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From Notts to London: 67 pairs of football boots!

5 September 2020

Brothers Damon and Stephen Giles, co-founders of Kirkby Woodhouse FC, donated 67 pairs of football boots to P3's Rugby Portobello Trust Football Academy to give more children the opportunity to play football again after lockdown...

My brother Stephen and I set up Kirkby Woodhouse FC [Nottinghamshire] three years ago. We coach our under-11 team and we also have an under-9 team and an under-8 team. We’ve been very fortunate to benefit from sponsorship to give the kids at the club everything you could wish for as a young player. 

We run plenty of fundraising events throughout the year so we don’t ever need to ask parents for money for kits, tournament entries, Christmas parties and so on, but we found we’d exceeded our targets on a couple of occasions, so we started to donate to various charities ourselves.

During lockdown, we could see that there could potentially be an impact on whether parents could afford new football boots for kids come the start of the season in September, so we thought we’d try and help out. 

"We have no local club bias here ... if we can help a kid play football ... then that’s what we’d love to do"

 Damon, with P3's Head of Finance Lisa Towndrow

I used social media to try and stir some interest and thankfully people got in touch to donate. Some boots were well-worn, but the majority were in great order and as a former apprentice footballer, I rolled back the years and gave them all some elbow grease to clean them, and ensure they all looked fantastic!

We were keen to help local kids where we could, so we left a window of two weeks where people could contact us confidentially to ask for boots for their children. We were able to help 13 children from clubs in the Ashfield and Mansfield area. 

We were then left with 67 pairs of football boots and trainers. Lisa Towndrow [P3’s Head of Finance] had already got in touch to see if we could help P3; I’ve known Lisa for more than 10 years now, as our daughters go to the same dance school. We delivered the boots to P3’s Head Office last week, ready to be put to good use with the excellent project at Rugby Portobello Trust in London.

We also ran a collection over the summer for a charity called KitAid, who were after old kits, replica shirts and training kits. We managed to get a reasonable amount of just over 70 kits which were dropped off in Hertfordshire last week, ready for the onward journey to Uganda. We’re looking forward to seeing our yellow and blue colours being worn on another continent!

We have absolutely no local club bias here. We’re all coming through a difficult situation and if we can help get a kid out playing football by letting them have a pair of boots, then that’s exactly what we’d love to do.