Football fans walk half marathon for Islington food bank

Robbie Lyle and Vicar Tamsin Merchant

Robbie Lyle and Vicar Tamsin Merchant with the fundraiser money. - Credit: Jason Milne

Arsenal and Spurs fans came together ahead of the North London derby to raise thousands of pounds for The Hive Food Bank in Hornsey Rise.

On December 1, 15 people from the AFTV channel and other Spurs fans, including Jack Fowler, completed a 12.98-mile fundraising walk - a distance representing the parameter of the borough of Islington.

READ MORE: Islington community centre hands out 1,000th food parcel amid pandemic

The five-hour walk took place on two treadmills inside the offices of AFTV media, due to Covid-19 restrictions, with the participants rotating.

Most people walked for around 15 mins, although Laura Howard-Harmer, AFTV production manager, admitted that “some people we made to do a bit more, a bit faster, we had a bit of fun with it”.

It was livestreamed and hosted by Robbie Lyle, the media group’s host. Famous figures such as Ugo Monye, former rugby union player, and celebrity chef Ainsley Harriot also joined the call.


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More than £5,700 and a £500 donation of food and toys from AFTV were presented to the food bank on the afternoon of December 18.

Laura said the food bank “was very grateful…. especially with Christmas coming up, they were able to buy a few more things with the money”.

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Sartej Tucker, head of strategy and commercial, said: “It is important for us to give back to the community…and obviously at a time when people are struggling across the country and across the world."

Vicar Tamsin Merchant at St Mary Hornsey Rise, where The Hive Food Bank is based, said: “We have been so delighted with the support from AFTV in particularly helping to fund hampers, so we have been able to provide some really amazing gifts to members of our community who otherwise would often go without this Christmas."

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