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Power of teamwork helps charity’s football boots appeal

Colchester staff from the country’s biggest electricity company are showing the power of teamwork to support a local charity collecting football boots for African youngsters.

From Press releases - 25 January 2018 12:00 AM

Boots for Africa.jpg

Mark Hill, a safety trainer based in Colchester, is helping co-ordinate donations from colleagues at UK Power Networks for the Boots2Africa charity.

Mark is vice-chairman of Heybridge Swifts Football Club’s youth section and has built on that initial link to encourage his work colleagues to send him boots with the number of donations growing all the time.

Established in the summer of 2016, The Boots2Africa charity has established links with around 60 football clubs and is keen to raise awareness among businesses of the work they do and the huge benefits it brings.

The charity, set up and run by Iain Finch, has now had nearly 4,000 boots donated from various sources which have gone directly to children across Africa.

Mark Hill said: “It was through my role at Heybridge Swifts that I was approached by the charity and after a great response there I took it on to securing donations at work, too.

“There has been a fantastic response from UK Power Networks staff and I am receiving new donations all the time now in terms of football kit and boots.

“Boots2Africa do a brilliant job in terms of getting these donations to the children and it’s really pleasing that we have been able to add to the great work they are doing across the region.”

Iain Finch of Boots2Africa, said: “We are grateful to the team at UK Power Networks for their support so far and look forward to receiving even more donations from them going forward.

“I set up the charity a couple of years ago when I was clearing out my garage and found 38 pairs of boots discarded by my own two sons as they had grown out of them. Most of these had only had three to six months wear so had a lot of use left in them.

“There are thousands of youngsters playing football in the UK each week so the potential for donations is huge. We have already had nearly 4,000 boots donated in just over 18 months, but by continuing to raise awareness of what we do we can only increase that number with an almost endless supply.

“I had seen pictures of African youngsters playing barefoot with a coconut. Now with our boots it’s safer and more hygienic for them play and develop their football and it’s amazing to see the difference people’s donations make.”
 
UK Power Networks, which delivers the East of England’s electricity supplies to homes and businesses, will continue to encourage staff to send boots to Mark over the months ahead.

Millions of children across Africa, have no shoes, for school, life and playing games. Disease, infections and snakebites kill thousands and injure and incapacitate many others every year. Many others struggle physically and needlessly because of illness caused from foot infections.
 
The Boots2Africa charity collects, transports and distributes donated boots to Africa's children and young adults through relief organisations.