Project Front Foot was founded in 2009 and has been a UK registered charity since 2011. The project spent a decade in Mumbai establishing a cricket academy with coaches, net sessions, and age group matches for the youngsters of Dharavi slum. In the process, and with the support of British Airways, we took over four tons of denoted clothing and equipment to Mumbai. While the Dharavi children remained the project’s flagship work, the surplus equipment saw us establish our Rural Schools Initiative. Between the years 2009 and 2018, and with kit packages of wicket sets, bats, and balls, we were able to support 150 schools, orphanages, and sporting projects around Maharashtra.
In 2019 we stepped back from India to concentrate our efforts on supporting refugee cricketers in Germany through the provision of much needed clothing and kit. In so doing, we added our own layer to the work of those involved in Integration through Sport. The influx of refugees in the last four years has seen Project Front Foot expand its area of support to include the UK, France, Portugal, and Lebanon. While the project administration is year-round and includes a quarterly newsletter, social media updates, and contact with donor clubs and individuals, the key times in our year are autumn and spring. At the cricket season’s September end, we embark on a countrywide collection of kit donations. The clothing and equipment is sorted, stored for the winter, and then distributed to beneficiary clubs and projects in the spring prior to the start of the new season.
In the past, the project has either been self-funded or reliant on donations from friends. However, as the project has grown so too have our costs of van hire, driver insurance, ferry tickets, and fuel. Our major costs during the last project year centred on £750 for our autumn kit collections and £1750 for our four-day distribution road trip to Germany and France. With these costs likely to rise still further we have had to look for another income source. In an effort to add a further two years to the project’s working life, we have set a figure of £5,000 as our Go Fund Me target. If you would like to assist our ever-expanding refugee support work, then do please donate. Current project news, views and pictures can be found by going to our Project Front Foot Facebook page.