Boots and Kit – For All

Since our Football For All project began some five years ago, we’ve tried to live up to the stereotypical nature of Yorkshire folk and spending nowt where we could. We always want to self-sustaining, without relying on continued funding or continually asking people for money. We’ve used the power of social media for the last five years to collect bits of kit – old shirts have been sent in from all over ensuring kits our sessions are awash with kits from all over Europe. We’ve bought shorts and socks from auction sites and in bulk to cut costs – at one point we bought 20 pairs of Aston Villa socks in a job lot! And until this week we hadn’t bought a pair of football boots – we’d simply relied on our players and our social media followers to send us their old boots. These boots are donated every week to new attendees who don’t have any – and without those donations the project would never have worked. However, there’s a limit to how many spare bits of kit we can acquire, eventually we run out!

In the last two years our attendances have doubled, and the demand for kit has soared. In addition, like every other football club we suffer from kit not getting returned and not being looked after. In a recent tidy of our kit we had several boots that didn’t have a matching pair, and others that didn’t have any laces. Answers on a postcard.

Update #1

Crowdfunding – Asking for monetry help is something we feel quite awkward about doing, because we always want to be seen as self-sufficient, but also because we don’t want to be asking people for help all the time, or asking people who may not be able to afford to contribute. In the current climate, we are massively aware of financial difficulties and we don’t want to be asking people to donate to us when there’s far more important priorities. However, our appeals for old boots had hit a bit of a brick wall, and we reluctantly decided we needed to raise money for new boots. We’re often asked by people who don’t live locally or who don’t want to play football how they can contribute in a meaningful way, and so reluctantly this week we started a Crowdfunding appeal. This has been a massive success, from which we’ve raised £530. This will cover about 45 pairs of football boots, once the percentage taken by the Crowdfunding site has been paid. 45 pairs of boots for refugees and asylum seekers to ensure we can cater for everyone, that we have good quality boots that are suitable for the correct surfaces we play on and that we have the right sizes so people aren’t wearing shoes that don’t fit. We’ve already placed the first order of 30 boots, which will be delivered by the end of the week and will be put to use this Sunday. A huge thank you to everyone who donated.

We had intended to stop the Crowdfunding after 48 hours, because we didn’t want to pester people about it or have it running for too long and people get bored of hearing about it. However it seems we have to run it for a minimum of a month, so if you’ve missed it on our social media pages and would like to donate you can still do so here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Footballforall . But please only do so if you can afford it.

Update #2

A few weeks ago we received a donation of €400 from proceeds of the ‘Weinfest gegen Rassismus’ organised by the 1910-Weinbar. A great blog post and photos from the event can be found here: http://blog.1910-museum.de/blog/2018/05/08/weinfest-gegen-rassismus-2018-die-bilder/

With this donation, we decided it was a perfect time to review some of the kit we have collected over the years. Thanks to our current partnership with Hummel, we have used this money to fund new training kit to provide to those who attend our sessions without any kit, as well as new bibs and kitbags. Hummel have a continued mission to ‘change the world through sport’, and their ethics as a company are a massive factor for us. You can read more about their ongoing work here: https://hummel.co.uk/fights-that-matter . The sceptics amongst you may think this reads like a paid advert, but the reality is that Hummel have been excellent with us in providing us with large quantities of kit at affordable prices, and have never even asked for us to acknowledge it in any form of promotion, advert or social media plug. This to us speaks volumes, and it is exactly why we want to promote their work – because they don’t ask us to.

As for the old shirts of many different clubs we’ve collected over the years? Well that’ll be going good use too, as it’ll be passed onto a new initiative getting started by some good mates of ours…stayed tuned for that.

Finally…

We can’t say thank you enough all those involved in the above, which will allow our project to keep running and providing kit for those who require it for many years to come. Providing a place to play football is easy, but ensuring we can continue to provide kit and equipment is the biggest obstacle we have faced since the project started. The investment in kit, boots and equipment means that we can continue the project as we intended from the start – to stop all barriers that prevents someone from playing football, and to make that football session as simple as having a kickabout in the park with your mates. A thank you to every individual who has supported the Crowdfunding, to the 1910 Museum and Winebar for their amazing donation and for even thinking about us in the first place, and to Hummel for their continued support of what we are trying to do.

FOOTBALL FOR ALL / NO FOOTBALL FOR FASCISTS.

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