One of our more recent initiatives is the 50-50 scheme whereby schools, community groups, charities and similar can purchase reduced priced tickets for a pre-determined league game and keep half the proceeds towards an identified project of their choosing.
Gerry Tissier, Chair of the Daubeney Fields Forever community group in Homerton took time to write the following:
‘Daubeney Fields Forever is a group of volunteers working to improve our neighbourhood, across the marshes from Brisbane Road.
“One of our projects is to transform an abandoned car park on a residential street into a community garden. We’re turning a grey, crumbling eyesore into a green and inviting place for people to enjoy.
First we commissioned a local blacksmith to create a beautiful garden gate from old garden tools welded onto railings. Then we put in 20 giant tubs so local people could grow fruit and vegetables. And then we made a fence out of recycled pallets and old scaffolding for hops, honeysuckle and roses to climb up.
But we ran out of money for our final activity – to put a ‘Little Free Library’ into the garden. The Little Free Library is a kind of painted post-box where you can take out a book for free and replace it with one you’ve read. As the saying goes, when you have a library and a garden, you have everything you need.
Luckily, the O’s came to our rescue. We spotted the 50-50 Community Scheme on your website and applied for tickets to raise the funds we needed to buy our Library. We decided to see the team’s final home game of the season against Sheffield United.
The Club’s community liaison officer Howard Gould went out of his way to make the process as easy as possible and get to know us better. Before the match he arranged for O’s striker Darius Henderson and midfielder Marvin Bartley to visit the garden and have a knock-about with local kids. He also invited the group to a special tour around the stadium.
We sold 80 tickets to our supporters and set off on the day of the match to watch the O’s play Sheffield. The game lit up in the second half when the O’s headed in a goal with 20 minutes to go. The Daubeney Fields crew jumped to their feet in an eruption of cheering and clapping.
It was a memorable experience for us to watch the game together. ‘The kids had a fantastic time’, ‘a wonderful day out for everyone’, ‘what a great event’, said members of the group.
We raised £400, more than enough to buy our Little Free Library. But just as important the trip helped us bond together as a close-knit community and forge a new-found friendship with the Club. We’ll be back next season to help the O’s get back into League One. And true to our name, we’ll now be supporting the O’s forever.”
You can find out more about the group on their website … www.daubeneyfieldsforever.com
If you’d like further information on the 50-50 scheme, please contact Howard Gould at the club by email – [email protected] or visit the website www.leytonorient.com