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Crossing Continents

Beacon Hill Rovers have been linked with a children’s home called “Families For Children” (FFC) in Southern India for a number of years. Last year it was the Club’s selected charity and £300 was raised as a donation. Our First Team Manager and Player Development Officer Merfyn Roberts, and his wife Anna, made their latest visit in December 2009 where they spent time with the children and working with the staff.

FFC is home to 450 young people, from new-born babies to young adults. Some have no parents or relatives; some are from families who can no longer take care of them. Just before Christmas, ten more children between the ages of five and ten arrived. They were homeless and had been picked up by the local city authorities.

Most of Beacon Hill’s donation goes to the physiotherapy unit that works with the children who have physical special needs, including some with polio. There are also a number of young adults with a range of physical disabilities who came to the home as children, often after being abandoned by their families. FFC will probably remain their family home for the rest of their lives; the physiotherapy team is really important for this group and gives them hope for the future.

One part of Merfyn’s visit included coaching the boys’ football team. In the past Beacon Hill has helped to fund the team and provided kit and equipment. While he was there the team played in a weekend 7-a-side tournament, winning through the group stage before losing to the eventual winners in the quarter-final. Merfyn said, “It was great to see the boys enjoy themselves so much, they played some decent stuff and they looked brilliant in the black and white stripes!”

Merfyn also managed to talk his way into getting selected for a local team playing in the Veterans' section of the tournament! Through to the final without conceding a goal, his Coimbatore Galaxy Veterans FC were the eventual winners. Merfyn's post-match analysis: “The final was twenty minutes each way, 9-a-side on a full-size pitch, we went 1-0 up after five minutes and once I’d learnt the Tamil for ‘offside’ we were sorted, end of scoring.”

Merfyn and Anna will be visiting Families For Children again this December and are seeking donations. Any contribution will be greatly appreciated. Telephone Merfyn on 01621 857466 or leave any donations at the Hatch or with team Managers.

FFC website: www.familiesforchildren.ca/india
FFC blog: ffcindia.blogspot.com/





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