The 5th of September marks the International Day of Charity, and is a great opportunity to remember the work that goes on nationally and internationally for good causes. It takes place on this date every year as it’s the anniversary of the passing of Mother Teresa, the much-loved and celebrated icon of charity.
It is also a fantastic day to say thank you to the awesome work that staff, volunteers and supporters do to enable charities to do the amazing work they do every day.
From the perspective of, Kit Us Out, the charity I run, we are so lucky to have such amazing support from the following companies McDermott Will & Emery, Howsons, Hula Creative and British Airways that help us hugely on the admin and running side. Over the years we have have had brilliant volunteers that have helped us time and again at events and without whom we simply wouldn’t have been able to have done the work we have. We have also been able to partner with some awesome organisations who have enabled us to increase our reach and impact.
For International Day of Charity I thought it might be really interesting to highlight one such partnership to help show the impact that working with the right partners has made to Kit Us Out.
At Kit Us Out we have been able to work with a wide variety of partners and organisations, one such body is Team England, who leads and manages the participation of the English team, Team England, at the Commonwealth Games and who work closely with each sport’s National Governing Body.
Team England has donated its spare kit from the previous two Commonwealth Games and Youth Games to Kit Us Out and we have been able to give these out to disadvantaged athletes all over the world.
It’s uplifting to know how far this leftover kit has travelled…from London to as far afield as South America and Africa!
Closer to home, one of the recent beneficiaries has been the Salisbury Hall Friday Night Football project based in Walthamstow, east London, who’ve received over 200 items of kit from Team England. Watch the fantastic video that team England pulled together here.
The project’s aim is to provide a safe place for young people of any background to meet and build relationships with each other, and the police, through playing football for two and a half hours on a Friday night.
It seeks to lessen anti-social behaviour and gang-related crime, with over 100 young people taking part in the football sessions every week and 800 in total signed up to the project.
Kit Us Out was born out of the need to support athletes with a disability from developing countries who do not have the same access to kit, and the need to create a level playing field for all.
With the collaboration with Team England, Kit Us Out recognises that inequality takes many guises…whether it’s the struggle faced by a disabled athlete in Africa, or young men and women facing social disadvantages here in the UK.
The Friday Night Football project is a great example of how collaboration and working together can create maximum impact.
For me, charity is not just about donating money. It’s just as much about finding a long-term strategy to alleviate inequalities and level the playing field, whether in sport or any aspect of everyday life.
Being able to donate kit helps to instil as sense of belonging, being part of a team and working towards a shared goal, and is a satisfying way to contribute to a charity that really makes a difference to people’s lives.
As well as taking you places when you realise the scope of charitable work at home and around the world, this International Day of Charity is also a reminder about working towards a common purpose and thinking outside of the box to achieve a better future for all.
Thank you to all the charities across the globe, big and small, you all make a huge difference. Thank you to the fantastic army of volunteers who give up their time day in and day. And finally thank you to supporters who donate and raise much needed funds to ensure the charities can run.