Overwhelming response of support for local charity

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A collection for local charity Futurestars has exceeded its target in just two months, thanks to the support of local shoppers.

Launched in April, the call for unwanted sports kits and equipment received an overwhelming response. The donated items will be worn and used by children and young people, aged from five to 20, taking part in Futurestars education-through-sports programme in West Africa. The children benefit from free-coaching sessions in football, netball, athletics and PE, helping increase pupil engagement and attendance at school.    

Simon Milton, Director at Futurestars, said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the outcome and very thankful for the support from the East of England Co-op.

“The children we work with are already football mad and we’re looking to introduce new sports, such as hockey, cricket and rugby so it’s great that we’ve had a whole range of equipment donated that will help us to do this.

“We hope for the kit to arrive in Lomé, Togo in August, a month earlier than expected. This kit will be used and treasured by the young people there.”

The East of England Co-op hosted collection points in all their 122 stores across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, as well as received support from the Suffolk FA and Ipswich Borough Council. Items were also donated by Ipswich High School and local charity Boots for Africa.  

Roger Grosvenor, Joint Chief Executive at the East of England Co-op, said: “Thank you to everyone who donated and made the collection a success. We had an overwhelming response from our members and customers, as well as local sport teams. It’s great to know that items that may have gone unused will now help provide young people with new opportunities.”

The kit and equipment will now be delivered to Togo, to support Futurestars project in Lomé.

If you would like to find out more about the Futurestars charity, and the difference these donations will make, visit www.futurestarscharity.org.uk.