Four new partners come on board.
A new year means new Official Charity Partners for Colchester United, as they continue to work closely with good causes in their local area and beyond.
The U's have selected four Official Partners for the last four years, with a wide range of local and regional charities benefitting from a fantastic package of benefits available during the twelve month association.
The end of 2014 saw over 30 charities apply to work with the Weston Homes Community Stadium side and, after an exhaustive selection process, the four charities to benefit from the club's support can be revealed.
The 2015 partners are:- Essex Carers Support, Headway Essex, Little Havens Hospice and Tom Bowdidge Foundation.
All four work extensively within Colchester and north Essex and they will now team up with Colchester United for a year of activities and fundraising efforts.
U's Media Manager Matt Hudson said: "We are delighted to be working with the four charities as our Official Charity Partners for the coming year.
"With each year that passes, the Charity Partner package has evolved to give the charities opportunities to raise vital funds and increase their profile in the local area. The club staff and players alike are looking forward to working with the new charities during 2015.
"We will also continue to assist other fundraising efforts in the area where possible and look forward to hearing from those trying to help some amazing charities working in Colchester and the surrounding area."
Understandably, the charities are looking forward to working with the county's leading football club.
Richard Bowdidge of The Tom Bowdidge Foundation commented: "We are so excited about being selected as one of Colchester United's charity partners for 2015. When Tom was younger he used to enjoy coming to matches to watch the U’s play, so the club will always have a special place in our lives.
"Having the opportunity to work with Colchester United will help us to raise awareness of the fact that every day 10 young people in the UK under the age of 24 are diagnosed with cancer.
"The pain of losing our son is indescribable, but we were adamant that we had to do something that would provide a lasting and positive outcome from his untimely passing.
"Tom was a constant source of inspiration to us and to the many people he touched during his short life,it is important to the family that his inspirational spirit is remembered.
"We believe that the Tom Bowdidge Foundation, and its commitment to raising funds to provide physical, emotional and research support to teenagers with cancer, is a fitting tribute to our son who battled so bravely every day against this cruel disease.
"Our goal is to build on the great work that Tom started and to create an enduring legacy in his name bringing hope and benefit to young cancer sufferers and their families, both now and in the future."
Rosalyn Luckman, Community Fundraiser for Little Havens Hospice, added: "We are delighted to have been chosen as one of Colchester United’s charity partners this year. At Little Havens we care for local babies, children and teenagers from Colchester, and right across Essex, who are seriously ill.
"We help by controlling pain and medication, offering respite and caring at the end of their lives, and support the whole family.
"We never charge a penny for this care and that simply wouldn't be possible without the generous support of people in the local community. We look forward to working with the club, the players and all their fans throughout the coming year to raise vital funds for the care of local families."
There will be plenty of synergy between the charities and they are already making big plans of how they can work together in the coming months.
Joanna Wright, Headway Essex Chief Executive, said: "Headway Essex is very excited to be chosen as an official charity partner for Colchester United in 2015. We are an independently registered charity and rely heavily on fundraising and donations to provide our vital service to the community.
"This year will mark our 30th Anniversary of providing brain injury care and support to the people of Essex and this partnership presents a fantastic opportunity to reach out to our local community and raise awareness of our work in what is a very special landmark year for us."
And Christopher Wetton, Chief Executive of Essex Carers Support concluded by saying: "We are delighted to have been chosen by Colchester United to become one of their 2015 Charity Partners.
"We are a small but active charity supporting and advising those who provide informal care and support for a loved one. We are only too aware that across our communities there are huge numbers of people taking on increasingly complex caring responsibilities often with very little information or assistance.
"Being a 2015 Colchester United Charity Partner provides us with the opportunity to reach out to more carers than ever and to spread the word that help and assistance IS available."
Essex Carers Support
You probably don’t think of yourself as a 'carer', rather as a husband, wife, son, daughter, neighbour, friend etc.
So many of us are carers; supporting a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill. Whether round-the-clock or for a few hours a week, in our own home or for someone at the other end of a motorway – caring can have a huge effect on us, our lives and our plans.
Essex Carers Support is a charity supporting people providing unpaid informal care and support for loved ones.
It can be frightening and very lonely. For some it's sudden: someone you love is taken ill or has an accident, your child is born with a disability. For others, caring creeps up unnoticed: your parents can't manage on their own any longer, your partner's health gets gradually worse.
Many carers are stretched to the limit – juggling care with work and family life, or even struggling with poor health themselves. Many don't know how or where to get help.
Looking after someone can be tough, but carers are not on their own. Essex Carers Support is here to listen, to give you expert information and advice that's tailored to your situation, to champion your rights and support you in finding new ways to manage at home, at work, or wherever you are.
Headway Essex was formed through the need of brain injury survivors and their families to fill a gap in the provision of statutory services. Brain Injury is difficult to understand and the issues for survivors and their families are complex.
Brain injury changes the way a person deals with situations; the affects can be as severe as total physical disability or personality change, to issues with concentration, impaired memory and speech.
Brain injury impacts on peoples’ lives long after the physical wounds have healed and without the support of Headway Essex it is very difficult for survivors to move on and lead a fulfilling life. Without help crisis situations develop; mental health deteriorates, family units break down and individuals can become socially isolated.
Our aim is to support individuals with brain injury and their families and carers to rebuild their life post hospital discharge, providing rehabilitation, coping strategies, emotional and practical support, support groups, crisis support, education and on-going help with health and social issues they face. We do this through the Headway Centre in Colchester and our Community Support Service that operates Essex-wide.
We are an independently registered charity relying on fundraising and donations to provide our service.
Little Havens Hospice
When a family has been told that there’s no cure for their child’s illness, Little Havens Hospice can help. We’re here to make the journey as comfortable as possible, controlling pain and medication, offering respite and caring for babies, children and teenagers at the end of their lives. Our specialist care is free – for as long as is needed – within the family home and at our hospice.
We're a registered charity – not part of the NHS – and receive limited government funding. Our hospice can only exist because of the support and generosity of the community. Together, we're 'Making every day count.'
To find out more about the care provided by Little Havens Hospice, and how you can support the charity, please visit www.havenshospices.org.uk/getinvolved
or contact the Fundraising Team on 01702 220305.
Tom Bowdidge Foundation
The Tom Bowdidge Foundation is a charity founded on 28th February 2014 and launched by his parents on what would have been Tom’s 20th birthday. Tom tragically died of cancer in October 2013, at the age of just 19. The Foundation is headquartered in Colchester and its goal is to raise funds to provide physical, emotional and research support to teenagers with cancer:
• RESEARCH – supporting research into teenage cancers with specific reference to sarcoma research. Tom was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive type of sarcoma.
• PHYSICAL – providing support for the day to day to day care of teenage cancer sufferers and their families
• EMOTIONAL – looking after teenagers and their family’s emotional needs; providing people for them to talk to, to help them understand what is happening to them.
Photographs of the four charity partners were taken at the home game against Walsall on Saturday January 17th and will appear on the website next week.