Jack Rudoni and Nik Tzanev helped to spread some Christmas joy by dropping off toys for children at St George’s Hospital in Tooting.
Our first-teamers made their contributions after a fantastic effort by AFC Wimbledon Foundation staff and Dons Local Action Group volunteers, as part of the club's annual Christmas celebration and partnership with St George's.
A special thank-you to Lily McConnell from DLAG as she selected and sorted all the gifts with a team of volunteers. Although Jack and Nik were disappointed not to be able to present the gifts in person due to Covid-19 restrictions, they were delighted to support the initiative. Further distributions are planned for two other local hospitals next week.
The Foundation and club relationship with St George's has really developed further this year with the Foundation hosting a tournament for 25 male and female teams made up of NHS staff in June, with the winners representing us in a London wide final in September. In addition, the Foundation has provided a weekly Women’s Recreational football session on the stadium five a side Astro for NHS workers and plans a similar session for male teams in the New Year.
Foundation Director Philip Rudling said: "It’s always great to link up with the fantastic play staff at St George’s, led by Justin Makin, as they do a tremendous job in very difficult circumstances. It’s a pity we couldn’t go around the wards as usual and bring in Haydon, but we have to adapt to circumstances. Our two young players were great club ambassadors and they always support Foundation projects.”
The Foundation has also been involved in a wide range of community initiatives recently, including the below:
Super 9s for Merton schools
A busy week has continued with several more visits to Merton primary schools to give out free first-team home shirts to Year 4 pupils in Merton, as part of our #Super 9 project, celebrating the return of the club to the borough. The shirt distributions will be followed up by assemblies on the history of the club, free coaching sessions, and invitations to the stadium for ground tours, matches and a football tournament in May 2022.
Andy May, Education and Sport Manager, said: "This is a great way to introduce the club to a new generation of fans and our visits have been really well received by children, staff and parents. We really want to explore as many ways as possible to engage young people and a free shirt is a great start!"
Merton / Wandsworth Holiday Activity Fund
The Foundation will be delivering a four-day holiday programme for disadvantaged children from the 20-23rd December at three venues, providing sports, dance and outdoor-based activity and free hot meals. This continues the work over the last 18 months supporting young people and families in our local communities who have struggled during the Covid 19 Pandemic to access high quality out of school physical activities.