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Warrenpoint headquartered artisan food-to-go company DELI LITES has kicked off a major social impact project to show its support for environmental protection, using football as a catalyst to help rid our streets of litter.

Kicking off a new social impact project that will encourage young people to be more environmentally aware are some of the participants from Playing For The Future with (back left) Keith O’Hara, Senior Coach at Playing For The Future and Brian Reid, CEO of DELI-LITES.
Kicking off a new social impact project that will encourage young people to be more environmentally aware are some of the participants from Playing For The Future with (back left) Keith O’Hara, Senior Coach at Playing For The Future and Brian Reid, CEO of DELI-LITES.

The award-winning fresh gourmet sandwiches and food-to-go products company is teaming up with the non-profit group Playing for the Future in a social action project to encourage young people to care for the environment.  

Starting initially with a workshop on May 13th for young people and their families involved in the Playing for the Future football academies, the project aims to conduct community clean-ups and educate about ways to address and improve the issue of litter. The organisers hope that this will gain momentum with further workshops and involve other football teams or community groups across the island of Ireland.   

“At DELI LITES we are excited to educate about the role nutrition plays in sport success, but also where the food waste ends up,” said the company’s CEO Brian Reid. “As a food-to-go business, we recognise our responsibility to tackle the issue of waste and are taking steps to minimise our impact on the environment. To that end, we have introduced plastic-free packaging, and earlier this year our plant-based range officially became carbon neutral. We are actively taking steps to become a net-zero carbon business.”  

Playing for the Future was established in 2009 as a cross-community youth football project, currently based in Belfast and Lurgan but with plans to expand to other parts of the UK and Ireland over the next three years. It creates opportunities for disadvantaged young people to progress to professional sport but also aims to ensure that young people understand the importance of looking after the environment, diversity, and mental health.  

“We are excited to be working together with Playing for the Future to empower kids, and adults, within our communities,” continued Brian Reid. “It’s interesting that the energy saved by recycling just one aluminium can, is enough to run a television for three hours – and for those who love watching ‘the beautiful game’, that’s the equivalent of two football matches!  

“The responsibility lies with all of us to encourage and facilitate opportunities for those of all ages and backgrounds to create a sustainable future for everyone.  

“The ethos behind business, sport and sustainability remains synonymous. Often, being successful is about being persistent and putting in the extra work when no one is watching. Playing for the Future is determined to be about ‘more than just football’ - they are dedicated to providing their members with well-rounded skills to set them up for the future.”  

Thomas McStravick, Managing Director of Playing for the Future, added: “We want to inspire people to dream, have ambitions and reach for the stars. We strongly believe in the power of football to help make our future a positive, prosperous and fulfilling one.   

“Sports teams such as the Forest Green Rovers FC demonstrate how creating a more sustainable future can be addressed by football communities. Earlier this year, the team released their new innovative kit made from waste coffee grounds and recycled plastic, furthering their commitment to being the most sustainable football club on the planet. We are really excited to launch this new partnership with DELI LITES that’s all about caring for the environment and helping our young people to be even better custodians of it.  

DELI LITES will be hosting the workshop via Zoom, making it accessible for members across the country, with the company’s Environmental and Sustainability team sharing their expertise on how to make a difference, so that participants will be empowered to get out into their own streets to pick up litter and help grow the environmental message across the island of Ireland. 

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