A football coach is urging people to donate unwanted boots and trainers so they can be given to underprivileged children this Christmas.
Since launching the Boots For Buddies appeal last month, Glenn Vaughan has already collected in excess of 400 pairs – and he is still hoping to add to that total.
Glenn is the boss of Essendine-based One Touch Football Soccer School, which delivers sports training to youngsters across Lincolnshire, Rutland, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire.
Collection points have been set up at locations across the region and donations will be accepted until December 16.
Glenn said: “I know that not everyone can afford to buy their own football boots – but I don’t want them to miss out on the opportunity to play.
“Children can grow out of the boots and trainers pretty quickly, and some of those we have had donated are as good as new.
“Once the cut-off date for collections has passed, we will work with local authorities and agencies to make sure the boots and trainers get to where they are really needed.”
Glenn, who set the business up 10 years ago, said he was inspired to launch the appeal when running football camp during a half-term holiday earlier this year.
He added: “A lad turned up for a week of football in his school shoes.
“I think they were the only pair of shoes he had. I said ‘you can’t possibly play in them, you’ll be slipping around all over the place, and I’ll get into trouble if you go home covered in mud’.
“We lent him a pair to use, but it got me thinking there must be a way we could help people like that.
“My company delivers training to thousands of children every week – and while many are lucky enough to have parents who are able to buy them their own boots, not everyone is in that situation.
“I’ve been amazed by the response we’ve had to the Boots For Buddies appeal. We’ve had so many donated - from kids size 10 through to adult size 9.”
To find out where your nearest collection point is, visit www.onetouchfootball.co.uk
Glenn is also keen to hear from anyone who knows a group or organisation which might benefit from a donation of boots.