A final shipment of 8,000 football strips that were collected in one of Birmingham’s most successful charity appeals has left the UK for South Africa.
The strips – the second batch of more than 20,000 collected as part of an campaign led by the city’s Thrive movement – will be distributed to children in townships across Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town during the World Cup.
The batch was counted and folded at the offices of packing firm Jaffa Box, in Bickenhill, and sent to London Heathrow to be flown out free of charge by South African Airways.
Both firms are among 20 organisations helping to sponsor a six-month football strip amnesty initiative that was launched at the beginning of the year by Thrive, an informal CSR network of local business people across Birmingham and the Black Country.
The shirts are being distributed by the South African youth charity Nkosi’s Haven on behalf of the country’s Sports Trust charity.
The Thrive call to action saw fans donate strips via matches, local businesses, schools and even the Royal Air Force. Regional football clubs which allowed the team to collect shirts on match days included Aston Villa, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers. National football clubs included Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Sheffield United, Stoke City and Watford.
Anita Matthews, from Sports Trust, said: “This new consignment will come just in time when we are celebrating the 2010 World Cup, and provide a further opportunity for us to distribute sporting kit to disadvantaged communities, as well as exposure of these UK clubs that have supported this initiative.”
Nick Venning, marketing director for PWC and chair of the Thrive group. added: “On behalf of Thrive I would like to say a huge thank you to the hundreds of people and businesses helped to make this huge feat work.
“There are some photographs of children receiving the first shipment of football strips shown on the web site I have no doubt that they will tug at the heart strings of most.”
To find out which other companies are supporting the initiative and more about where the strips are going, log onto www.stripamnesty.org, follow Strip Amnesty on Twitter or search Strip Amnesty on Facebook