MILLERS striker Jamie Proctor is looking for voluntary work — and he wants you to contact him if you have any worthy causes he can help with.
The 27-year-old is offering his services free of charge to any children’s charities, hospices or food banks that might need the help of a 6ft 2ins, match-fit, Lancastrian, for three days a week.
Don’t worry, the forward isn’t looking to retire just yet but he has recently reassessed what’s important in life after watching a hard-hitting TV programme on the use of food banks.
ITV documentary Exposure: Britain’s Hidden Hunger showed three families who were struggling to feed their children.
It comes as Britain, which is the world’s fifth-largest economy has an estimated 14 million people (including four million children) living in poverty.
He said the show had “shocked” him and hit him “really hard” after seeing a single mother having to choose between looking after her elderly disabled parent or feeding her two young children.
“Her financial struggle meant that she couldn’t afford to do both, a situation that was heart-breaking to see,” said Jamie.
Jamie said he now wanted to dedicate time to “any organisation that would love some help to put a smile on another person’s face”.
The footballer, currently on loan at Scunthorpe United, is appealing to South Yorkshire or North Lincolnshire children’s charities, hospices or food banks to get in touch.
He says he is happy to help by way of “financial donations, offering food care packages, helping with emotional support, or ideally just volunteering an extra pair of hands on a regular basis to help out and give back to the community”.
Jamie said volunteer work had always been in the back of his mind and he had once looked into heading to Africa to work with a charity, but due to pre-season training he had been unable to commit enough time.
Becoming a father to his daughter Eleanor, now 18 months old, had put things into perspective and he had been affected by seeing a mother in the documentary take her two children to a food bank.
Being on loan at Scunthorpe, where he lives in a hotel three days a week, frees up Jamie’s time in the evening to help a worthy cause — a situation former team-mate Will Vaulks used for good in Rotherham.
Jamie said: “He was in the same situation I’m in now. He was away from home and visited Bluebell Wood one Christmas, saw the kids and thought: ‘I want to do something to help’.”
Jamie praised Will — who was named PFA Player in the Community this year — for making his volunteer work look “so simple” and cites him as an inspiration.
After being signed by Preston as a 16 year-old and turning professional two years later, football has been Jamie’s life and he admits, like most footballers, he has little other life experience.
“Most footballers are in their own little bubble,” he added.
“But I definitely think at first-team level there’s a lot more emphasis now on players getting involved in the community and Rotherham are very good in that department.”
As well as currently studying for his finance exams, Jamie said he was keen to help young footballers realise there is life after the game.
When his footballing career ends, working full-time in the charity sector is a career he hopes to pursue — but for now he wants to offer his services as a volunteer.
If you have a job for Jamie that he can ideally help out with on Monday and Tuesday evening, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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