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Cambridge football fans to sleep out in support of homeless charities

Supporters of Cambridge United, global campaigning charity Street Child United and homelessness charity Jimmy’s Cambridge will brave the winter weather in February to take part in a sponsored sleepout.

Those taking part will ‘sleep rough’ in the stands of the Abbey Stadium on Friday 23 February. Money raised through the sleepout will be divided between Street Child United and projects at Jimmy’s Cambridge delivered in partnership with the Cambridge United Community Trust.

Ben Szreter, CEO of the Cambridge United Community Trust, said: “It’s great to be able to work with Street Child United and Jimmy’s to raise money for some really important causes. Both charities do brilliant work both locally and globally and being able to use the Abbey Stadium, the hub of our community, to support their excellent work is an exciting prospect.”

Street Child United organises sporting and campaigning events for street-connected young people from across the world. In May they will host a Street Child World Cup in Moscow, bringing 216 street-connected young people from 22 countries to take part in a football tournament and campaign for their rights and protection.

John Wroe, Co-Founder and CEO of Street Child United, said: “As a charity founded in Cambridge we have a special relationship with the city. We’re delighted that the people of Cambridge want to demonstrate their compassion by taking part in this sleepout. By supporting Street Child United and Jimmy’s Cambridge, this city is showing the world that it cares for the most vulnerable people living both here and across the world.”

Jimmy’s Cambridge delivers 24/7 emergency accommodation and supported housing for those who would otherwise be homeless or vulnerably housed. The charity’s vision is to provide homeless accommodation pathways from the street floor to a sustainable front door.

Barry Griffiths, Communities and Communications Officer of Jimmy’s Cambridge, said: "Jimmy's Cambridge is proud to be associated with the sleepout organised by Cambridge United Community Trust and to be alongside our friends Street Child United. This sleepout will demonstrate how generous Cambridge is and how mindful the community is for individuals that are less fortunate. Thank you Cambridge for your kindness and generosity to both charities – please come along and enjoy a night under the stars at the wonderful Abbey Stadium"

Anyone wishing to take part in the sleepout can email fundraising@cambridge-united.co.uk for more information.

First Team Christmas Visit to Addenbrooke's Children's Wards

Following their usual tradition, the players of Cambridge United Football Club paid a festive visit to the Children's Wards at Addenbrooke's Hospital. Players visited children on wards D2, C2 and C3.

The U's spent time chatting to the children, parents and siblings, as well as staff, signing autographs and putting a smile on many faces. Goodie bags and presents were given out and left for the children who will unfortunately find themselves in hospital over the next few weeks.

Cambridge United Community Trust would like to thank the Amber Army who kindly donated presents in the weeks leading up to the visit, for the U's first team players to deliver.

Andy Farrer, Cambridge United Community Trust Health and Inclusion Officer, said: "It was great to see the smiles on the children's faces at Addenbrooke's during the players visit.

"We'd like to thank the brilliant work of the Addenbrooke's staff both for facilitating our visit and for what they do every day, which we got a brief view of during our visit.

"We'd also like to thank our fans for their generosity in donating presents for the children at Addenbrooke's."

Generous donation allows members of the local community to join first team players Christmas dinner

Thanks to a generous donation from Dennis Rawlings, a number of local deserving people in the community were warmly welcomed to the players Christmas dinner this year. They have all served the local community in Abbey Ward over the last year in a number of ways and it was great to recognise and reward their involvements.

Stuart Wood, Minister at Barnwell Baptist Church, said “It has been a real privilege for us to have been offered places at the CUFC Christmas lunch for the past 3 years and for us to give these to both volunteers and those who are deserving from the local community. I know that everyone who has attended has been really pleased and, as one lady commented this year, to have a night out was such a thrill and change. Can I, on behalf of the local community, thank the sponsor who makes this available – it does make such a difference.”

Lorna McNeur said, “The Abbey Orchard Volunteer Team was delighted to be invited to the CUFC Christmas dinner. Five of us in total. We all had a really lovely evening. Good company, good fun, and good food! The vegetarian and vegan options were not only delicious but exemplary! Many thanks from us all!”

Cambridge United first team players hand out Community Awards

Cambridge United's first team players Piero Mingoia and Harrison Dunk were at Coleridge Community College to support their annual sports awards. The players handed out the federation blue awards to 29 students from year 9 and year 11 on the day. The half Blue award recognises two years' commitment to playing competitive sport for two teams over two years, while the full Blue is for those competing for four years.

Ian Dixon, Head of Sport, said 'In the past we've done these awards through assemblies but over the recent years we've done it more on a personal scale. Getting a local sportsperson like we have today just takes it up a few notches and makes it that bit more special.'

Andy Farrer, Health and Inclusion Officer for Cambridge United Community Trust, said 'The first team players are always very supportive of the visits to the local community. It was great to see the students interacting with the footballers who provide positive role models in a sporting environment. We look forward to supporting Coleridge Community College in the future.'

Cambridge United support Street Child United partner project in India with kit donation

Cambridge United are privileged to support the work of Karunalaya Centre for Street and Working Children across the world in Chennai, India by donating football kits for their young people to use for their sporting projects.

Karunalaya are supported by Street Child United, a partner charity of Cambridge United who aim to change negative perceptions of street children across the world.

John Wroe, Co-Founder and CEO of Street Child United, said: "Street Child United was founded in Cambridge and we're delighted to strengthen our bond to the city by partnering with Cambridge United. Both Street Child United and the Cambridge United Community Trust are committed to tackling inequality and promoting inclusivity, whether that's in Cambridge or Chennai, and we look forward to working together to make a big positive impact in the lives of vulnerable young people everywhere."

Street Child United put on international sporting events where street children from around the world take part in and represent their country. Individuals from Karunalaya in Chennai have taken part in the Street Child World Cup 2014, Street Child Games 2016 and will be involved with future events with the organisation. Karunalaya Social Service Society is a non-profit organisation which was founded for the care, protection and rehabilitation of runaway street and working children in Chennai city.

N. Paul Sunder Singh, Secretary of Karunalaya, said: "For street-connected young people in Chennai, wearing the kits sent by Cambridge United elevates their confidence, motivation and promotes a professional attitude. Karunalaya has a special connection with Cambridge and the club - although we are in different countries, we are united."

Andy Farrer, Health and Inclusion Officer for Cambridge United Community Trust, said: "It is incredible to see the amazing work that is going on in Chennai with Karunalaya. After visiting Paul and the team back in 2015, it is brilliant to see Kayunalaya continue to protect the rights of some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children and women in Chennai."

For more information about the work that Karunalaya and Street Child United do please read here: http://www.karunalaya.in/about/ and https://www.streetchildunited.org/what-we-do/