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From now on, we will be trying to give a little room to charities, volunteer organisations and others that need your help in some way or another that are related to football and are worthy of your attention. If you have anything that you feel we would be interested in, drop us a line via the Contact page and we will do our best to help to publicise your cause or project. This week, we kick off with three that have been drawn to our attention over the last couple of weeks or so. This evening, here some details of how you can help two charities that are using football as a power for good, and assist an art student whilst drinking a truck-load of beer.
The See The Difference Keep Your Balls Up Campaign: Stop sniggering at the back. See The Difference is an organisation which connects people directly to charity projects that they can assist with. These campaigns run independently of each other, and one of the campaigns currently running involves raising £500 to put on a Street League day in London. These days allow young offenders, drug users and NEETs lives (that’s people not in education, employment or training) to meet up and play football, but they simultaneously offer a far more valuable service – offering them exercise, the chance to build their self-confidence and the opportunity to investigate paths towards helping them into education or work. The evidence that these days work is compelling. Seventy-two per cent of those that have been helped by Street League have subsequently found work or training.
What, though, can you do to help? The See The Difference Keep Your Balls Up campaign wants to see your tricks. If you can keep a football in the air with your feet and post it to the wall on their Facebook page, 10p will be earned towards their next league day, which is due to be held on the 14th of September at Kennington in London. They are very close to their target, and only need a small push over the edge to get to their target. They are sure that you can help out with this. You can find out more about this campaign on their Facebook page, or by clicking here.
The Free-Kicks Foundation: The Free Kicks Foundation is a charity whose aim is to provide football-related activities for ill, bereaved and disadvantaged children, to give them a day to remember with their favourite football club. These days out may involve meeting the players or being the club mascot for the day, and over the last four years they have been very successful in making these days out come true for children that deserve at the very least a day’s relief from whatever life has chosen to throw at them. This charity is sponsored by Peterborough United FC and holds regular fund-raising events, but it still needs ordinary donations in order to carry out their work.
One example of the fund-raising activities that they get involved in was the recent Roads To Wembley walk. Over three days earlier this month, a group of volunteers walked from Barnet’s Underhill ground to Wembley Stadium, the twist being that they took a rather roundabout journey – the walk took three days, took in each of the thirteen Football League and Premier League clubs in London, and covered a distance of almost seventy-four miles. You can find out more about the Free Kicks foundation by clicking here, and should you wish to offer them a small donation for the sore feet that they earned themselves on the roads to Wembley, you can still do so by clicking here. They have, at the time of writing, raised just over £3,000.
Sing A Song Of Socrates: We all know that a good idea instantly becomes better when shared with the world. If you keep a good idea to yourself, how can it ever truly blossom? Whilst you ponder that question I shall cordially invite you, and any guests that you may wish to bring to join Jamie Cutteridge in an Art Project crossed with a Socrates meet-up crossed with a Football Singalong. Jamie has managed to get Lewes FC to very kindly lend us the use of The Dripping Pan for free on Saturday (the eleventh) morning, so that we can get a group of chirpy football fans in to create a visual and audio masterpiece. That’s right, you’re going to be singing pop songs. If you haven’t seen the Puma advert from Valentines day a couple of years ago, it’s here, and it is the inspiration for this idea.
So, now that you’re caught up on the general idea, here’s the plan. It’s simple really. As many people turn up as possible, stand up pitch-side and sing a load of songs that you wouldn’t really expect football fans to sing. Jamie will be filming the whole thing as part of an art project and afterwards there will be a pilgrimage to the local pubs to sample the local beers and ales. The plan is to treat this as a practice run for next season where we will be aiming to do the same, but on a larger scale, at a live game and raise money for charity in the process. They’ll be looking to get started at 11am so if you can aim to arrive by then on Saturday the 11th June, we have the ground until 12pm and we’re looking to be in the pub by lunch time. If you’d like to attend, find out more, suggest some songs or just mock Jamie then you can follow either him or Hayden Shaw on Twitter. If you don’t use Twitter, you can comment on this blog, or on this Facebook page.
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Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.