Special charity football tournament kicks off in Woodley

The idea was to raise money for the Sobell House Hospice and have some fun at the same time. Most of the players were supported by Optalis Learning Disability Day Services, Independent Living Services, Jigsaw’s Golden Planet Project and CLASP. A grand total of £275 was raised whicafter Optalis matched the amount raised.

The event took place during Learning Disabilities Week and was the idea of Carly, 29, who receives support from Optalis. Here she talks about how she rallied friends and staff at Optalis to put on a charity football tournament for a very worthy cause:

“I was thinking I wanted to do something to help people. I’m a football fan, I support Manchester United and Reading. I spoke to Clive (the manager of the service where I live) about doing a football tournament for charity. Clive told people about my idea, and everyone started helping out.

“My chosen charity was the Sobell House Hospice in Oxford. Earlier this year I lost a close friend to cancer. I wanted to do something that helped the hospice that looked after her.

“Planning for the event has been fun but a lot of work. We had to design a flyer to let people know what we were doing. We had to get a venue – so we got Loddon Valley Leisure Centre on board. We got Tesco involved, and they kindly agreed to supply fruit and water for the players taking part. And importantly, we had to arrange medals for the winners!

“I was really pleased that the event all came together. It was great to see it all happen with lots of people wanting to take part.”

Clive Tyndale, Deputy Service Manager, said “The event was amazing, so many people turned up, a great turnout. It was good to see everyone joining in and enjoying just having fun, everyone one seemed to appreciate the free water and fruit, it was a huge success.”

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