West Stand Bogs (WSB) is a Community Trust set up with the intention of supporting Barnsley business and charities. They publish a quarterly fanzine and donate all profits from it’s sale to various charities and causes in the borough. This is their story.
I love Barnsley. I love its history of brave fights and hard graft. I love its people, their self-depreciating nature, their sense of humour, their lack of awareness of what talent they have and how strong they can be. And it’s for all those reasons that I set up West Stand Bogs.
Brief history lesson – 30 years ago this town was the centre of the political world. The NUM and its members were at war with the State in an effort to not only protect their livelihoods but their communities and the future hopes/opportunities of their children. That brave, year long fight ended in defeat and Maggie got her way. That defeat paved the way for the ills we see around us today – zero hour contracts, low wages, lack of union representation & most of all a lack of community spirit and feeling. She was selfish and wanted everyone else to be. And she succeeded.
Thirty years on my town is still dealing with that war. It has the lowest secondary school GCSE attainment rates in the country. It’s one of the most economically deprived areas in the UK. It’s people have little to no opportunities available to them and need help.
And that’s where we come in.
WSB is a Barnsley FC fanzine in name. In our 4 issues a year you get the usual bollocks and piss taking mixed in with proper writers displaying their talents in our pages. However, the key about WSB is that it was set up with the sole intention to help Barnsley and its people. We’re here to raise money for local causes with a long term aim of becoming a charity to provide opportunities for the young people of my town. In the last 18 months we’ve raised over £15,000 through magazine and merchandise sales & events. Money going to local hospices, cancer charities, food banks, drop in centres, soup kitchens and local youth clubs and football teams.
Also, everything we buy is bought in Barnsley. It’s all designed & printed in independent Barnsley businesses. It benefits our own people at a time when those in power look to push us to one side and ignore us.
Besides all that, we think our mag is alright. But what we know is that every mag we sell helps someone. Every mag you buy helps someone. And right now, my town needs some help.
The people united will never be defeated.