OVER the past season Leyton Orient and all other Football League clubs have teamed up with their local hospice to support The Football League’s official charity partnership with Help the Hospices.
The partnership has seen fans, players, managers and even mascots from clubs across England and Wales all pitching in to raise vital funds and awareness of hospice care.
Throughout the season clubs have held bucket collections, auctioned off prizes, invited hospice patients and nurses as VIP guests on match days and arranged player visits to the hospice to see first-hand the impact of their support.
The partnership culminated in a London to Paris bike ride, which hopes to raise £50,000 for Help the Hospices. The event saw 34 football fans back hospice care in club colours on a gruelling 260 mile cycle ride from Wembley’s famous arch to Paris’ Arc de Triomphe.
Each club has raised money directly for their local hospice, helping them continue to provide vital care for adults and children with life-limiting illnesses and their friends and family.
David Praill, chief executive of Help the Hospices, said: “Football fans and hospice supporters alike are deeply passionate and loyal towards their local communities, so there has been a tremendous amount of goodwill behind our partnership with The Football League and this has allowed us to tell millions of people about hospice care.
“We also hope that through this partnership a lasting relationship will have formed between clubs and their local hospices and we hope this mutual support will continue into the future.”
Greg Clarke, Chairman of The Football League, added: “Football League crowds topped 16 million last season and statistically half of those attending games will know someone who has been cared for by a hospice. Our partnership with Help the Hospices has touched the hearts of many of our fans this season and allowed us to make a real difference at a local level.”