August was a really busy month at the containers, and we are now back to two of them again, which saves us £162 per month.  Here are the latest despatch figues.

11,690 items of kit donated in August

68.830 items of kit donated in 2022

889,782 items of kit donated since 1998

We are getting close to the final 100k and still on track to reach 1 Million donated items in 2023.

 

Congratulations

to Trustee Thomas (Enright) and his partner Debbie, who tied the knot in Mbale, Uganda.  Thimas has a long standing relationship with both Debbie and Uganda so it was fitting they celebrated their wedding there. On their honeymoon they handed out kit and also visited the Bulindi Chimpanzee project which we support with kit and sponsorship of their farmers football tournament. In lieu of a wedding present the other trustees donated £100 for  them to use towards a project and they chose to support the Mbale Youth Football project with the funds.

Many congratulations to you both and very best wishes for a long and happy future together.

 

25th Anniversary

Many of you will have received a special email I sent out earlier this week outlining some ideas and asking for your feedback for our big Anniversary year in 2023.

Thanks to those of you who have responded, and if you haven’t yet managed to do so, it would be great if you can. There have been some interesting responses and some themes are developing. I am really keen that everyone can take part in different events throughout the year and we use this as an opportunity to let more people know about KitAid and our successes.

 

Do Not Scratch Your Eyes podcast

I was interviewed by the guys from the DNSYE podcast and they ended up dedicating a whole episode to KitAid, which was a pleasant surprise. It is still available to download either directly or from Apple etc.

It has generated some interest and new support for KitAid as well as some lovely feedback.

 

Afi – Golf 

If you remember from the last monthly update we were asked to help enter junior golfer, Afi, from Ghana into some tournaments across Hertfordshire, after she missed out on the opportunity to play in the World Junior Championship in Scotland.

Luck clearly does not follow Afi, as after entering her into four competitions, at some prestigious golf clubs, she was unable to travel to England due to accommodation issues and Covid.

This is such a shame as she has missed out once again, but hopefully something can be arranged for next year. A big thank you to Ross from Five Star Trophies and to Jeremy for their help and advice.

 

FOMO/KitAid Bonanza

We sponsored the big Bonanza football and netball week and also the medals which were given to all of the winners.

It was great that Regional Co-ordinator, Ben (Wildman) from Kent was able to attend in person as the guest of honour, as he was working in Malawi for his charity in early August.

Ben presented prizes and took some great photos which were posted online at the time. I met Ben this morning when he dropped off some kit and he was very impressed with the whole event. He was also given a tour of the FOMO school, new gym and saw at first hand the wonderful work carried out by FOMO.

 

Giving and Receiving

We tend to focus more on kits being received but I received an email from one of the charities we give to, which made me think.

Ernest is a soldier in the British army, in the Household Cavalry, and he sends kit to Ghana where his parents are from. He sent an email after collecting the recent donation of kit to say that KitAid was a lifeline to his work, as previously he had visited car boot sales and charity shops, to buy shirts. Along with the shipping costs he was finding this harder to do and couldn’t believe how happy he was to find KitAid.

Ben also visited a sports shop in Blantyre, Malawi, and was shocked to find that a pair of shin pads would cost the equivalent of a week’s wages for the people he was coaching.

“It’s more than just  a shirt………”

 

Just Giving

We recently received a very generous donation of £1,000 plus Gift Aid in memory of a person who sadly died playing football in Manchester. A tournament in his memory was arranged by his friends. As Gift Aid does not supply us with any details of individual donors we have no way of thanking the family and friends of Frazer Gowans. We did post a thank you online and this newsletter also appears on our website. Hopefully they will get to see it along with our appreciation.

 

Boxing Up

It seems an age since we were all together and properly sorting kit, but I am hoping to go back to boxing up sessions in Hatfield and Liverpool next month.  The storeroom at Hatfield is about one third full and St Luke’s has more, so once I am back from holiday I will look at some dates and send out the invites.

As ever, many thanks to everyone for your support and if you are still to reply to the 25th Anniversary questions, please do.

 

Have a good month ahead

Derrick

Many thanks to the guys from the Watford fan podcast, DNSYE, for allowing me to spend 40 plus minutes sharing the history of KitAid. It is great to be given so much airtime as most radio interviews tend to be no longer than 10 to 15 minutes.

We covered a lot and the feedback has been great, including a nice tweet from Luther Blissett.

We hope you enjoy listening.

June and July have both been extremely busy for KitAid, with a lot of kit coming in and going out.  Here are the totals for each month.

 

June  –                                          6,020 items donated

July  –                                          12,250 items donated

Total donated so far in 2022  –   57,140

Total donated since 1998  –        878,092

 

We are still on track to reach the 1 Million total in late 2023, our 25th Anniversary year.

 

Sean McGuigan

On behalf of the Trustees I would like to thank Sean for his many years of service as a Trustee and Treasurer. He also manages our Charity Commission returns and has done a fantastic job ensuring that they are always submitted on time.

Sean has decided to take a break after much soul searching and has stepped down as a Trustee. He has kindly agreed to continue as Treasurer until the end of the year, to allow a handover to take place.

Mark Smith has kindly offered to take on the Treasurer role and Sean will be offering guidance over the coming months.

Sean will still continue as a volunteer so fear not, his eclectic mega mixes will still be there at future Hatfield boxing up sessions!

Thanks Sean, it has been great working with you all these years.

 

Ballysillan Football Camp, Belfast

After a two year break due to Covid the Football Camp resumed a couple of weeks ago and Steve Andersen and myself attended on the final day.

It was lovely to see the boys and girls enjoying themselves and the team from BYFC did a fantastic job. In fact, football is almost an aside as it gives them the opportunity to mentor the kids and to get to know new ones. They run a brilliant Youth Centre with activities and support throughout the year and this often continues in later life, as Peter and his team act as surrogate parents for many of the kids.

This year marked the 15th Anniversary of our support for the project and we presented a special glass “friendship” trophy, which was kindly donated by 5 Star Trophies of Hemel Hempstead.

 

Fafali Golf

This is slightly off topic but a fascinating story!

Fafali, who we support with football projects in Accra, Ghana, have been given access to one of the main golf courses for the kids they support. It turned out that one of the girls, Afi, proved to be incredibly talented, and she recently won the Ghana Junior Championship. As a result she was eligible to play in the World Junior event but sadly her visa didn’t arrive in time and so she lost the opportunity to play and visit Scotland.

Her Aunt is Rhoda, who lives in Watford, who we know well as she is the person who collects donated kit to send to Fafali. Afi is now coming over to stay in Watford and we have been asked to help enter her into Junior tournaments across Hertfordshire in August and September. I have agreed to help with the admin for the entries. Thanks to Jez and Ross who are both keen golfers, for helping me with questions so far.

We are looking to enter Afi into as many competitions as possible and if there are any female readers, due to Safeguarding rules, we could really do with some help in driving Afi to and from events. If you are able to help please let me know.

Who knows, we could have a future KitAid Golf Champion as an Ambassador!

 

Everton FC

Thanks to Richie (Gillham), one of our Liverpool RC’s, Fanatics, the company who manage the retail side of things for a number of clubs, offered to give a 10% discount off a new shirt if supporters donated an old shirt. Richie has been suggesting this to Fanatics and Everton FC for some time and his perseverance paid off.

Fanatics are also going to run a similar campaign at another PL Club and it is great to have them on board.

 

Club support

Thanks to the efforts of various RC’s we have received donations from new Clubs in the last couple of months, namely Morecambe FC (thanks Barrie), Lincoln City (thanks Thomas) as well as some big donations from Arsenal, Man Utd and Liverpool. We also had a very big donation from Harpenden Colts which filled 8 laundry bags, thanks to Ed and Lindsey Venner.

 

Ricky Road Run/Finances

Thanks to the (virtual) Ricky Road Run we received a donation of £1,700. We currently have a clear balance of just over £10,000, which may seem a lot, but every month we have to spend £486 for container hire and £125 for every courier collection. We can spend around £800 a month which will erode the £10k if no further donations are received.  We have also sponsored 3 events so far this year.

If you happen to know any National Lottery winners or some grant making organisations or even anyone who is looking to raise funds for a charity, please ask them to consider KitAid. As next year is our 25th Anniversary I would like to hold a themed 25 fundraising event where we ask people to raise or donate £25. If you have any ideas please let me know.

 

Diamonds in the Community/Scotland

We have a long standing relationship with Dougie in Airdrie and along with Gordon in Stenhousemuir, they both act as the contact point for the whole of Scotland.  This is a big task and quite incredible that a whole country can be covered by just two people.

Diamonds in the Community is a great charity and they support their community in many different ways.  They also act as the main storage hub for kit donations and recently a lorry load of kit was delivered by one of their partners, free of charge, from Airdrie to the FOMO warehouse in Preston, for later delivery to Malawi. Thank You to Dougie and Gordon.

 

Ghana Trip

One of the charities we support in Ghana is organising a holiday with a difference, where people can deliver our kit to projects but also enjoy a holiday at the same time. KitAid cannot endorse the trip but if anyone is interested in attending for a week in October, I can share the details, It costs circa £1,500 for the week and you have to pay for your flights to/from Ghana.

Well I think that is everything apart from thanking you all for your support and hard work behind the scenes.  As you can see from the monthly totals, none of the above would be possible if it wasn’t for the work you all do. Many thanks.

Enjoy the rest of the Summer and the new season!

 

Derrick

The following film clip shows the story of a shirt from a boxing up session in Hatfield to Accra, Ghana.

A lovely article which captures the KitAid story in less than 3 minutes.

As the season has now come to an end I hope your teams met your hopes and if not, it is only a few weeks away, for you to dream again!

May has been a really good month in terms of raising our profile as well as sending out and receiving kit.  Here are the monthly totals and the main highlights.

 

Items sent out in May  –  8,365

Items sent out in 2022 –  38,870

Items sent out since 1998 – 859,822

 

Countries kit delivered to – Ghana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Gambia, Zambia, Malawi

 

Premier League Today TV

After a couple of delays the film clip recorded at our Hatfield boxing up session in March was finally broadcast across Africa, South America, Asia and other non European continents.

It is a really professional recording and it tells the KitAid story from 1998 to the current day. There is some lovely film footage of the boxing up session as well as footage recorded by Fafali in Ghana.

It will soon be loaded on to our website as a News story and next month I will also share the link.

I have managed to build a good relationship with the researcher at PL TV and as he also works on other networks, he is going to try to get them interested in the KitAid story.

 

AMEX/Brighton & Hove Albion FC

We were contacted by the Agency who represent AMEX as they wanted to celebrate their 10 year anniversary of being the main shirt sponsor for Brighton. They ran a special “buy back” scheme for supporters which offered a free 2022/23 season shirt voucher in return for a donated Brighton shirt. They limited the offer to the first 250 supporters who dropped a shirt into the Club shop, and not surprisingly the vouchers were snapped up on the first day. There was a lot of publicity and it introduced us to a new club and group of supporters.

Thanks to Stuart, our local regional co-ordinator, for collecting all of the donated shirts.

 

90mins online

Some of you may already follow 90mins online and they have a very big social media presence with over 1 million followers. Throughout May they chose a different charity each week to promote and last week it was KitAid’s turn.

This certainly helps to raise our profile and other opportunities quite often follow.

 

Football Mum’s

This is an odd one!

I was contacted by an author who has written a “Top Tips for Football Mum’s” book as she wanted to include a section about recycling old kit. She has included KitAid in a few sections and I read the whole book to provide some feedback. It is a lovely guide to help Mum’s whose kids are starting off in junior football and it explains  things in a light hearted way. From what to wear on the touchline to the different footy terms.

Once it has been published I will share details for anyone interested.

 

Tring Tornadoes/Harpenden Colts

Both of these clubs are local to us and we have had a long standing relationship with them.

Once again they very kindly invited us to their end of season awards events where all players and parents were asked to bring along kit. A very big thank you to Stephen and Ed from each club and to Jo and Jeff who helped out at the Tring collection. We collected a lot of kit and were also able to share some of it for Ukrainian children who will soon be joining Tring Tornadoes.

If you are involved in a grassroots club and would like to host a similar collection please let us know.

 

Boots to Malawi

Mary from FOMO Malawi shared some photos of the boots the boys and men were playing in. They were torn and to be frank, dangerous, as they had no studs and were held together by tape. You may have seen the appeal for boots we promoted online and very quickly we collected 40 pairs of good quality boots.

Although we don’t usually send out kit ourselves, we made an exception and paid £230 for them to be air freighted to FOMO. They arrived this week and they will be handed out to the players this coming weekend.

 

Thanks to our Regional Co-ordinators

We are aware of how much work goes on in each region, especially at this time of the year, when many clubs change their kits. Although everything may not get mentioned in these updates, we are aware of how much you all do for us and we are extremely grateful. If you do have any particular donations or events you would like to be given a special mention, please let me know as I can always thank them on Twitter/FB or Instagram. A photo helps and if it includes children we do need permission to meet consent requirements.

Thanks everyone and best wishes

Derrick

On behalf of the KitAid Trustees

March was a good month for KitAid with our first full boxing up session for over two years and some helpful publicity. Before sharing the highlights I would like to welcome our new Regional Co-ordinators to the team, Chris Blakeley from Carterton and Naomi Owen from Stoke on Trent.

Monthly totals

Total items sent out in March = 11,325
Total items sent out in 2022 = 26,655
Total items sent out since 1998 = 847,607

Countries supported – Malawi, Ghana, Ukraine, Cape Verde. Zimbabwe, Gambia, Senegal, and Sierra Leone.

Premier League Today TV

At the boxing up session we were joined by PL TV who sent a presenter and a cameraman to record the “journey of a shirt” story. They filmed every element of the session, interviewed a number of volunteers with the focus being given to a Watford FC shirt which was presented by Barry (Freedman) to Rhoda from the charity Fafali.
Rhoda then arranged for the shirt to be delivered to her brother in Accra, Ghana, and he has filmed a message holding the same shirt, with children from Fafali, all wearing Watford kits.
The production team at PL TV will now edit the film and it will be broadcast later this month. Unfortunately it will not be shown in Europe, but they have promised to share the finished clip, which I will include a link to in the next monthly update.

Annual Reviews

Hopefully you will have received your printed copies of the new Annual Review. I posted 30 packages but to save on postage I have held back sending them to those of you I will see in the next few weeks. This is our key report to explain to people what we do and although I say it myself, I think it is a great read and it looks professional.
Here is a link to the report and it would be great if you could share this with your friends, contacts etc
https://1dlvs22b360y2pxdsc25i32x-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/kitaid-annual-review-2022-paginated.pdf

Ukraine support

We were able to donate 15 boxes of Club Wembley fleeces and teddies to two separate deliveries of humanitarian aid, one via ex Watford and England legend Luther Blissett and the other via Chesham United/England Supporters.
We also donated hundreds of pairs of socks to the New Hope Trust in Watford, 12 boxes of unbranded sports clothing to Care4Calais and some bags of scarves to Barrington Court homeless charity in Hammersmith.
I think this reinforces our message that “It is more than just a shirt…” and we are really pleased to support these appeals/projects.

Non League Day

We are very grateful to Aylesbury Vale Dynamoes FC from the Spartan Premier League for hosting a kit collection on our behalf on Non League Day. Supporters were given free entry to their game if they donated kit or clothing for Ukraine. A large amount of kit was donated and one of the organisers spotted 15 classic retro Wycombe Wanderers shirts from the early 1990’s. As he is a journalist for the Bucks Free Press he persuaded the paper to host an auction of the shirts and this raised an incredible £1,100 for KitAid.
A very big thank you to James Richings from the paper for making the collection and the auction happen. Thanks also to local Regional Coordinator, Chris Turton, for liaising with the Club and for collecting all of the shirts.

Lorraine Worsley Carter MBE

We would like to offer our congratulations to Lorraine on becoming the new High Sheriff for Manchester. We met Lorraine in Manchester a couple of years ago as she was helping former Ambassador Mary HD with some public relations work. She has followed our progress since the meeting and will act as an Honorary Representative for KitAid in her time in office. Lorraine will be officially inducted as High Sheriff later this month, after which time, we will make a more official announcement.
Well done Lorraine, and we look forward to supporting you throughout your tenure.

KitKing

KitKing from Loughborough have been very supportive of our work for some time. After many telephone discussions and cancelled meetings due to Covid, I finally met up with the owners and staff at their Head Office. I also gave a presentation to the team, who were really interested and keen to get more involved.
We are looking at ways of working more closely with KitKing and hope some of their team can support us in other ways than solely providing kit.
As the partnership develops we will share the developments.

25th Anniversary – 2023

As time seems to fly I thought it would be good to start raising the profile of the forthcoming 25th Anniversary, which officially is July 2023, so just 15 months away!

A couple of questions which I would really appreciate your involvement in.

To recognise the milestone would you prefer a black tie dinner as we did for the 10th and 15th anniversaries or a less formal buffet style evening as we did for the 20th anniversary??

Would you like to be involved in helping to organise the event? (Not compulsory!)

Please do let me know your thoughts as it is important we involve everyone as you are the people who have made it happen and without you we wouldn’t be celebrating 25 years of KitAid.

Have a great month and stay safe.

Derrick
on behalf of the KitAid Trustees

We are delighted to share the new KitAid Annual Review which is full of heartwarming stories capturing our successes in 2021.

To read the Annual Review please use the following link. 2021 Annual Review

Printed glossy copies are also available on request.

Thank you to our designer, Carole Parsons, for ongoing support despite the fact that she retired two years ago!

After two very long years we were delighted to hold our first full boxing up session at Hatfield on 12 March with 25 of our volunteers.

To make this landmark even more special we were delighted to welcome the cameras from Premier League TV who were making a short film about the journey of a shirt from Hatfield to Ghana. Matt Floyd who is often seen on Sky Sports News was the main host and a number of the KitAid team were interviewed. The second stage of filming is yet to take place in Accra, but when we have a link to share to the full story, we will add it to the website.

Over 5,000 items of kit were sorted and packed at the session, bringing us ever closer to our target of reaching 1 Million items of donated kit by 2023.

February was another busy month with deliveries or collections at the Hemel Hempstead containers almost every day. Here are the monthly totals:
Total items of kit donated in month     7,420
Total items donated so far in 2022     15,330
Total items donated since 1998          836,282
 
Countries donated to in February :    Uganda, Zimbabwe, Guinea-Bisau, The Gambia, DR Congo, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Cape Verde, Sri Lanka, Kenya and South Africa.
 
Annual Review
 
I am pleased to have met the deadline of writing the new Annual Review by the end of the month and many thanks to those who have reviewed the content so far. All of the pictures have been found and sent to Carole, our designer, and the fun now starts for her as she has to squeeze it all into seven pages. Once this is completed it will be sent out again for a final review and then go to print. If all goes to plan I should be able to send out the printed copies in early April. It will be loaded onto our website and shared on social media so look out for it, as even though I say it myself, it is a good read!
Mary HD – Ambassador
 
We heard from Mary last week that after two and half years as our Ambassador she has decided to step down from the role.
We are very grateful for her support over the period and you would like to thank her and wish her the very best for the future. An article acknowledging her support has just been posted on to the front page of the KitAid website.
Boxing Up – Hatfield
 
After two very long years we have finally got a date in the diary for a full boxing up session at Hatfield, on Saturday 12 March. Thank you to those who let me know they could (or couldn’t) attend and we have 24 volunteers able to help out on the day. If you missed the email and would like to attend please let me know by return.
To add to the excitement, we should also have Premier League Today TV filming the journey of a shirt from the session all the way through to it being handed over in Accra, Ghana. I have had a couple of conversations with the programme researcher and will confirm everything next week.
Looking forward to those Danish pastries and Sean’s weird and wonderful megamix!
Sue Lopez
 
This is probably a name that won’t mean anything to you, it didn’t to me, but a lovely story has developed from a single kit donation.
Mark (Smith) drove over to Reading to collect a kit donation, which turned out to be a few boxes of Southampton Ladies FC old kit. The donor explained that her son had bought a house in Winchester and the garage was full of football memorabilia/records from Southampton Ladies in the 1970’s onwards. The previous owner, Sue Lopez had left them as she had moved into a care home.
Sue was a leading player in Women’s football from the 1960’s, playing for England, Southampton and then as a coach.
We put the new house owner in touch with the National Football Museum in Manchester and they have arranged to collect, catalogue and display some of the items.
“Its more than just a shirt………”
Ukraine
I am sure everyone reading this update feels shocked and horrified by the situation in Ukraine.
We have been asked if we can supply winter coats by one of our charity partners, the Myosotis Trust, who have previously donated our cold weather kits to their project in Romania. They are getting a shipment together to send to Ukraine via their existing links in Romania.
We have just been given a lot of fleeces by Club Wembley and we have some thick coats in the storeroom at Hatfield. Could I ask please that if you are attending the boxing up session on 12 March and you have any suitable winter clothing, you bring it along and we will add it to what we currently have.
Badges
 
As the first delivery of the beautiful gold enamel badges all dispersed so quickly, I have ordered another batch of 100.
They really are special and if you missed out last time, please let me know and I will discuss the best way of getting one to you. For those attending the boxing up session I can bring some along on the day, but otherwise, if you could email me please.
Finally, thank you to everyone for your support, especially over the last two years, when it would have been easy to move on from KitAid. We are lucky to have such a dedicated group of supporters and we do appreciate this.
 
 
Many thanks
Derrick

KitAid Ambassador, Mary HD, has decided to stand down from the role after two and half years of support for our charity.

During her tenure as Ambassador she gave her dedicated support by promoting KitAid via her social media channels, through her music channels with the song “Love and Liberty” and the lovely accompanying film clip which included the KitAid FC children in Malawi. Mary also promoted different KitAid campaigns to her followers.

We would like thank Mary for all her dedication and commitment to KitAid in her role as Ambassador and wish her well for the future.