By Ian Townsend

We support Shelter's campaign to wear away kits at our Christmas fixtures

The Pitching In Isthmian League is very pleased to announce that we are supporting the #NoHomeKit Shelter campaign over the Boxing Day fixtures (27th and 28th December) to support and raise awareness of homelessness in this country.

As you may know, homelessness in the UK, and housing more generally, is reaching a critical point. Over 180,000 households have been made homeless since the start of the pandemic. Shelter's work is more important than ever and football is key to their strategy in tackling the housing emergency over the next three years. With our Clubs' unique connection to communities across the country Shelter hope that supporting this Campaign it may help raise the awareness of homelessness, as well as the idea of "home", linking football and the cause, on which this whole campaign is based.

Whether watching from the terraces or gathered round the living room TV, football understands what home means. Home gives all fans a sense of identity, belonging and, above all, community. The players on the pitch may change, but the feelings of home are
what keep us coming back to football week after week, season after season.

Shelter believes home means everything too. Access to a safe and secure home is what gives us all the foundation for a happy life. But for too many people, this basic human need is denied or under threat. Football’s position in society makes it the perfect ally in fighting for the thousands of people without anywhere to call home today.

The League is happy to support this campaign and will support all Clubs who wish to actively support the campaign, although it is optional for Clubs to take part. Clubs should let the league office know if they wish to take part- and obviously also talk to the opposition to ensure that there are no kit clashes!

Mark Lloyd from Shelter explains:

“The most visible key action is to not wear a home kit for these fixtures, showing support for those with no safe place to call home. It would be good to have all 81 Clubs in the Isthmian League involved. Even if a club is playing away, they can support in the same way: wearing No Home Kit (away or third) and lending their voice on social media. This can be as big or small as Clubs want. It can be just wearing the kit and and promotion the initiative on social media, but if clubs want to go further with content and fundraising then Shelter can supply them with everything they need."

Osama Bhutta, director of campaigns at Shelter, said:

“Homelessness has risen dramatically over the last decade. Right now, 91 families in England are made homeless every single day – and sadly even more people could lose their homes with a challenging winter ahead of us. Access to a safe and secure home means everything, it gives all of us the foundation for a better life - yet too many people don’t have one. I've been a football fan my entire life, and firmly believe that football is uniquely placed to help, given the importance of 'home' in the game. Your clubs are at the heart of communities across the country and having your support for No Home Kit will enormously help to raise awareness of homelessness, and what we can all do to fight it.”


The first way is to use your influence as a fan to ask your club to get involved. Then for your club’s Boxing Day fixture, whether your club is involved or not, Shelter want all fans to ditch their home colours and (where possible) wear their favourite away or third kit.

There is also the option to donate to Shelter through its website or by text message shelter.org.uk/nohomekit or text ‘HOME’ to 70455 to donate £5. Think of it like non-uniform day at school: you wear something to show your support and donate a few pounds to the cause.

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Where next?

Kevin Austen We join with Merstham FC as they mourn a dedicated club stalwart
Respect the Ref A new FA campaign reminds us that, without referees, we wouldn't have a game

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