AFC Wimbledon ensured it was a summer to remember for 120 Mitcham youngsters through their Foundation’s four-week community project.
As part of the ‘Active Womble Summer Scheme’ at Phipps Bridge Youth Centre, children aged between seven and 13 were treated to a National Theatre trip, a visit to Morden Hall Park and a tour of the All England Tennis Club and Museum.
Other daily activities included football/multi-sports, arts, music drama and dance with local children selected for the community project on who would was most likely to benefit from the initiative.
Dons players Terell Thomas and Archie Procter also popped into the community hub in Mitcham to meet the children and present certificates and prizes – including an invitation to a Wimbledon home game later this month.
AFC Wimbledon’s Foundation Director Philip Rudling said: “The response from children, parents and partners has been excellent and we really seemed to be providing a service that was missing for the local community.
“Local residents have commented on how it’s good to see provision for young people on the estate and parents have constantly been asking if we can continue the project into next year.
“The scope and range of activity was a key factor in the success, providing activity apart from our normal sports offer. Many children just wanted to hang out and chat with our staff team and the relaxed informal nature of the project worked well.
“This pilot was an opportunity to show the difference we can make in our local community as a club and Foundation. We now intend to extend this work into other areas and commit resources to those locations that need us the most.”
Kasha Petit, Female Development and Health Officer at AFC Wimbledon Foundation, added: “We have been delighted with the summer programme and the response to this pilot project from the local community.
“Numbers have been fantastic across all four weeks and the children have experienced a range of sports and creative workshops and trips that have really added to their experience. “
The scheme was only possible due to the club, community and a number of other local organisations pulling together.
Phipps Bridge Youth Centre was kindly provided free of charge by Merton Council’s Youth Service while a total of £5,000 was donated by supporters at the AFC Wimbledon Foundation Day game against Accrington Stanley back in April.
And another fan, who wishes to remain anonymous, also generously contributed £5,000 to the good cause.