Community support

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000

Description

The Broxbourne Borough Cerebral Palsy Football Club (BBCPFC) was founded by Gavin & Tracy Taylor two years ago. Their son, Jackson, has Cerebral Palsy and was unable to play football with his able bodied friends as there were no facilities or clubs in the local area where Jackson could participate in the sport he loves.

Like many young boys and girls, Jackson was just desperate to play football. As he grew older, he found it increasingly difficult (and dangerous) to keep up with his able bodied friends and as a result he became quite isolated. He would go along to the Broxbourne Borough Club to watch his friends play and would always wish that it was him kicking a football around on the pitch.
Gavin and Tracy wanted Jackson to have the same opportunities as his peers, which in this case is simply to enjoy playing football. As there was nothing available in the local or surrounding area and with the encouragement of friends and the Broxbourne Borough club, they decided to start a dedicated Cerebral Palsy team to help Jackson and other CP kids participate safely in playing football.

They held their first ‘kick-start’ event in June 2015 and were told that if they could get 5 children turn up to the event, then it would be classed as a big success. However, 15 children turned up, both framed and ambulant.

This was the first time most of the children had played football with other CP sufferers. It was a very emotional time as Gavin & Tracy realised that many other parents were also frustrated at the lack of facilities for their children to play sport. To see the smiles on the kids’ faces made Gavin & Tracy determined to offer something on a more permanent basis and they subsequently set up weekly training sessions every Saturday.

BBCPFC has gone from strength to strength and now has 24 boys and girls, the vast majority of whom attend every week without fail. They want to do what other children do and the BBCPFC enables them to be included in a sport they love.

Many of the children require financial support and before they applied for charity status the club has been supporting kids with leg splints, extra physio and the like. Some of the children raise funds for operations not available on the NHS or where there are long waiting lists.
We want to be able to give any child with this condition the opportunity to get involved with a sport they love, a sport that is played by all their peers and remains the most popular sport in the UK. Not only does this really help to improve their mobility, it also enables them to participate in a sport that most able bodied kids take for granted.

BBCPFC was awarded charity status in June 2017. This will not only enable us to continue to help our club members with day to day support, but will also enable us to plan for the future.

The long term aim is to purchase land in the local area in order to build our own dedicated facilities including a 3G pitch, hydrotherapy pool and physiotherapy room. This will enable BBCPFC to have a permanent home. Somewhere the current children can continue to play sport in their adult lives and where we can continue to offer training and support to future generations of CP sufferers.

CP sufferers are prone to injury and need to play on a flat surface so it is not appropriate to play football on a normal grass football pitch. Many of the children also have to undergo regular operations and BBCPFC provide support where possible with the purchase of specially built splints and physio. These are often not available on the NHS or there are long waiting lists.
BBCPFC will therefore support as many of the children as possible. The cost averages out at £500 per child plus £1,500 of physiotherapy. There are two children that require our help in the next 12 months and we are looking to raise £4,000 to support them following their operations.

Broxbourne Borough Cerebral Palsy Football Club

Location: Broxbourne

Living with Cerebral Palsy can be hard, not only for the child but also their siblings and parents. We have created a new family with lasting friendships, the parents often tell how this is the highlight of the childrens week. We will support not only the current children but those of the future.