It has been a busy few months and kit keeps arriving at our Hatfield HQ as well as via all of the regional reps across the country. As ever, thank you for your help in collecting kit and promoting KitAid, which we really appreciate.
20th Anniversary Plans
To mark the anniversary we are thinking of holding some different events in the last half of 2018 starting in late June, which is when KitAid was first formed in 1998. Here are our ideas:-
Informal get together for supporters
Unlike the previous sit down dinners we would like to hold an informal summer event, in late June, to coincide with the World Cup, which will either be a BBQ or Buffet style evening. We are currently looking at venues and prices and ideally would like to keep the cost down to below £20 per head.
There will be music, and a small exhibition of KitAid memorabilia, but the main purpose is for everyone to get together and have a really good evening. Once we have found a suitable venue and agreed on food/prices I will let you know.
We are hoping to stage an event at the House of Commons, later in the year, around October, to formally recognise the 20th Anniversary, passing half a million kit donations and the great work over the last 20 years by everyone involved. As yet we haven't approached an MP to support us and we will be working on this soon. We will also need to find a sponsor for the event as they are not free.
To coincide with this event I would like to launch a commemorative booklet capturing the key highlights of the 20 years, and will start work soon on collating the many items of old press cuttings, Annual Reviews, photos etc which we have stored away all over the place. Both of these will require quite a bit of work, so if you would like to help out it would be much appreciated, please let me know.
Trip to Malawi
We are planning on visiting Malawi from 6th to 14th July to visit Mulanji and to be hosted by our good friends from the charity FOMO. Places for the trip will be limited, as they can only accommodate up to 8 people and so far we have 3 definite bookings and 3 who are interested.
Flight prices are currently approx £850 and accommodation around £350 with food and any other expenses on top. So not cheap but an experience of a lifetime and a really nice way to celebrate the anniversary. We know Mary and Keith from FOMO well as they often attend our boxing up sessions in Liverpool and have regularly given us feedback on their projects.
We will booking our flights and accommodation soon, so if you would like to join us, please let either Janet (Neville) or myself know as soon as possible.
William Hill support
You may recall that last year a branch of William Hill in Accrington supported us, which then prompted further interest from the Chesterfield shops. Thanks to help from the Chesterfield area manager (John Hamilton) this has now widened to branches across Sheffield and Leeds and some other Yorkshire towns. Hopefully it will keep growing and we will have a wider network of WH branches across the country for kit to be dropped off at.
Thanks to everyone who either bought or sold calendars and the really good news is that we have made a profit of around £300. This was also helped by the printers giving us a very healthy discount which made a big difference. There are still some calendars left so if you did miss out and would like some please let em know.
Hertfordshire FA/Premier League
We would like to say a very big thank you to both the HFA and the PL who have both made very generous donations to us in recent weeks of £500 each. This money will be ring fenced to be used towards the 20th Anniversary booklet and the House of Commons event, which will start us off on a positive footing. Thanks to Karl from HFA and to nick from the PL for making this happen and for your long standing support of KitAid.
Tales from the Vicarage book
As you will recall, £1 from every sale of the recent great Tales from the Vic, has been donated to KitAid and at the last count, it will amount to approx £2,500+. On discussion with Adam (Leventhal), we have decided to use the proceeds to purchase syllabus school textbooks for the library run by FOMO at their school in Mulanji.
The book was dedicated to Graham Taylor, and we were chosen as the charity by the family, and we think this is a fitting tribute as graham was passionate not only about football but education as well, and in Malawi, a proper education is a passport to a better life. As this proceeds we will give more feedback on our social media sites and we are hoping that Adam will be able to visit the library later in the year so that he can film a news story to report back to all of the readers of the book.
We held a great session a couple of weeks ago in Hatfield and the first 6,500 items of kit were sorted and packed and are all Africa bound. The next Hatfield session is booked in for 24th Feb and we are looking to arrange a session in Liverpool in March, hopefully to tie in with the Liverpool FC Legends game at Anfield, later that day. if you would like to attend either event but haven't received the Hatfield email invitation please let me know.
We still need to find a replacement for our original courier company so if anyone knows of a reliable company who can offer us a competitive rate please let me know. In the meantime we are surviving often to the thanks of Neil Johnstone, who spends weekends driving around the country for us and to Nick Dunsby who collects a lot of the Herts/Essex/Beds and Bucks donations during the week.
Well I think that is the most recent news and sorry if I have missed anything. Finally, thank you to everyone involved in KitAid, every person plays a part in making the wheels turn and without the fantastic support we receive, we would not be celebrating 20 years of success or helping half a million people to play the beautiful game.
Take care and very best wishes
On behalf of the KitAid Trustees