Mike Summers: Thank you for your support in 2018!
I’d like to start with a heartfelt thanks to the Palace fans and all of our other supporters for continuing to support our work with vulnerable young people in the communities around Selhurst Park.
Through the tickets that have been bought in the matchday Super Draw alone, we’ve raised more than £17,000 this season. This month, that money is helping us buy three new Powerchairs for Crystal Palace Powerchair FC, giving more people with a disability the chance to play the sport they love.
This year we launched two innovative new programmes: Healthy Eagles, helping families live healthier lives; and Breaking the Cycle, which aims to reduce levels of youth crime in south London. Both are excellent examples of how Palace can be a force for good, to make real, positive changes in our community.
Our existing projects have also gone from strength to strength, with our team delivering outstanding work in areas such as Primary Schools, community engagement, route to employment, disability, women and girls football and at Soccer Schools and College Academies.
Perhaps our proudest achievement, through our three major fundraising events this year, we raised more than £130,000! In the summer, over 40 committed fans bid to play football on the hallowed turf at Selhurst Park alongside Palace legends, we then entered a team into RideLondon for the first time, with 18 of you braving the weather to tackle the 100-mile bike ride. In October we held our second Marathon March, with 150 fans, legends and the club chairman Steve Parish walking 26.2 miles across the capital in what was one of the most uplifting and positive days I can remember.
Back in February, we announced five new Patrons, appointing Palace legend Andy Johnson, comedian Eddie Izzard, politician Chuka Umunna, broadcaster Susanna Reid and entrepreneur Stephen Browett. Our Investors Club grew to 28, with each investor pledging £1000 to us, and we now have 40 talented PlayMakers volunteering their time to support our work.
Vitally, we’ve had wonderful support from the Palace and Palace Ladies players this year, with Patrick van Aanholt, Pam McRoberts and Jason Puncheon helping us to launch Healthy Eagles, Joel Ward, James McArthur, Ciara Watling and Jordan Butler visiting Primary Schools and Aaron Wan-Bissaka surprising youngsters at our Gloves not Gunz boxing session, to name just a few.
We’re extremely excited for what 2019 holds for Palace for Life Foundation and we look forward to having you all with us on that journey!
Mike Summers, Foundation CEO