Swindon Town football shirts help raise £5,000 for speech therapy
Two framed Swindon Town Football Club shirts, signed by club legends, have been auctioned to raise funds for lifesaving speech therapy for people with Down syndrome.
The shirts were donated by Cliff Puffett, patron of Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group, who helped raise funds for them for many, many years.
His latest effort – the auction of two original STFC shirts signed by beloved Robins legends Don Rogers and John Trollope – brought in a total of £5,000.
After the auction scheduled for a game in town in late December was postponed due to a COVID outbreak canceling the game, bidders were finally able to try and get their hands on the shirts and donate to a good cause, to the FA Third Draw against Manchester City on 7 January.
The club’s executive suite was packed for the event. Former player Phil King volunteered to coach and Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group members Lane Stow and Oliver Messenger scoured the aftermath taking offers from supporters.
They were two men, Mark Brooks and Stephen Trowbridge, with Mark claiming the shirts with a bid of £3,000. Stephen and another Town supporter, Geoff Maitland, each donated £1,000 on the night to Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group, meaning the night raised a total of £5,000.
Money raised will be used to fund speech therapy for members of Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group. It’s something that costs them around £40,000 to keep supplying.
They do not charge families to access this service as they want to ensure that it is accessible to all and that no one is excluded for reasons of income.
The group says: “We believe that people with Down syndrome have a valuable role to play in their local community, especially if we help them improve their communication skills, build their confidence and give them a sense of worth. .
On Saturday January 22, one of the band members, Sophie West, visited Swindon Town Football Club to present Mark with his well deserved Don Rogers and John Trollope shirts.
She gave a brilliant speech, thanking everyone involved for their generosity and for making this possible.
Group chair Kim West added: “Words cannot express how grateful Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group is for all the support, kindness and generosity, you have truly made a huge difference in the lives of our members with Down syndrome. Thank you from the heart”.
Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group has been providing speech therapy services for over 20 years and are proud to have received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for this reason.