Sunderland AFC captain John O'Shea spreads Christmas cheer for city charity

John O'Shea delivers Christmas donations to Emma Richardson, Service Manager at Dundas Street, and Jennifer Foster, Head of Housing and Support (North).
John O'Shea delivers Christmas donations to Emma Richardson, Service Manager at Dundas Street, and Jennifer Foster, Head of Housing and Support (North).

Sunderland AFC skipper John O'Shea has helped spread Christmas cheer at a city charity.

The Republic of Ireland international delivered more than 1,000 food bank donations to Centrepoint in Dundas Street.

John O'Shea with Centrepoint staff, David McCormack (left) and Scott Crackett (right).

John O'Shea with Centrepoint staff, David McCormack (left) and Scott Crackett (right).

Black Cats fans and club staff were among those who donated hundreds of tins, as well as pasta and rice packets and other non-perishable items to the appeal ahead of Christmas.

O’Shea said: "The donations from our fans have been fantastic, they have really supported the initiative.

"It was great to see the club staff getting involved too, it’s been a real team effort”.

The former Manchester United defender met with staff members at the centre and thanked them on behalf of the club for helping support homeless youngsters across the city as he delivered the boxes of donations.

He added: "The staff at Centrepoint do a fantastic job and it was a pleasure to meet them and to be able thank them for all their hard work.

"Hopefully the donation from the club has helped bring a little joy this festive period."

The items donated through the appeal will be distributed to families and youngsters at a number of Centrepoint’s offices across Sunderland over the festive period.

Amy Gormanley, Senior Fundraising Officer at Centrepoint, said: "We’re incredibly grateful for all of the donations from Sunderland AFC and its fans, and we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated.

"Their generosity will help make sure homeless young people in Sunderland don’t go hungry this Christmas.

"Youth homelessness is a huge problem across the country and as many as 25,000 young people could be at risk of homelessness this Christmas.

"But with a safe place to stay and the support to find work and tackle the health problems caused by homelessness, young people can turn their lives around in 2017."

Centrepoint is the leading charity for homeless young people aged 16-25 and supports 9,000 homeless young people a year.

Founded in 1969, Centrepoint has helped more than 116,000 homeless young people.