On Saturday 21st April 2018 I have the privilege of attending the Cardiff City Foundation Day at Cardiff City Stadium. The event was a celebration of all the foundation had delivered to their communities over the past year. It was followed by a ‘must-win’ game for the Bluebirds against Nottingham Forest.
New Directions Education has worked in partnership with the foundation for several years. This year, we evolved our relationship with the team and in that short time, my eyes have been opened about the extent of what they deliver; and just how important they are to the people they work to support.
I was overwhelmed to hear the story of Callum Gyde amongst others who were there to share their journey with the foundation. Callum’s Mum Margaret took to the stage to talk to us about how Cardiff City Community Foundation had supported him via the Premier League Kicks programme.
Callum had a rough start to his education, being expelled from school when he was just five years old. After further investigation it was discovered that Callum had a part of his brain missing, suffered from focal epilepsy and more recently he was diagnosed with autism. At last his family had some answers to their issues.
Margaret went on to explain the sense of belonging and community that the foundation has given Callum. For this young man and his family, the Premier League Kicks programme has been a lifeline. Callum has never felt judged and he has had a unique opportunity to keep fit and healthy, as well as meeting other young people.
Callum was just one story that touched my heart on Saturday. I was overwhelmed to hear from a number of people who have had their lives changed by what the foundation delivers.
I also had the honour of sitting next to a relatively new member of the team (she joined back in January). Her energy was infectious. Annie Roberts works to with young people mentoring and guiding them to strive towards their own ambitions. After leaving the event that evening I was beyond impressed with how much our hosts care about the young people they work to support.
Of course one of the highlights was witnessing the two schools who had made it to the final of the schools football competition we host in partnership with the foundation play a half-time exhibition match. George Street and Romilly Primary schools showed off the skills that got them to the final in front of a 20,000 plus audience. What an absolute credit to their schools and families they were…
Cardiff V Nottingham Forest
The result of the main game was a happy one for Cardiff City as they beat Aitor Karanka’s Forest side 2-1. As a Middlesbrough fan (and dreading the slog of a potential play off position), even I was happy for the city fans.
When I reflect about the partnerships we create as an organisation with businesses across the UK – this is just one I am proud to be associated with. As a large organisation to be aligned with
the foundation and their values is affirmation to me that we all add value to our respective communities.
If you would like to get involved with Cardiff City Community Foundation and one of their many initiatives (including a saddle-sore defying bike ride across Wales – take a look at their website.