Fairford Youth Football Club have teamed up with local charity Shine Bright Support to raise awareness of childhood cancer this September.
The youth football season begins in earnest this weekend (6th September) with over 200 children getting ready to play their first games for FYFC since the lockdown ended their 2019-2020 season.
And Fairford Youth’s players will be adding some extra sparkle as they don gold bootlaces to support Shine Bright Support and raise awareness of Childhood Cancer Month.
In March 2018 Eleri Hooper, daughter of founding trustee Bethan Hooper, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. Sadly, Eleri’s treatment didn’t work and in September 2019 she passed away surrounded by family and friends.
Shine Bright Support was founded to raise funds to aid vital mental health support for children and families affected by childhood cancer. Although there is some psychological support for patients at the hospital where Eleri was treated, as with all NHS services it was stretched to its limits. It was difficult to get consistent support for Eleri and almost impossible for any family members to access. Bethan realised that if they needed support but couldn’t access it easily, then other families were probably having the same difficulties. The idea was to raise money to provide help for these families when they needed it the most. With the help of Laura Barber and Julianne Baker, Shine Bright Support was born.
As a student of Fairford Primary, Eleri had a big impact on her peers and with many of the children from Fairford Primary representing the Youth Football Club, there was a strong desire from the children to do what they could to support Shine Bright.
Initially Fairford’s Under 8 Tornadoes coach Sarah Sloman contacted Bethan for her team to wear the gold laces, but word quickly spread amongst the coaches and players throughout the age-groups and before long, the whole club from U7s to U14s were on board, culminating with FYFC donating £525 to Shine Bright Support.
FYFC chairman Adam Sloman said “I don’t think there’s anyone in Fairford that isn’t aware of the amazing work Bethan and Shine Bright Support are doing for children and families dealing with childhood cancer – the gold laces started with one age group, but it’s really unified the whole club. We’re proud to help Shine Bright Support and we hope to do more to support them.”
Shine Bright Support Trustee Bethan Hooper added “It’s lovely to have the Youth Football Club on board – the whole month of September is about raising awareness of Childhood Cancer and we think this will help do that – the laces look fab in the kid’s boots too – hopefully it might even help them score a few extra goals!”
You can Go Gold too, buy buying your very own gold laces through Shine Bright Support’s online shop, which can be found at www.shinebrightsupport.co.uk/shop