Weekly Community Roundup – 21st May 2021

 Star-studded charity football match organised by Jamie Groves to raise thousands at Crystal Palace F.C.

A high-profile charity football match organised by Jamie Groves, Regional Development Director at Funeral Partners, is set to raise over £15,000 in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity at Selhurst Park stadium.

The Goals 4 GOSH match will see the Flamingo Falcons and Palace Panthers, both named after different wards at Great Ormond Street, go head-to-head on June 1, kick-off at 6:30pm.

The teams will comprise ex-football pros such as Anton Ferdinand and Jimmy Bullard, as well as celebrities including actor Tamer Hassan and comedian Omid Djalili.

Jamie said: “Great Ormond Street has always been very special to me, with many of my friends and family being cared for by their wonderful staff. And being a part of the local community, it’s imperative to us at Funeral Partners that we support families and loved ones.

“It must have been particularly difficult for children in hospital being separated from their family over the past year due to lockdown restrictions. I hope this football match can therefore raise funds to help Great Ormond Street continue their hard work and make unwell children feel better again.

“The funeral teams at our local South London branches including Pinks Funeral Directors, Doves Funeral Directors, Steven Mears Funeral Directors, Gillman Funeral Service and A Yeatman & Sons Funeral Directors are excited by this opportunity to get back out in the community and help fundraise for such great causes again.”

Jamie suggested the idea of Goals 4 GOSH to family friend and retired footballer Allan Cockram, and with his support reached out to a number of other ex-football pros and celebrities including Jimmy Bullard and Tamer Hassan, who quickly expressed an interest in playing.

Jamie then set about gauging interest from local businesses when Crystal Palace F.C. offered their Selhurst Park stadium for the match to take place.

The Palace Panther team was named after Crystal Palace and the Great Ormond Street Panther Ward, which cares for children undergoing ear, nose and throat operations, while the Flamingo Falcons team represents the hospital’s Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and outpatient department.

Jimmy Bullard said: “I’ll take any excuse to put my boots on, and what an amazing excuse. I really am looking forward to getting out on the pitch and having a great game of football with a few nutmegs, but most importantly, raising as much as we can in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.”

Tamer Hassan added: “I’ve always been passionate about fundraising, especially for our NHS. I enjoy raising awareness for wonderful causes and helping others. I couldn’t say yes quick enough when Jamie asked if I wanted to be a part of the Goals 4 GOSH match. He really has a heart of gold.”

Anton Ferdinand said: “This is a fantastic cause that I am so grateful to have been asked to take part in. The aim is to help raise as much money and awareness as we can for GOSH. Jamie has done a great job putting this together.”

Tickets cost £5 per child and £10 per adult on Eventbrite through the Goals 4 GOSH website, with all proceeds going to Great Ormond Street.

A matchday raffle will be held at half-time, with a number of prizes including a Crystal Palace jersey signed by the club’s players.

The event has already raised more than £8,000 in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, breaking Jamie’s original target of £5,000.

For latest information about the event, follow Goals 4 GOSH on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

For support with your own fundraising for GOSH, please email community.events@gosh.org

Turning 5,000 crisp packets into foil blankets for the homeless

The Barnet community has donated over 5,000 crisp packets to Lorraine Gould, Funeral Arranger at  M M Broad & Sons Funeral Directors on Woodside Lane, who turns them into warm foil blankets for London boroughs with some of the highest levels of homelessness.

Lorraine has so far created six blankets, using 75 crisp packets each, for rough sleepers in Tower Hamlets and Lewisham after appealing for people to drop off their leftover packets in a wheely bin outside the funeral home.

Lorraine said: “In 2018, Tower Hamlets was in the top 10 of local authorities in England with the highest levels of homelessness according to Shelter, the charity and housing association, with Lewisham not far behind.

“Many homeless people have to be prepared to sleep through wind, rain and cold nights, and foil is a very effective material when it comes to retaining heat.”

Lorraine began collecting crisp packets after seeing an advert for the Crisp Packet Project on Facebook, which creates foil sleeping bags, blankets and more from crisp packets donated by its supporters for rough sleepers in a number of areas in the UK.

After Lorraine started gathering crisp packets for the initiative she decided to turn them into blankets herself, so appealed for contributions from residents by putting a completed blanket in the front window of M M Broad & Sons.

Lorraine said: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the response and enthusiasm for this project. Each blanket takes me about four hours to make, as I need to take the crisp packets home then wash, dry, and iron them so they fuse together. I’m now never short on crisp packets thanks to the Barnet community.”

Lorraine mails the completed blankets to the Crisp Packet Project’s Tower Hamlets and Lewisham groups, along with any excess crisp packets that she can’t use immediately, who then distribute them and other foil items sent in by supporters.

Keare Pearce-Downey, organiser of the Crisp Packet Project’s Lewisham group, said: “The support Lorraine has showed to the project as a whole is phenomenal. Our Lewisham group alone has received a number of blankets and thousands of meticulously washed and cut packets from her, all ready to be made into blankets, ground mats and more.

“We distribute these life-saving items to local outreach centres and shelters for their service users on the streets. We also personally distribute our hand-made items to whoever is in need of them.

“It’s amazing to have such a huge amount of support from Lorraine and we look forward to a continued relationship with her.”

Lorraine continues to send crisp packets to the charity and hopes to one day progress to making foil sleeping bags. She concluded: “Sleeping bags take about 250 packets each, which is a mammoth task, but one that is well worth it.”

Regional Support Manager Mark Clements talks to Thames Hospice about how online tributes and the use of technology throughout the pandemic have helped friends, families, and communities. 

To read the full blog visit: https://www.thameshospice.org.uk/latest-news/coming-together-as-funeral-restrictions-ease/

Teeing off for Rotary Club Golf Day

Carl Tate, Operations Manager and Funeral Service Operative Shaun Bruce were on par for a charity golf day on behalf of the Rotary Club of Richmond North Yorkshire at Richmond Golf Club.

Carl and Shaun were one of three business teams that went head-to-head with Rotary and private teams as well as being sponsors of one of the holes on behalf of John Blenkiron & Sons Funeral Directors.

Carl said:” It was great to finally be involved in something this year following the pandemic.and we came in fourth place on the day. Shaun and I coming in with some decent scores but sadly as a team we just came up short. However fourth isn’t too bad and we look forward to next year.”

Net proceeds to Rotary nominated charities including:

• Yorkshire Air Ambulance

• Just the Job’s Big Green Build

• Yorkshire Cancer Research

• Colburn Lazer Cheer

• Rotary End Polio Now