Mayor of South Yorkshire, Oliver Coppard, said the Blow the Whistle campaign is an “incredibly important” cause and that he is giving the campaign his full support.

On Wednesday evening, the people of Sheffield had their chance to ask the Mayor questions about issues that affect them at a question time event. 

When asked about the spike in domestic violence that occurs when England win a football match, Mayor Coppard said: “My understanding is that there’s a spike of violence during football matches more broadly, not just during the World Cup. There is an epidemic of violence against women and girls across the country and it is not okay.”

He pledged his support to the Blow the Whistle campaign: “I’m really happy to support your campaign, I think it’s a great thing you’re doing. It’s incredibly important and not just right now. It’s something we need to maintain a focus on, going forwards until that problem is challenged and tackled at its root cause and that’s going to be generational.”

The fundraiser, which launched on November 2, has already raised over £200 and the Blow the Whistle team will be making an appearance at Sheffield Wednesday’s home game against Shrewsbury Town at Hillsborough Stadium tomorrow. 

All money raised is going towards a new wellbeing centre for YWCA Yorkshire’s Peile House – a hostel that offers refuge for women aged 16-24 facing homelessness, often due to domestic violence.

During the 2018 World Cup, South Yorkshire saw a 1488% increase in domestic assaults causing injury. Mayor Coppard says “anything he can do to be an advocate for change,” he will do. 

You can donate to the fundraiser here.