Fans urged to donate soccer kits to make Christmas particular for deprived youngsters | UK News

Soccer followers are being urged to donate shirts and money for Christmas presents for youngsters whose households can not afford them.

Final Christmas Kitmas, which is run by Paul and Lizzie Watson from Stroud, distributed 1,000 kits to deprived youngsters within the UK.

“Everyone who is lucky enough to receive one as a kid, you really remember how exciting it was to get given a football shirt,” Mr Watson instructed the PA news company.

Kitmas is in its second year and is collecting shirts and cash donations again
Kitmas is in its second yr and is amassing shirts and money donations once more

“I think it really did what we wanted it to do and made some kids’ Christmases feel a bit more special.”

Final yr, Mr Watson was working with refugee charities abroad and acquired a donation of 10 kits that might not be despatched to refugee banks, so he determined to distribute them regionally by way of meals banks.

“We contacted initially just our local food bank in Stroud and said ‘is this something you’d be able to distribute for us?’ and they were really enthusiastic,” he stated.

“So we said, ‘well, what if we could get 100 shirts?’ and then it sort of snowballed and became in the end 1,000 of them which we gave out via 16 community groups around the UK.”

Mr Watson stated distributing the shirts “became more complicated than we could have thought” due to the sensitivity round membership affiliations in sure areas.

“When you ship Liverpool kits to Liverpool, you are going to get a whole lot of Everton followers and it is fairly exhausting for the group teams to distribute, it is fairly labour intensive.

“So we primarily focus on what we call neutral kits, which is kits any kid would be happy to get which don’t cause any kind of controversy like a Barcelona kit or Real Madrid kit.”

He and his {wife} had been supported within the Kitmas undertaking final yr by his brother, comic Mark Watson, who’s “very much involved” and has been “brilliant” in serving to to advertise the trigger.

They hope to match and hopefully higher final yr’s whole of 1,000 shirts this yr.

Fans can both donate cash by way of their crowdfunding page or ship a shirt to a PO Field handle listed on the web page.

“We always stress that they should need to be in excellent condition,” Mr Watson stated.

“Because a football shirt is something aspirational and because it’s a Christmas present, you don’t want children to feel like they’re a charity cause and it’s really nice to give them something that at least looks new.”

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