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.

First of all I would like to welcome Richie Gilham to the team as a new Regional Co-ordinator for Liverpool. We have known Richie for a number of years as he is our main contact at the Everton Heritage Society and has been instrumental in securing the use of St Luke’s, Goodison for boxing up sessions.  Thanks Richie and welcome to Team KitAid!

 

January has seen us getting off to a good start and here are the latest monthly totals

 

Items donated  –  7,910

Total items donated since 1998  –  828,862

Countries supported in January  –  Ghana, Romania, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Cape Verde, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.

 

Thank You certificates

I have posted out 25 packs to Regional Co-ordinators who I do not see regularly and given some out to local helpers who I have met up with. I will try to hand over the remaining packs but if you need them now, please let me know and I will find a way of getting some to you. Many thanks to Carole for designing them and arranging printing.

 

Boxing Up

We held an outdoor session on Saturday morning at Hatfield as the storeroom was full. We handed over just over 2,100 items of mainly unsorted kit.

Hopefully the number of Covid cases will continue to fall and by the time the room is full again, we can return to indoor boxing up. This should be by March and we will review safety procedures in line with Affinity Water requirements at the time.

It will be wonderful to see everyone again after two very long years.

 

Sponsorship

We have a Trustee agreement not to sit on surplus funds while also being financially cautious to allow for any unexpected expenses. Where and when possible we make grants to support projects which fully meet our purpose. To enable people to participate in sport who may otherwise be disadvantaged through lack of facilities or required funds. We have given grants to the following partner charities as follows

 

FOMO Malawi  –  Sponsorship of KitAid FC teams for 2022  –  £1,000

FOMO Malawi  –  Sponsorship of Football, Netball, Athletics Bonanza in July 2022  –  £2,000

Bulindi Uganda  – Sponsorship of inter village team tournament to protect chimpanzees from poachers  –  £1,000

 

This still leaves us with an available balance of £11,500 to meet our costs in 2022, without any further funding.  Our annual costs for storage, courier collections and postage/marketing are in the region of £10,000.  Additional funding received in 2022 will allow us to meet any expansion costs and to consider other projects for support.

 

Annual Review

I now have a list of 20 stories from last year to write up and I hope to complete this by the end of February. It will then be sent out to people to proofread/sense check and once signed off, the hard work starts again as Carole has to design the layout with pictures, and squeeze it all into the available seven pages. It then goes off to the printers and copies will hopefully be mailed out to you in late March.

 

Activities

We have had a couple of events happening throughout the month which will soon be closing.

A very big thank you to www.matchwornshirts.com who have been collecting shirts from their customers for the “Coach the Coach” project in Ghana. Thanks also to @tomdedits and to all of the designers who have created wonderful AFCON players stickers. I have been posting the designs on our @kitaid sites and Tom has created a gallery on his site. As well as the designs over £200 has been donated on a special KitAid Just Giving page so far.

 

Thanks

As ever, we are very grateful to everyone for your support in collecting, storing and delivering kit for us.  A very big thank you to Tim (Twickenham) and Dave (Bradford) who also hired vans and delivered a full load to our containers in Hemel Hempstead.  This really helps as we not only save a courier collection fee but it is also quicker.

On Saturday (5 February), KitAid will be the match sponsor for the FC United of Manchester v Witton Albion FC match. Both teams are KitAid Ambasador Clubs. If you are looking for a good game to go to we can definitely recommend this one as the atmosphere at FC United games is special. A big thank you to Peter for arranging this.

 

Have a good February and keep well.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and here is wishing everyone a happy, healthy and fulfilling 2022.
Despite lockdowns and other Covid related frustrations KitAid has had an amazing 2021 with a record number of kits sent all across the globe. Here are the final end of year figures to enjoy.
Total number of kit items donated in 2021        =  114,328
Total number of kit items donated since 1998  =  820,952
 
Last year we sent out 74,421 items and in 2019, 86,445 items, which shows how much KitAid is growing. We are edging ever closer to the milestone of 1 Million items and we are on track to reach this in time for our 25th Anniversary in 2023.
Thank You
I often finish the monthly updates with a thank you but at the end of the year I think it is appropriate to start off with this.
KitAid is a team and we are really fortunate to have built up a Premiership winning squad of fantastic volunteers. Everyone plays a part and we appreciate this. We have some long standing stalwarts and some new signings but everyone makes a difference.
Thank you for your support in 2021, and the figures shown above reflect the difference everyone makes.
Highlights of 2021
 
Soon I will start work on the 2020 Annual Review and the test of remembering all of the fantastic things we delivered in the past year!
For me, without looking back at all of the hundreds of social media posts and monthly updates, I am most proud of the following
  • 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.
There are plenty more and I would love to hear what yours are, as this will help me with the new Annual Review!
FOMO/KitAid Bonanza  
As I am writing this update hundreds of kids from all of the 14 orphan support centres across the Mulanje District, will be excitedly taking part in football and netball competitions. It culminates with the grand finals tomorrow and the glory for the winning centres to become the best at each sport.
KitAid with the help of Five Star Trophies in Hemel Hempstead has provided a medal for every child taking part. We wanted everyone to feel special and to have a keepsake to remind them of this special event.
Please look out for pictures on our social media sites over the next couple of days.
 
We have entered into a partnership with the above who run an auction site for, not surprisingly, match worn shirts!  They have links with every Premier League club kit manager and then auction the shirts after games to collectors.  You will be amazed at how much some shirts sell for, have a guess at how much some people will pay for a match worn Ronaldo shirt and then shock yourself by looking on their website!!
They are asking their customers to donate unwanted shirts to KitAid over the next month.
Thank You Certificates/ KitAid Supporter badges
As the beautiful gold enamel badges were so popular and all went so quickly, we have ordered another 100. If you missed out last time or know of someone who you think deserves one for their support of KitAid please let me know the details. They are the equivalent of our Blue Peter Badge, but far more sought after!
The 2022 Thank You certificate is currently in design and should be with you in a few weeks time. In the meantime please continue to use this year’s version or make a list of who to send one to once you receive the new ones.
I think that is everything for now and it just leaves me to thank you all again for your fantastic support in 2021. You have made an incredible difference to so many people all across the world, from Brazil to Samoa, which is a heartwarming way to end the year.
Take care, stay safe and have a Happy New Year.
Derrick
On behalf of the KitAid Trustees

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.

BCCP Football Tournament 2021 – Report to KitAid (Dec 2021)