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Charlton Life and Charlton Upbeats

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In 2009, the Charlton Athletic Community Trust piloted a unique activity-based programme ‘Kick Start for Life’ aimed specifically for people with Downs Syndrome. The pilot was a real success, and those involved could see how important this could be long-term, but also the difficulties in getting the project properly off the ground. ‘The People’s Millions’, a phone in competition run by ITV was the perfect opportunity to secure the necessary funding to extend the pilot programme.

Charlton Life first got on board with the Community Trust at this point. Bringing publicity in the month to the run up to the vote to our thousands of visitors and issuing a number of pleas, hundreds of our members hit the phone lines for the November 26th vote. The Upbeats smashed it, winning by more than 10,000 votes and £37,800 was secured to see the programme properly rolled out.

When Carl thanked everyone for their efforts, I don’t think we realised at that point the lasting involvement Charlton Life and its members were to have with the group. One year on and with the programme now flourishing, our next efforts were a round of raffles and auctions in Nov 2010. Led brilliantly by @WSS, this campaign raised a fantastic £5,000 for the programme.

In 2011/12, a number of one off events, such as end of season points competitions, run sponsorships, auction bids, dispute-settling bets, and the excess from our annual Shirt Sponsorship Schemes continued to raise an estimated £3,000 in support.

In Feb 2013, we commenced regular visits to the Training Ground for our members to meet the Upbeats, learn more about the programme and participate with their training sessions. Organised by @T.C.E his German Shepherd training dog Bailey has gone on to be a firm favourite and the Upbeats unofficial mascot.

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In June 2013, we got on board in helping to roll out new kit for the Upbeats team. We wanted to ensure the group had the same quality of kit as the first team and not just a Nike catalogue kit, and embarked on a series of auctions (organised superbly by @HenryIrving) in order to provide the necessary kit. Alongside, Opening Fixture Prediction competition organised by @Thai_malaysia_addick raised £620 for the group.

In August 2013, a cheque for £2,500 was supplied to acquire 40 full kits and tracksuits for the group, and on 14th December at home to Derby County, the Upbeats were introduced to The Valley crowd in their new kits.

In August 2014, the now annual Opening Fixture Prediction Competition raised a further £675 for the group.

Our support to the Upbeats is on-going, we will again be putting the excess to the Shirt Sponsorship scheme towards supporting the group, so if you wished to make a donation to our support, please click on the Inbox at the top right and send a message to @Curb_It.

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