Members of AFC Didsbury were honoured to take part in Friday night’s hugely successful Manchester Sleepout (#McrSleepout) in support of The Booth Centre (http://www.boothcentre.org.uk/).
We first met Amy Hinks, Development Manager at The Booth Centre back in July and were immediately enthused by her passion for the work that this charity carries out to support those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and help them plan for and realise a better future.
This message was further reinforced on Friday night when we heard from Amanda Croome, CEO and also from two individuals whose life had been positively impacted by the work and support of the Booth Centre. Their stories were highly emotive, to say the least.
Before we took our sleeping bags and cardboard boxes outside we were treated to some music by the Street Opera group, who are made up of people that were once living on the streets but have used music to help bring positivity and togetherness back into their lives.
And so, a group of 15 of us and nearly 200 in total hunkered down outside the Manchester Cathedral in what was thankfully only light drizzle but still temperatures of only two degrees. The aim of the event was simply to highlight some of the hardships that homeless people face every single night. It is fair to say that only one night in such conditions was enough of an eye opener for us but still only gave us a slight insight into the harsh reality that those living on the streets face every night.
All in all, the event was a huge success and the running total currently stands at £44,000 (and rising!).
Members of AFC Didsbury and the Andersen James Group joined forces for this event and have been overwhelmed by the generous support that people have shown; our current group total currently sits at £3,545, a massive 236% above our initial target of £1,500.
Many thanks once again to all those who have contributed and supported us whether that be financially through donations or in person through the delivery of chips and gravy at 11.30PM on Friday night! We are all really keen to see that total rise towards £4,000 so once again, if you can, please dig deep.
A special mention has to go to our first choice goalkeeper and Director of Andersen James Group, James Leighton, as it was his organisation that pulled the group together and his ongoing tenacity and enthusiasm that helped drive us towards such an impressive fundraising amount.
Back in September a small group lads, WAGs and friends of the club decided to take part in a 200ft abseil off the top of the bell tower at the Trafford Centre. We were aiming to raise £500 for Francis House Children's Hospice but we are now pleased to say that we have absolutely smashed our target and raised a grand total of £1,013.50 #smilesonfaces
We will continue to support this local charity throughout the season and we are already beginning to sell tickets for our annual Xmas jumper party, where we will again be raising money for this great cause.
The Philosophy of Francis House Family Trust and Francis House flows from the belief in the sanctity of life and the dignity of the person. Francis House and Francis Lodge exist to provide appropriate care for children and young people with life threatening conditions and the necessary support and short-term rest for their families.
Our Just-Giving page is still open so if you're reading this and would still like to donate you can do so using the link below. Lets do all we can to help Francis House continue their great work.
Over the course of the season, players and people associated with the AFC Didsbury are always looking to get involved with fund-raising activities such as this to help raise money for Francis House Children’s Hospice. Francis House and Francis Lodge exist to provide appropriate care for children and young people with life threatening conditions and the necessary support and short-term rest for their families.
Francis House provides care for children and young adults with life threatening conditions. It is an extremely worthy charitable cause, and is AFC Didsbury's chosen charity of the year for 2014-15.
Over Christmas, the players and 'WAGs' took part in a couple of events aimed at spreading a bit of cheer whilst raising some well-needed money for the Francis House cause.
The annual AFCD Christmas Party went off with a bang as usual. Party-goers headed down to Didsbury Sports Ground and were in full-voice, as karaoke classics from One D to Whitesnake were bellowed out throughout the evening. A delicious supper of pulled pork & apple was served up, kindly provided by the guys down at AB World Foods, and a charity raffle was greatly received. Raffle prizes had been amassed by everyone involved in the team, and a big thank you must go out to those kind enough to donate. Through a combination of entry fees, raffle ticket sales and busking (karaoke style), £1,318.26 was raised for Francis House on the night.
The fundraising didn't stop there though. The Saturday before Christmas saw a team of players & WAGs take to the tills of Marks & Spencer Simply Food in Sale to help shoppers pack those last few Christmas essentials into their bags. Packing shopping bags doesn't come easy for some people, but the team lasted a full day with only 2 broken eggs and a squashed banana named among the victims. Their efforts didn't go unnoticed, as a grand total of £702.38 was collected as a show of appreciation. Again, a big thank you must go to the staff at M&S and their customers in helping to raise such a generous amount.
And here's what Francis House have had to say...
"On behalf of the children and families of Francis House Children's Hospice thank you for helping to raise a fantastic total £702.38 at your Christmas bag pack at M&S Sale. It's a really impressive amount to raise from just one day, I hope you're pleased!
Your contribution will help us continue to care for over 370 children, teenagers and young adults with life shortening conditions. At our base in Didsbury, Manchester, we provide specialist care in a homely, happy and secure place, helping the children to live life to the full and offering much needed support, friendship and encouragement to their families. Our recent building project has doubled the size of Francis House with the opening of a further seven bedrooms providing an age appropriate environment for teenagers and young people. Each year we rely on the generosity of people like you to help us raise £3.6 million."
The second half of the season will no doubt bring more fundraising opportunities, and the AFCD lads and WAGs will be hoping to add to the this season's already hefty donation.
AFC Didsbury will be looking for a shirt sponsor for the 2015-16 season. For the chance to get your brand associated with the good work the team does for the South Manchester community please get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us at @AFCDidsbury
Last season, our Christmas party raised over £1,000 for Woodstreet Mission and the Bank of New York Mellon generously agreed to match this, which resulted in a total donation of £2,222.
The lads have all decided that Francis House Children's Hospice will be our nominated charity over the course of the 2014/15 campaign. We will be using our Christmas party again as our main fundraising event but we are also currently looking into other ways that we can generate funds and create awareness for this great charity. Please watch this space and we will send out further details as and when they are confirmed.
The Philosophy of Francis House Family Trust and Francis House flows from the
belief in the sanctity of life and the dignity of the person.Francis House and Francis Lodge exist to provide appropriate care for children and young people with life threatening conditions and the necessary support and short-term rest for their families.
The Hospice movement is concerned with the process of dying and with bereavement. While it is true that hospices have usually been founded by people of a specific faith, the service that a hospice seeks to offer always respects the understanding, vision and attitude to life and death of the person and family who seek help in the crisis which they face.
Francis House will seek to offer to young people and their families this very specific service. Whereas hospitals must focus on the curing of those who are ill, the hospice will focus on the care of those for whom a cure is unlikely.
Medical and all other support will be centred on comfort and quality of care and a dignified death. This is the specific vision, which Francis House will seek to share with all families who use its services.
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