I have always wanted to establish twinning links between grass root clubs who support us and teams in Africa. Following the recent visit by Father Joe from the Jesuit Mission Zimbabwe project I am pleased to finally have got things moving on this idea.

We are starting slowly with a few clubs we know well (Garston Ladies, Woolton Juniors and Tring Tornadoes) and once it is up and running we will extend the invites to other teams.

I am really hopeful it will bring benefits to both parties and will not involve very much from us once the initial twinning partnership has been set up.

This morning ( 6 December) we held our final boxing up session for 2014 and we have broken all previous records.

The total number of boxes sent out during the year amounted to 1,201 and we sorted, packed and donated a massive 42,035 individual items of kit.

This brings the overall total since 1998 to an incredible figure of 262,035.

I do find it absolutely amazing that we can source that much kit, collect it from all over the country, sort it and then find the charities to come and collect it all, over 12 monthly Saturday morning boxing up sessions. It then finds its way from Hatfield to all across Africa, South America, Asia and Eastern Europe. Seriously well done everyone for making that many people smile and feel special.

As we say, it really is more than just a shirt.

KitAid is now the proud owner of a container to help with the storage of items at our couriers site in Harlow.

A massive thank you to the Facilities team from Affinity Water who donated and delivered the container to 5Speed couriers.

This has become essential as we have recently filled all of the storage capacity at the couriers and we needed the container to act as an overflow until we clear some space.

The kit is arriving so quickly though that as soon as we clear space we seem to fill it back up again.

On 8 November a small group of us visited the team from Airdrie and had a fantastic day meeting the people who had put so much effort in to collecting 4k items of kit for us. I was able to give a presentation in the club house and present thank you certificates to the people who had put in a lot of effort. 

It was also great to meet Dougy Allsop after months of conversations by email. This was a unique project and one which I think could easily be replicated by other clubs.

We also made AFC the 7th club to become a KitAid Ambassador Club. The 250k banner made its debut on the pitch and we were hosted in a box for the game, which AFC won 2 – 0, against Stenhousemuir (ironically another KitAid Ambassador club).

We enjoyed a lively night out afterwards with Dougy and his team, who were great hosts. We have built a really good relationship with the club now and will be visiting them again next season.

I think everyone is aware that we reached this point in early November and it was recognised first at the Airdrieonians FC visit, followed by the boxing up session and most recently at the Graham Taylor event at Watford FC.

We have received some good press coverage and a great reaction to the special You Tube film clip made at boxing up.

If you haven’t seen it yet please take a look.

Many thanks to Rebecca Akkad from Affinity Water for making this film and for creating such a great piece of work.

Here’s to the next 250k!!

I was honoured and really privileged to be invited by Graham to attend as a guest at the special celebrations held for the opening of the Graham Taylor stand at Watford FC.

It was a lovely event and the crowd really showed their appreciation for the fantastic achievements Graham achieved during his time as manager (twice) and chairman.

To receive an invitation was a sign of how Graham supports our work and we are all really proud and fortunate to have him as our Patron.