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How Growth Lending harnessed the power of football to raise funds for charity

The competitiveness of our team ensured that Italy weren’t the only winners of Euro 2020

Maddie Dumpleton

EURO 2020 has dominated our screens (and sometimes our thoughts) over the past month and with a team as competitive as ours, we decided that the tournament would provide the perfect opportunity to fundraise for our community outreach initiatives.

A sweepstake was organised by our People co-ordinator Ntando Mazibuko, who did a live draw to allocate the teams – a potentially thankless task for a team with so many nationalities and so many sore losers! But our sweepstake also had a good-natured twist; all funds raised would go to charity, rather than to one of us.

To keep the spirit of the competition alive, we had weekly tournament updates on our morning calls, but we also heard from our colleagues about the organisations that our fundraising would support.

Group data analyst Jason Dionysopoulos shared information about Ladles of Love, a Cape Town-based charity that provides nourishing meals to children and families across the Cape region. The charity started as one small soup kitchen, but has grown to support thousands from its depots. It also assists a variety of non-profit organisations, community projects, and schools across the peninsula, to establish community kitchens where they are needed most.

Ladles of Love is using Mandela Day, which takes place on 18th July each year, to encourage people from across South Africa and further afield to donate cans of food – all with the hope of beating the Guinness World Record for the longest line of food cans. The current target is a 6.7km line, in recognition of the 67 years that Nelson Mandela spent fighting injustice and the money that the Growth Lending Group has raised will support this special event, alongside additional food donations from our team.

Principal Julian Hornby championed the charity Football Beyond Borders, a London-based, education and social inclusion charity, which supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who are passionate about football, but disengaged at school.

Its mission is to help these young people to finish school with the skills and qualifications that will enable them a successful transition into adulthood by providing long-term, intensive support, built around relationships and young people’s passions, in the classroom and beyond.

“Football has been omnipresent in my life and I have seen first hand the power it has in improving the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds,” Hornby says. “The FBB programme participants are all passionate about football, but often disengaged from school and in danger of being excluded. The charity aims to intervene and support them in turning things around. This is clearly something that schools will not, or cannot provide, which is why the external nature of FBB is so great.”

“The money raised from our sweepstake will go towards FBB’s campaign in alignment with EURO 2020 – Football For The Future, which is running to raise money for their 2021/2022 programmes across the UK,” Hornby adds.

By using Euro 2020 as a fundraising force for good, our team has ensured that Italy will not be the only winners from this year’s tournament. We’re looking forward to getting involved with more community outreach initiatives as 2021 continues.

• Call Julian on 020 3854 3530, email him or connect with him on LinkedIn