Arya, 11, from Cambridge was diagnosed with Aplastic Anaemia in July 2020. Aplastic Anaemia is a life threatening condition in which the body stops producing new blood cells that are needed to carry oxygen, prevent infection and to stop bleeding.
Arya is in desperate need of a blood stem cell transplant in order to give her a second chance of life. Unfortunately no-one in Arya’s family is a match so the family are relying on a complete stranger to help save Arya’s life.
After an introduction from a KickOff@3 supporter KickOff@3 were made aware of Arya's search for a donor match. Michael and Ashley were humbled and touched by her positive attitude despite her story and will be arranging a tournament in January to raise awareness of the stem cell register and hopefully help Arya find her match.
The search to find this stranger is made even more challenging as Arya is of mixed heritage being half Indian and half Caucasian. Arya’s best chance of a match is from someone of Indian or mixed Indian/Caucasian origin.
Her Mum, Brundha and Dad, Geraint are appealing for more people to take the first step and register as potential blood stem cell donors, particularly people of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. By requesting a home swab kit from DKMS, they may hold the correct HLA –typing to allow Arya to have the life saving stem cell transplant.
Geraint added “There is someone out there who is a match with Arya. By having more people from a diverse range of backgrounds on the register Arya and countless others may be able to find that all important match. They may be in the UK, USA, India or another country. We just need people to come forward and join the DKMS stem cell register. It is really straightforward to do and you could help save the life of someone like Arya.”’.
Despite Arya’s life changing diagnosis and the constant stays in hospital, whilst having immunosuppressive treatment, she remains positive and is hopeful of a matching donor being found.
I just want to be with my friends’: how will children cope with being cooped up again in second lockdown?
We are humbled as the proud Co-Founders of KickOff@3, that our successful work has been acknowledged by the The Guardian to help our most vulnerable young people, especially during lockdown this year. The challenges continue where the taboo subject of vulnerable children, special needs and Mental Health continue to be on the forefront of many uncomfortable conversations. There is still lots of work to be done between all.
You can read the full article here.
Many thanks to journalist Nosheen Iqbal for listening to our personal views on this subject and including us in her fantastic article released this morning. Do have a read. The journey continues.#WeBelieve
KickOff@3 are looking for a volunteer coach to run local youth football sessions in the St Albans District. They will need am FA Level 2 Football Coaching Qualification, a first-aid qualification, be prepared to work weekends and be subject to a DBS organised for by KickOff@3. If interested or you would like more information please contact Michael or Ashley.
KickOff@3 personally wanted to thank each and every person for bringing your teams down to take part, despite the current climate we’re in you guys were willing to make the journey from far and wide to ensure your young people are still active, engaged and experiencing some kind of normality, which for many is still quite difficult unfortunately, so my hat comes off to you all for that.
We especially wanted to praise all the young people that took part, from what we saw, their behaviour, their effort, but most importantly, the respect that was shown by all was exceptional and this is what we love to see at KickOff@3, so again our hat off to them.
Please also thank each and every parent and supporter that came along, this meant a lot to us personally and we would love to see more of that at our events going forward.
On another personal note, we wish to jointly thank The Warren, Met Police, all our guests, key supporters, volunteers, ambassadors and sponsors who attended yesterday. It was a great tournament and community day.
Although everyone was outstanding yesterday, a massive congratulations to all those that were identified as worthy prize winners that walked away with trophies, vouchers and other awards, those guys truly deserved it.
Last but not least, HUGE congratulations to Kingswood Blues for winning our KickOff@3 Community Cup 2020, not many knew, but they were actually a newly formed estate based team playing in their
first ever tournament, coached and managed by a team of amazing young women.
We can now also announce that the football boots and tracksuit bottoms awarded to their young number 12 Nadene and the outstanding male player of the tournament, Musa from Kingswood Blues, was actually donated by Newcastle United's Jamal Lewis. Congratulations to the whole team again and enjoy all your prizes.
KickOff@3 would also like to highlight Awele who was voted Police Cadet of the day, from SouthWark/Lambeth Police Cadets. Awali was commended for going above and beyond in all of her duties, as well as helping the venue stay clear and tidy by litter picking.
You can see the official photos from June and our other volunteer photographers and more details from the day here
In the lead up to to KickOff@3's Community Cup we featured in The Voice Online. Described as "Celebrating and supporting young people is at the heart of KickOff@3’s ethos. In the difficult time we live in where knife and gun crime are rife in many communities across London, KickOff@3 delivers this event as an act of encouragement and motivation for young and vulnerable people." You can read the full article here.
Long term Kickoff@3 Supporter Theresa Clements talks Kickoff@3 with Radio Verulam Sport. Theresa is a passionate supporter and volunteer with the amazing Kickoff@3 team. She reminds us about her own experiences with Kickoff@3 and recalls their last tournament from Cotlandswick Leisure Centre won by a team from London Colney. You can listen to the full interview here.
Can we work together
to support each other
in this voluntary
where young people can
to learn a skill
or to develop an art
in sport or in any creative pastime ?
This is a home ,where
everyone is welcome
We can all grow through education
We can all share laughter with people
who we know
and hopefully , we can learn with open hearts to
come to trust each other
This is an opportunity to encourage growth
activities are created that promote
team building relationships
It is an avenue where
individuals as well as teams
can thrive and compete. and provide
personal testimonies of evidence in self-competing events
in order to raise money to donate to deserving charities
Within the structured environment that is provided
All participating young people
can showcase their skills
in not only what they do best in sport but also
in the creative arts or in a seat at the conference table
In discussions with the superintendents of the police
or a placement with one of our key supporters like the RAF
who offer career opportunities in this endeavour
This voluntary service specialises in providing platforms
from which a growing community can spring
It provides a way of trying
to make a start
at improving relationships
It seeks to reduce the distrust
between the policing of the community
and the people who live in it.
This voluntary service is provided by special people who
dedicate themselves to sacrificing their own family time
to give the best of themselves
in order that they may become positive role models
All members of our communities want to work towards
living in a safer environment
where the community no longer suffers
we are all on the journey towards justice and equality
where the threat to young lives through youth violence or systematic racism
and the abrupt arrested lives of our young people needs to stop
This voluntary service encourages us to come together
in order to reduce the stress that we all feel
We work at reducing the fear
within our shared community
promoting the fact that
policing should not be solely defensive,
We hope to bring people together
in a two-way relationship
based on the promotion of trust
We target our mind set on performance
with a cohesive shared mission
Our measure of success is when
leaders become friends
Apparent oppressors in other walks of life can
reemerge as valued tutors
And we focus on an active determination
not just to emphasise the control of
deviant behaviours but to ensure that
the voices of younger people are
physically present at the conference table
and to redirect energies into positive accomplishments
At the opening of any kickoff, Tipoff runoff or spin off@3 activity
we have always begun with congregating in a circle of solidarity
and a dedication in the form of a minutes silence
for the loved lives who we have lost
to ill-heath or crime concerns
In this way we reaffirm the reason of why
we come together in unity
To become empowered on new platforms
In order to stop lives being wasted
This voluntary service is something that
young people can share
while time is spent with friends and Ambassadors
talents are being demonstrated in a
vocation to share our time
to come together all over the world
joined in a shared aspiration to
work together in active performances and in exercises
All can participate in events that
make a charitable contribution towards
a better world
The challenges that are provided
cement togetherness and friendships can evolve
Teaches about team building when people who support each other
grow to become themselves
This voluntary service runs on funds
It needs support in order to
keep it moving and to continue to grow
Sponsorship would help to leave
a legacy about the good work that young people do
so that we can reflect and build improved relationships across London
as well as nationally
The foundation of this voluntary service is that by working together we can be the best that we can be
so our motto is that
in this goal
We believe that this goal can be achieved
when we all
make a genuine effort to
come together , in the spirit of
A poem commissioned by the co-founders of KickOff@3
Michael Wallace and Ashley Levien
Erica B Donaldson-Ellison
Saturday 12th September saw the St Albans tournament that had been turned around in under 5 weeks because a great success.
9 teams attended on the day, along with representatives from the Met Police, The Royal Air Force, Police Cadets and local residents. The day had a brilliant energy about it and all the young people involved said they thoroughly enjoyed it. You can see more photos from the day here.
On August 11th 2020 KickOff@3 held a planning meeting where we invited videographer and vlogger StreetMic, and photographer and volunteer June Beckles to attend, and also capture some behind the scenes work. You can see behind the scenes here.
Michael caught up with Verulam Sport's Tony Rice where they discuss the recent Runoff@3 event which has raised in excess of £5,000 for the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT). Plus news of an upcoming local football bonanza 'kicking off' here in St Albans in September. You can hear the full chat here.
Michael and Ashley took time out of their busy schedules to speak to Dad.Info during lockdown about the huge importance role models, specifically parental and fatherly role models, to help guide them through a challenging time - especially now.
They talked about the impact of clubs being closed, fathers being absent and relationships with the police. You can read the full article here.
It's an absolute pleasure to say that so far (more donations are still coming in), with the support of partnership organisations KickOff@3 has raised over £5,000 for The ACLT Charity! We finished RunOff@3 on our final leg from West Hampstead station to Hyde Park, where we met with fellow RunOff@3 completers. You can see all the brilliant photos from the amazing day we had as we finished RunOff@3 on Sunday 2nd August here.
KickOff@3 are excited to announce that we are in the process of collaborating with Kit Out London to enable you to purchase KickOff@3's branding merchandise. The line is will start start out with clothing items but has the potential to expand.
Following a second productive meeting on Thursday 23rd July, Michael and Ashley are proud to announce a partnership with Street Mic (Wendell Daniel).
Street Mic is a videographer and will be helping KickOff@3 to capture their journey on film. Street Mic has plenty of experience capturing the story behind community causes as a regular filmer of the BLM movement.
We're so pleased that we're ever increasing our team and finding likeminded people to collaborate with. KickOff@3 film productions coming to a channel near you soon.
Check out his work here
So far the fundraiser has raised over £600 but we still have some way to go to meet our target so if you can spare any amount we really appreciate it. You can donate here.
Unityify is a platform to inspire, motivate and empower all! It's all about the journey ✨Unity in diversity 🤝
The interview is described as a "Brilliant chat with Michael who is very much involved with the community and runs a non-profitable organisation called kick-off at 3 - a 2019 Premiere League Black Writers Grassroots Award Winners who empower young people using Football, Music, & Art to bring all together Nationally.
He has truly dedicated his time and effort to give back to the community and has such a great and positive approach." You can listen to the full interview here.
Morrisons Peckham hass generously agreed to support KickOff@3's newest initiative by donating £200 of Morrisons vouchers. The vouchers will be used as rewards for those that take part in RunOff@3 and raise money for The ACLT Charity.
Community champion Rose, store manager Matt and people manager Brandon said: "We at Morrisons Packham are so happy to support KickOff@3 and ACLT with a donation of £200. Keep up the good work you're doing for our community. We salute your outstanding efforts during these testing times. Your zeal and efforts are even stronger. Well done.".
KickOff@3 has been watching the tragic events unfolding in the USA and the #BlackLivesMatter campaigning in the UK. During these times, we want to say that we do not condone racism and inequality, and we stand together with those protesting to raise awareness and challenge injustice.
As proud cofounders of KickOff@3, Michael Wallace and Ashley Levien have always ensured that the activities, workshops and tournaments held by KickOff@3 have been totally inclusive. This ethos applies now more than ever.
We are supportive of the movement and will do our best to ensure awareness is spread on the matter. We are also aware that the current situation will be on the minds of many people, those outside of the black and ethnic-minority community, too. We are proud of everyone within the diverse and multicultural society we live in that is taking a stand against racial injustice nationally and across the world.
With many protesters coming from a younger background or being students, we recognise you and support you, also. We hope that everyone stays safe, keeps to the social distancing guidelines, and continues to protest as peacefully as possible – violence begets violence and that is something we do not condone at KickOff@3.
With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the nation, we know how hard battling the virus, and now the growing campaign for racial equality has been. We must use our collective strength and sense of community to make more progress and never give up on the cause.
The whole KickOff@3 team extends there gratitude to all those that took part in SpinOff@3 around the country. A special congratulations for Lynn and her family from Durham, Clodagh from Hertfordshire, Lucian from London and the Police Youth Engagement Team from Suffolk.