Although on the pitch there hasn’t been too much joy lately that certainly can’t be said of the community work involving the players away from the field of play.
Captain Nathan Clarke has been busy recently helping promote the Dementia Friends Campaign as well as attending both the Vi and John Rubens care home in Ilford (along with Scott Kashket) and the children’s ward at Whipps Cross hospital whilst also invited to present awards at the Waltham Forest Sports awards evening at the Civic Centre. Accompanied by Romain Vincelot and Theo the mascot, this was his fourth successive year visiting the hospital. “It’s important we involve the community and especially bring a smile to the children who are unfortunate enough to be in hospital. We’re always well received here at Whipps and it’s a pleasure to attend,” said Clarke.
Romain was also our representative at a recent social evening at Haven House hospice, celebrating our partnership and touring the recently refurbished facilities.
Homerton hospitals Starlight children’s ward and their Neurological Unit were also paid a visit by a trio of O’s, namely Shaun Batt, Gary Woods and Jay Simpson, who left presents and match tickets whilst chatting to the patients and spreading the smiles!
Local all-through school George Mitchell received a visit from Dean Cox and Harry Lee who turned up with some kit and donated boots and trainers to help those pupils who may find it difficult to supply their own and Kevin Lisbie and Shaun Batt travelled to Ilford to answer questions from the pupils at Seven Kings High School. And Elliot Omozusi dropped into the Score centre to talk to the BTEC students studying there about his life as a footballer and recent life experiences.
For the game versus Peterborough, we welcomed the U13’s girl’s football team from Chingford Foundation School who, after winning our local tournament will now go on and represent Leyton Orient at the area finals of the kinder+sport Football League Girls Cup – the ultimate prize being a chance to play at Wembley prior to the JPT final! Jay Simpson was on hand to present them their trophy at half time and we wish them the best of luck in January.
And most recently Scott Cuthbert and Lloyd James were guests of honour at the LOT’s Extra Time project’s Christmas ‘Feast of Music’, held in the Score Leisure Centre. Extra Time is a club designated to the over 60’s in and around our local community and is now in its fifth successful year with LOT staff delivering sports and entertainment to our older generation and usually in their own surroundings. The duo enjoyed the variety of musical talent on show, helped with drawing the raffle and had photos taken with the party goers.
Howard Gould, Community Liaison Officer, commented, “The players are an integral part of the community work and really do raise the profile of the club. The current squad over the past three to four years really have accepted their responsibilities off the pitch and have been superb. The variety of appointments they attend really is diverse and that’s where my job comes in, but once assigned, the lads are true professionals and do a great job”.