The group of men were invited to attend the match versus Colchester United and make use of the Fans for Diversity Hub located in the East Stand.
Lunch was also provided thanks to the generosity and continued support of Anwar Uddin, head of the Fans For Diversity (FFD) campaign, which is run in partnership with the Football Supporter’s Federation and Kick It Out.
This was the second consecutive season the O’s have offered this Christmas-time respite in association with another valued friend of the Club, community volunteer Emdad Rahman MBE, who said, “It’s an occasion I look forward to with excitement and I feel privileged to be working alongside Anwar and Howard (Community Liaison Officer) to deliver such an event. Those invited are so grateful; it really does mean so much to them”.
Since the launch of the HUB in 2016, thanks largely to the Fans For Diversity initiative, the room (albeit now re-located) is utilised at all home games as well as used as a general community space on occasions.
The group on Boxing Day enjoyed their lunch followed by hot drinks and mince pies and were also presented an O’s scarf each by the Club before going out to watch the match versus Colchester United.
Although not quite the right result on the pitch, the experience off it was well-received and another great community and partnership success was enjoyed.
Once the season recommences, the trio of Club, Anwar and Emdad will come together once more in solidarity with Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation, and their ’day of action’ where the hub will be in use and populated with those who have experienced various forms of discrimination and prejudices that unfortunately blight our society today.
Howard commented, “This is a fantastic use of the hub; exactly what it is intended for. I’d like to publicly thank Anwar once again for his continued FFD support and to Emdad for his resourcefulness and energy.
“It’s always a pleasure to see the work we do come together in such a harmonious and beneficial way. Long may it continue.”