For Kennedy this was his second trip to the sheltered housing accommodation in recent weeks after being invited back to join in with the weekly pastime.
The Leyton Orient Trust have been visiting the residents for the past seven years, initially as part of the National Citizen Service local community project followed by the Football Foundation’s ‘Extra Time’ programme and once or twice a year, players are invited along to partake in the fun and games that take place.
Boccia is the favourite activity but occasionally there can be dominos, pool, bingo or even an event such as the Christmas party or musical recital.
“I really enjoyed myself last time”, commented Kennedy. “There are some real characters here. I had a good laugh and enjoyed playing Boccia for the first time so was really pleased to be invited back. They are a great bunch of people and seem to really enjoy the social side of things.”
Kelly and Kennedy are the latest in a line of O’s players to visit the housing scheme, following in the footsteps of: Sammy Moore; Jack Payne; Alex Revell and Ben Chorley.
Midfielder Kelly said: “I had a good time chatting to the folk and being introduced to the Boccia. I’m not hooked quite yet but would be happy to come back if invited. “I had a nice conversation with a Scottish gentleman, a Hibernian supporter, and we reminisced about Scotland as I enjoyed my time up there playing for Kilmarnock. I don’t mind the community visits as it is really important we give back to the fans and today highlights just how appreciative they are.”
Jill Brown, manager of the facility in Leytonstone, remarked: “The association with Howard (Gould) and Leyton Orient for the past seven years has been wonderful. The residents enjoy the sessions and really do miss them when not on. And the players are always so nice and are welcome anytime. They are friendly and chatty and seem to enjoy the Boccia and they really do enhance the day.”