- Setting a new record of donated items, working from containers in Hemel Hempstead, the storeroom in Hatfield and the Liverpool/Manchester links. With thousands of items of kit coming through from all of our regional volunteers.
- KitAid Australia being set up, thanks to David Walker in Darwin.
- Zanil, Haniff and Davie from the Kit Aid FC U17/U14 teams, receiving International recognition for Malawi.
KitAid is involved in some diverse projects, but who would have predicted our work could help protect chimpanzees in a Ugandan forest?
The following report explains how as well as reporting back on the 18 team tournament we sponsored.
KitAid is delighted to announce Hibernian Community Foundation as a new member of our exclusive Ambassador Club.
This has followed the wonderful kit donation from the Hibs Girls Academy which was arranged by Lily Dixon and Academy Manager, Joelle Murray.
It is great to have Edinburgh represented alongside Airdrie and Stenhousemuir.
Happy Christmas to all KitAid followers and thank you for your support.
This film clip shows the power of donated kit and how it can make a difference in so many ways. The power of football is immense and having a proper kit to participate is just as important.
October has been another busy month and here are the totals to date
Total items donated in October – 11,903
Total items donated in 2021 – 96,633
Total items donated since 1998 – 803,257
Kit donated to the following countries in October, Liberia, Gambia, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Nigeria and Malawi.
Boxing Up, Hatfield
After a long and lonely gap of 18 months we were finally able to hold a “mini” boxing up session at Hatfield in person. Thanks to Affinity Water for giving us permission to use their facilities once again and thanks to everyone who was able to help out. It was lovely to see everyone after such a long gap and with a number of safety protocols put in place, the session went smoothly. We will continue to monitor the Covid situation and as more of us of a certain age receive the booster jab, we should be in a good position to hold a slightly bigger session once the storeroom fills up. Watch this space and fingers crossed, we may even be able to have the traditional KitAid photo under the Affinity Christmas tree.
William Hill Collection
Although the collection at shops around the country was held in the last two weeks of September, the donated kit was not actually delivered to the container until early October. We then held an outside count up thanks to our group of “retired” volunteers (thanks guys), and altogether 1,610 items were received.
From the donated items you could see certain regions, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds etc, had really got behind the appeal which is great. We know the BBC “Kit Out the Nation” campaign in September had an impact but even so, the total items donated is enough to kit out over 100 teams.
Very many thanks to Sharon, Alex, Steph and the team at William Hill for arranging the collection and for their support. Hopefully there will be a repeat collection in early January.
During October we teamed up with Care4Calais to support their refugee projects in Reading, Slough and Luton with unbranded but brand new football kits. Talking to the project leads it was interesting to hear how most of the refugees have very little to do and how football is not only a way of exercising, but a way of bonding. As they did not have proper kit they were playing in whatever clothes they possessed, often getting them muddy or damaged, with limited washing facilities. We were also able to pass on some brand new childrens winter coats to Afghan asylum families in Harrow.
KitAid Calendar 2022
Unfortunately the response to the question in last month’s update regarding potential interest in buying a calendar was limited and so, we have decided not to go ahead. It is a shame and it also means we have lost out on a fundraising activity, but for the amount of work/time involved, it is for the best. As 2023 will be a very big year for us, with the 25th Anniversary in July, perhaps we can do a special calendar then?
Both U14 and U17 teams are top of the Mulanje District Leagues and sadly, the U14’s lost their 100% record recently. As they have become the team to beat, an opposition team decided to play over age players to get a win. It didn’t go unnoticed and it has been reported to the League, but remains to be seen if the result will be voided. However, since then they have won 5-0 and 10-0 and are playing again as I write this update. The winners of each District League will then go forward to play each other in a National competition, which is really exciting for the boys.
At the end of November, Zanil will join up with the Malawi U17 National squad to play in a tournament in Lesotho, with games against Zambia and the Seychelles in their group. What an incredible experience for him at 15 years old and an inspiration to all of the FOMO children. Good luck Zanil.
We couldn’t let the opportunity pass to wish our much loved Treasurer, Trustee and friend to all, a long and happy retirement after 30 plus years at Affinity Water. Sean was a pioneer in the very early days of inventing water and has enjoyed supping it in the form of an ancient Dutch form, also known as Oranjeboom!
Good luck Sean, enjoy your new found freedom and keep counting the KitAid beans to keep you occupied.
It has been great to meet some of our new Regional Co-ordinators recently, even more so as they have travelled from Mansfield, Ashford and Chelmsford to support events. Welcome to Chris, Ben and Barrie. A very big thank you to all of our Regional helpers as we know you are doing a lot in the background collecting and storing kit for us. I really hope that one day we will be able to hold a proper get together, somewhere central for everyone, and celebrate properly. Now there is a thought for the 25th Anniversary in 2023.
September was another busy month with some big kit donations. Here are the latest figures
Items of kit donated in September – 16,005
Items donated so far in 2021 – 84,730
Items donated since 1998 – 791, 354
Kit donated in September to Malawi, Nigeria, Zimbabwe,Swaziland, Zambia, Gambia, and Ethiopia.
William Hill campaign
The Nationwide shop collection took place for a fortnight this month and we are very grateful to the organising team from WH for making this happen. Special thanks to Sharon and Alex from Liverpool for getting the project off the ground and to Steph from Leeds for managing the project. All of the kit is being collected from 25 regional centres next week and it will then be delivered to the containers in Hemel Hempstead next Friday(8th). It will be fascinating to see how much has been donated. The amount will have been affected by the BBC “Kit Out the Nation” campaign and for the next WH collection in November/December, we won’t have this to contend with. Look out for updates on our social media sites next Friday.
Boxing Up – Hatfield
After a very long 18 months, we have been given the green light by Affinity Water to hold a “mini” session on 23 October. This is really good news and it will be fantastic to have a proper sorting session together. We have agreed to limit the numbers for this session and for those of you who are still to reply to the email invite, there are a few places still to fill.
Even though we have managed to send out 84k items of kit so far this year, it hasn’t been the same and our sorting sessions are more than just a 3 hour sprint. We have missed the camaraderie, friendship and Sean’s eclectic mega mix of Vera Lynn to the Sex Pisols booming out across the room! And the Danish pastries!
Once we meet the new requirements at this session we should be able to increase the numbers again and soon be up to full speed.
We know that Everton Heritage Society has started to collect kit again for us before home games, so hopefully we will soon be looking at holding another boxing up at St Luke’s, Goodison.
I never realised how much I look at Twitter until they very annoyingly blocked our site a couple of weeks ago!
It took me four days of emails, providing a copy of my birth certificate, passport and two emails to the UK CEO, to get them to believe that KitAid was not an 11 year old child when we created the account in 2009!! All because I had to enter a date of birth to be able to follow the William Hill site and I entered the date KitAid was founded rather than my own dob. You have to be 13 years old when creating a site and the robot calculated that we were 11 in 2009! I then spent four days talking to robots in California!!
I know not everyone uses Twitter but if you do, please join the other 3,057 followers we have. Just this week, a film clip of some guys warming up in a Reading FC kit was seen by 73,474 different people. This is massive exposure and it certainly helps to get the KitAid name out there.
A very big congratulations to both of our teams in Malawi. After the first round of League games both teams are top and remain unbeaten. The U14 boys have won every game and have a positive goal difference of 18 and the U17 team has won 5 and drawn 3.
Zanil from the U17 team will soon be heading off for his first games with the National U17 team, which is a massive achievement and Mary has just arranged for him to get his first ever passport. He is still only 15 and he gives all of the FOMO kids something to aspire to.
Also we must say well done to the coaches, especially Noel and Gift, who have supported the boys since the very first KitAid FC team was formed.
KitAid Calendar 2022
Many of you will have turned the page today on the 2021 KitAid calendar thanks to Jo pulling this together last year.
The big question now is, should we do another one for 2022? We have plenty of wonderful photos and Jo is happy to put the time in again. Before we commit to the time, would you mind replying to say if you would buy one again. Please reply simply with a YES or NO to 2022 calendar.
Sorry I don’t know how to add voting buttons and this may prove how many people read the monthly updates!!!!!!!!
Our long term supporter Jeremy (Rance) is running 26 miles on Sunday and raising funds for a charity that is close to his heart, after a friend was seriously injured in a skiing accident. I am sure Jeremy won’t mind me saying he is just shy of a milestone birthday and he has had to train for two years due to Covid halting the event last year.
If you are able to sponsor him, here is a link to his Virgin Money Giving page
As ever, we would like to thank all of our supporters, especially all of the Regional Co-ordinators across the country who do so much in the background to collect kit and to promote KitAid. The number of RC’s is steadily growing and we now have 32, with Chris from Mansfield and Barrie from Chelmsford recently coming on board. We are very grateful to all of you. To end on a positive note, I think the following quote received from a recent donation to a project in Liberia really sums up why we all do what we do.
Destiny said – “Thank you to Kit Aid for sending this equipment – it helps us to achieve in football and we help each other to achieve in education – it is important because education brings opportunity to become successful. Football talent alone is not enough. We are very happy you thought of us so we can play as a team and have fun, make friends and encourage each other in school and in our favourite sport. Thank you for your kindness”
Thanks and best wishes.
The following project update from our charity partner in Sierra Leone really highlights the value of donated kit. It also shows how football is a release from the very hard lives these children live.
KitAid is a charity founded by Derrick Williams MBE in 1998, to provide kit and equipment to those who do not have access to resources across Africa and the developing world.Finding a home for your unwanted football kit in Africa and beyond.
Kitaid is a charity registered in England & Wales no. 1113968.
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