As a proud community football club, we’re keen to support local charities and initiatives wherever possible. As discussed in Roy’s a true community club article back in April 2019, we’ve raised over £15,000 for 30+ local and national organisations over the past few years.

This year, we’re aiming to do things a little differently, selecting a smaller number of local charities to help raise their profile and make a bigger difference to them. Therefore, at the start of the season, we asked for nominations to become a Hitchin Town FC Charity Partner of the Year and were delighted to receive a series of responses for very worth causes.

After much deliberation, we’ve selected three organisations to support throughout this season:

  1. Garden House Hospice
  2. Stevenage Haven
  3. Herts Disability Sports Foundation

Once setup, you’ll be able to make donations to each organisations via our ticketing/merchandise website. We’re also aiming to dedicate one of our fixtures this season to each charity, to help raise their profile within the community, as well as vital funds.

Here is a little more on each group:

Garden House Hospice Care is a charity that is very close to the hearts of many people in our local area. Since 1990, the Letchworth-based Hospice has been providing specialist care for people with life-limiting illnesses in North Hertfordshire, Stevenage and towns and villages in Central Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. We understand that for our patients and their families, palliative care can be an extremely scary and confusing time. This is why all of our staff work very hard to make the Hospice a comfortable and safe place for everyone that uses our facilities. The Hospice has a 12-bed inpatient unit where our fantastic clinical staff go the extra mile to provide round the clock care for our patients to give them the best quality of life. Our Hospice at Home team allow patients to receive treatment in the comfort of their own home when they need it and our Hawthorne centre provides excellent day-services facilities for our patients with a large gym, function room and complimentary therapy area. All of our services are provided free of charge, however we have to raise over £4.5 million a year to enable us to do this.

The community is at the heart of everything we do. In fact our charity tagline is ‘Started by the community, serving the community, sustained by the community’. We could not continue to do the work that we do without the support of the generous people of our local area. No matter how big or small, every donation means the world to us and helps us to make a real difference to the lives of the people that we care for and their families.

Garden House Hospice Care is very excited to be working closely with Hitchin Town FC this season. Go Canaries!

The Haven have been responsible for the day to day management of the hostel on Nightingale Road since 2014 (taking over management from North Herts Sanctuary). The 17 bed hostel provides support to single homeless people in Hitchin and North Hertfordshire, as well as providing support to help our residents re-enter independent living. We are committed to breaking the common never ending cycle of homelessness and do this through providing counselling, addiction support, health and wellbeing activities and life skills training.

At the Haven we are delighted to be working with Hitchin Town FC as one of their charity partners. For many years, they have been incredibly supportive to us providing donations and season tickets to our residents – and even working with us on the Homeless World Cup in 2018. The support of the incredible team at Hitchin Town FC is truly life changing for our residents.

Disabled people are twice as likely to be physically inactive (43%) than non-disabled people (21%). Additionally, disabled people in the UK have very limited access to leisure activities. The result is loneliness and exclusion for both disabled people and their families with long term implications for their general health and wellbeing.

Herts Disability Sports Foundation (HDSF) is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) which provides, and supports others to provide, opportunities in sport and physical activity that can be accessed by everyone, whether it be through participation, volunteering, coaching or education in a supportive environment.

We do this by running a variety of different activities and programmes; Fun physical activities during the school holidays, Paralympic Roadshows for schools and colleges, Day Service sessions which are fun and physical, Corporate away days/Teambuilding, training other providers on Inclusion and disability, Providing adapted cycles and cycle training, working with Herts County Council to provide 1 to 1 cycle lessons for children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities and developing and delivering physical activities for Home schooled children with SEN – to name but a few!

Through the knowledge and experience of our staff, we are able to offer a fully inclusive service where we put the beneficiary first and tailor our work around the individual. We never presume to judge others’ behaviour or needs.

Being a partner charity of Hitchin Town Football Club will make a massive difference to us; we’re a very small charity, we don’t receive any government funding and running our activities is labour intensive and expensive – any funds raised will be of direct benefit to the community. But for us, it’s also about the publicity; we know that there are many individuals and families who haven’t yet heard of us and we want to get our message out to everyone we could help and support. We hope the popularity and renown of HTFC will help us to get our message out there.