The All England Club has not let towels from the COVID-cancelled 2020 edition go to waste, with around 30,000 or the pricey and best-selling tournament souvenirs having been distributed to charity or repurposed.
Officials said in a progress report for the 2021 edition that more than 20,000 of the fluffy favours in club green and purple have been handed out by the Wimbledon Foundation, the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative, and the AELTC itself.
– 5,000 towels to the British Red Cross for their refugee projects
– 2,400 towels to homelessness charity Crisis
– 5,000 towels to local Merton key workers
– 2,000 towels to local Wandsworth key workers
– 8,000 towels to the Hygiene Bank, a community initiative which gives hygiene, personal care and household cleaning products to those in need across the UK.
“Since the cancellation of The Championships 2020, we have worked hard to make a difference to those in our local community and beyond as the coronavirus continues to have a significant impact on people’s lives,” AELTC chairman Ian Hewitt said.
In addition, Wimbledon will begin laying on charity hot meals with winter on its way to the UK.
“We are pleased to be extending our hot meals programme to continue to help those in need locally for the challenging months ahead.
“We are particularly delighted to see the 2020 towels being put to good use across such a variety of incredibly important causes.
“Staging The Championships in 2021 is of the utmost importance to us – for our competitors, our fans, our Members, our partners – and it will also enable us to continue to support our communities near and far.”
Plans for future club expansion were also updated, with a harvest of historic tree acorns across Church road from the club grounds at the golf course site purchased for future Wimbledon needs in recent years.
“Having surveyed the many wonderful trees and discovered several historic veteran oaks, we have been undertaking a harvest of the acorns of these historic veterans in order to preserve their DNA,” Hewitt said.
“We hope to grow several trees that in time, can be replanted in the park.”