Two squads of charitable superstars will take to the 3G pitch at Oxford City Football Club for a special football match on March 19th to raise funds for two local causes.
The match, organised by Play2Give, in partnership with the brain injury charity Headway Oxfordshire will see both charities go head to head in a nail-biting 90-minute game to vie to be crowned 2016 champions.
The Headway Heroes team will be made up of staff, volunteers and supporters whilst P2G’s Star squad will be made up of volunteers and supporters. The proceeds from the special match will be donated to Headway Oxfordshire, based in Kennington, and the Oxford Children’s Hospital – it is hoped from players’ donations alone together with bucket whip rounds that up to £300 could be netted in.
Play2Give is no stranger to charitable giving or the beautiful game of football itself, as the award-winning fundraising organisation has scored over £45,700 for a catalogue of charities in the county, with the Children’s Hospital alone having benefited from over £36,200 over the past 8 years.
Andrew Baker from Didcot founded Play2Give in 2007 after being inspired to support the children’s hospital after treatment throughout childhood – including brain surgery aged 12. The 27-year-old also suffered a brain injury at birth, and so Headway Oxfordshire is also a cause with special personal significance, as he attends their activity & rehabilitation centre once a week. Andrew began supporting the children’s hospital aged 14 in 2003 as a pupil at Didcot’s St Birinus School when he inspired and coordinated the school’s fundraising efforts to help raise £15million for the total cost of building the hospital, which opened in 2007.
In November Play2Give won the ‘Best Fundraising Innovation/Campaign’ Award in the 2015 Didcot Business & Community Awards, which in the same year, saw the group, also run by volunteers Dale Harris, Teresa Strike and Elaine Childs, achieve their best year ever in a staggering £13,532 raised!
In September 2014 The P2G Stars contested a Super Sainsbury’s staff team from the Didcot supermarket, when the store’s side lost 20-1 to Andrew’s victorious squad. The first match, organised as part of the Didcot store’s year of support for Play2Give, raised £242.
Headway’s events and publicity manager, Charlie Hayes, said: “We all have a special place in our hearts for Play2Give and all the amazing fundraising it has done over the years for its charities including for us at Headway Oxfordshire. Andy Baker’s tireless support for us means a huge amount to all of us and we would also like to thank Oxford City FC for supporting this event.”
The game on March 19th is the start of an association with the community-focused football club, in Marston, who has pledged its full support to fundraising and awareness for Headway. In December Andrew set up a petition: “Save Headway Oxfordshire: Brain Injured Will Battle Against the Cuts’ – which has gained 325 signatures – after learning the organisation faced severe cuts in its funding from Oxfordshire County Council which would severely impact upon its services its can provide for the 260 brain injury survivors and their families the charity currently supports.
The charity game coincides with Oxford City’s home match against Wealdstone FC, which kicks off at 3pm. The charity match will take off at a 5pm kick off.
For more information, see play2give.org.uk and where donations can be made. Spectators are welcome.