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An overwhelming response to community project

Fans play a big part in making a difference for children during the summer holidays

9 August 2019

AFC Wimbledon Foundation’s ‘Active Womble Summer Scheme’ has provided an extra fitness edge to the summer holidays for disadvantaged children in Mitcham and Morden.

The community project has turned out to be a big hit in its first week with 60 children aged 7-13 participating in a range of activities, completely free of charge, each day at Phipps Bridge Youth Centre.

Kasha Petit, Female Development and Health Officer at our Foundation, said: “The children have participated in all activities really well this week, including dance, drama and arts workshops. Feedback from the children and their families about these activities, plus the range of multi-sports we’ve staged, has been very positive. They are thrilled that their local football club are delivering activities in their area. The only problem has been that we have to limit the number of children we can support to 60 a day and there’s a growing waiting list at the moment!”

The main aims of the project are as follows:

• To provide an innovative and exciting free multi-sports and arts summer scheme for disadvantaged young people and families in the Mitcham and Morden area.
• Improve fitness, health and well-being amongst the group, including providing a nutritious hot meal and break-time snacks, also free.
• To support young people to develop social skills, self-confidence and communication skills.
• Provide stimulating workshops in dance, drama, art, singing and IT.

The scheme has been possible thanks to a fantastic fundraising response from Wimbledon supporters, plus community groups. A total of £5,000 was donated by supporters at the AFC Wimbledon Foundation Day – the Accrington Stanley match in April – and there was a very generous £5,000 contribution from a supporter who wishes to remain anonymous. The Taylor Family Foundation provided a generous grant to support the arts-based activites and we’d also like to thank Waitrose Wimbledon for donating £500 to sports kit and providing staff volunteers. Merton Council and Leader Stephen Alambritis kindly allowed the facilities at the youth centre to be used free. Thanks also to Random House Books for providing literature for the children to read during the first week.

In total, 120 disadvantaged children will participate in the project with 60 attending the first two-week block until 16 August and the remainder participating from 19-30 August. Bonnaire Arts Education & Training will be delivering daily dance, drama, and music sessions. Plus, there are even plans to develop a ‘Womble Choir’! That's thanks to the influence of the Colliers Wood Chorus and opera singer Chris Killerby. Other exciting prospects for local children include visits to the theatre, the cinema, Morden Hall, and Wimbledon Tennis Museum.

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