The county FA will partner with the cancer charity for its fourth and final charity partnership for the 2022-23 season.
To kick-off the partnership, Hampshire FA is inviting its players to send in football-themed drawings, messages, poems or short stories to send on to young people being treated at Southampton hospital. The initiative has been set up to connect young people with cancer with young people in the community.
Every day in the UK, 12 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer. Young Lives vs Cancer is the charity that helps children and young people (0-25) and their families find the strength to face whatever cancer throws at them. Their social workers provide specialist, practical, financial and emotional support that is tailored to each family.
Many young cancer patients from Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Dorset are treated at the Southampton General Hospital, a specialist hospital in Hampshire.
Near the hospital is the charity’s Home from Home, Jean’s House, which offers a free place for families to stay nearby to the hospital for as long as they need.
Last year, over 300 children and young people were treated at Southampton Hospital for cancer. Many of those young people love to play or watch football so the Hampshire FA decided to kick-start the partnership with this initiative.
Hampshire FA will be asking their young people to create a football-themed drawing, poem, short story, a message of hope or any form of artwork that they could then share with the young people and they will encourage them to do the same to send back.
They will then share all that is received on their social media platforms tagging the charity and additionally will share with Young Lives vs Cancer to pass onto the patients and vice versa. They hope this campaign will offer comfort, reassurance, and joy in the face of challenging circumstances.
Hampshire FA CEO, Neil Cassar, said: “We received interest from the charity to collaborate in a partnership and we needn’t think twice about the response. Cancer is a culprit to humanity. It takes many, many lives each year, and we all know someone close to us that is either battling this relentless disease or who has sadly lost the fight with it altogether. The fact that children, who have barely been alive long enough to see and experience all that is to offer in this world, are diagnosed early with this disease is cruel beyond words. If we can do something, anything, to help these children and young people, offering them the slightest bit of comfort whilst they face this, then we must do it”
Liz Blunt, Young Lives vs Cancer, Senior Fundraising Engagement Manager for Hampshire said: “Young Lives vs Cancer does not receive government funding and is fully reliant on the generosity of people and collaborative partnerships. We are really looking forward to working with everyone from Hampshire FA. We can’t wait to see everyone’s football themed poems and drawings to show support for children and young people with cancer this month of September which is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.”
If you would like to donate, visit the Hampshire FA’s JustGiving page for Young Lives Vs Cancer, here.
If you know of a young person living with cancer or someone that has recently been diagnosed, please direct them to the charity.