Cafe boss uses football winnings to provide food for struggling children

A cafe manager has said her decision to use a £250 win on a football bet to provide food for struggling children during the holidays has prompted a “fantastic” community response.

Ali Waterworth’s offer to help families during half term was one of the many gestures Marcus Rashford highlighted on his social media on Friday.

Ms Waterworth – who is a Manchester United fan – runs the Ruddi’s Vintage Treat Rooms cafe at Ruddi’s Retreat in Slaithwaite, near Huddersfield, which is a charity she set up to provide respite holidays for families with seriously ill children.

Ms Waterworth said she decided to take the initiative after a £2.50 bet on a football accumulator netted her £250.

She wanted to stress that she is not using any of the charity’s cash to fund the meals.

But she said that, since she publicised what she was doing, she has had donations and offers of delivery help from local people and businesses and even a professional rugby player.

She added: “Anonymous people have sent £10 and £20 and things, so we may be able to help more people then we thought, which is fantastic.”

She said: “Unfortunately Boris (Johnson) has got other things on his mind at the minute and he’s not doing as he should by the kids, in my opinion.

“I think that we need to try and help them. I don’t want anybody to go hungry.”

She said: “I’ve been watching the news and watching the stories and it’s been really sad.

“So I just thought ‘right, I’m going to spend some money and feed some children’. It’s as simple as that.”

She said: “It leaves me speechless to be honest.”

Asked about Rashford’s efforts, Ms Waterworth said: “I think what he’s doing is brilliant, I really do.

“I think we should all back him.”

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