based.

They were officially opened on Monday, April 12 by representatives from the Supporters Alliance, who were joined by members of the Harton & Westoe Miners Welfare Banner Group.

Supporters Alliance Members Secretary Alison Cairns said: “We were over the moon when Steve Camm contacted us to say the money we had raised so far for the Foundation would be put to good use by purchasing benches for people to enjoy the outdoor beer garden area he was looking to create.

“We look forward to continuing our financial support in the future.

“We’d like to thank all who take part in the fundraising measures who make things like this possible.”

The first weekend opening day on Saturday, April 17 was a massive success and the beer garden will be open between 12pm and 4pm every Saturday, with other opening times planned around activities and events on site.

Further details about opening times will follow as progression is made through the government’s roadmap. The next key date is May 17, when bars may also be able to open indoors.

For opening times, follow the Foundation on Facebook and Twitter.