Kind-hearted junior footballers in Northampton raise money for respite care centre

The under 9 GLK Utd Stripes
The under 9 GLK Utd Stripes

An under-nines football team in Northampton has launched a fund-raising campaign with Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund.

GLK Utd Stripes, which is part of the GLK Acadamies group, is raising money for The John Greenwood Shipman Centre which helps give respite care to children with life-limiting conditions, disabilities and complex needs.

The team is trying to raise £5,000 for a new sensory room.

Coach Brian Lehane said the team was proud to be supporting the appeal.

"This will be our third season and I have worked with the boys since they were five and six years old," he said.

"This season the decision was taken to adopt a charity or local community cause and raise funds for it throughout the season.

"The children appreciate that they are fortunate to do something they love and have parents with the whereabouts to support them - it has been really nice to see a group of eight-year-olds embrace the challenge.

"In their own words, 'they want to help children who can't play football because they think everyone should be able to'," he added.

The Northamptonshire Health Charitable Fund (NHCF) gave the team a list of potential projects to support and they chose the John Greenwood Shipman Centre.

Mr Lehane added: "The NHCF logo adorns the children’s football kits to raise awareness when we play on Saturday mornings - this was funded by a local company who were happy to forgo their name on the shirts.

"We officially launched the fundraising on the John Griff show on Radio Northampton earlier this month and early donations have been pleasing. A host of fundraising activities will take place throughout the season with the boys to play a central part of the fundraising. A visit back to the centre in the coming weeks is also scheduled to bring the children new footballs and goals," he said.

I currently coach an under 9s football team in Northampton known as GLK Utd Stripes. We form part of the overall GLK Academies umbrella which currently operates ten teams playing competitively in the NDYAL (Northampton and District Youth Alliance League).

The team is part of GLK Acadamies which was founded in 2008 to deliver football coaching in primary schools and has now been extended to 23 schools in the area.

To find out more about the fund-raising appeal, visit www.justgiving.com/glk-utd