By Cllr Helen Godwin, Councillor for Southmead
At the Southmead Project we were delighted to hear that Bristol Rovers has chosen us as one of two official charities for the 2018/19 season.
Since 2016, I have been a trustee of the charity, as well as one of the Southmead Councillors, and I have seen how many people the charity supports and the positive impact it has on so many lives. And yet there is little funding for the work of the Project which means the very survival of the organisation can at times be uncertain. To have the support of local organisations is vital and the support of Rovers is a real boost.
This is huge news for the charity in so many ways. Southmead is Rovers territory and we know that lots of residents and fans would be delighted to see Mike Peirce’s amazing work recognised by our local football club.
But it is bigger than that. The Southmead Project is one of the leading organisations in the country working with victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. For a football club to vocally support our organisation is ground-breaking, especially as football itself is answering difficult questions about historic sexual abuse in clubs across the country.
Dr Mike Peirce from the Southmead Project and I had the pleasure of meeting representatives of the club in October to plan how we can make the most of this partnership during the season. We had a lovely meeting and photo session with the back room team, including club captain Tom Lockyer. We were thrilled when the club told us that they wanted to dedicate a match to us this month, on Saturday 9th February when Rovers will play Shrewsbury Town at the Mem. We would love to pack the stands with Meaders to celebrate the achievements of Mike and the work of the project. There will be a bucket collection and Mike will be on the pitch at half time to talk about the work of the Southmead Project.
Please come along to the game if you are able. If you can volunteer to shake buckets to collect donations at the match then please let Mike Peirce know, tel: 0117 950 6022 (Volunteers will be given free access to the game).
I also have a pair of tickets to give away – please leave your name and number in The Mead pigeon-hole at Greenway Centre reception if you would like to be entered in the draw for the tickets or text ROVERS and your name to 07895 477 379.
Match tickets are on sale as usual via the Rovers website: www.bristolrovers.co.uk