As many of you will have already seen on the official Walsall FC website, or in the local press, the waterproof ponchos which were purchased by Walsall FC DSA with the money raised by way of donations from Walsall FC supporters and Homeserve, in aid of wheelchair bound supporters to help keep them warm and dry during inclement weather as winter quickly approaches, were gifted to those wheelchair supporters who attend games regularly prior to the Saddlers home fixture against Accrington Stanley at the Banks's Stadium on Saturday (29th September 2018).
Twelve ponchos were/are to be gifted in total, with three more remaining at the club for use by supporters who attend games occassionally, and/or to wheelchair bound away supporters during bad weather.
Walsall FC supporters donated generously following an appeal by Walsall FC DSA Procurement & Fundraising officer Dave Beckett on the 'Walsall Fans Have Your Say' Facebook group, and within days, £540 had already been pledged by the supporters. Dave also contacted Walsall FC sponsors Homeserve, who were only too happy to double the amount already pledged by WFC supporters, bringing the amount to £1080. Further pledges and donations since then, brought the overall total pledged to a staggering £1458, much more than the Committee had first anticipated.
Speaking to the Express and Star newspaper, Dave Beckett said,
"I've only recently taken up the role with the association and the first thing I wanted to do was help the fans who have to sit through all weathers to support their team.
When the weather is bad, they can get cold and wet, but that doesn't stop them from supporting their team.
I had a word with Homeserve and also put out an appeal for fans to donate money, and I have to say, I was gobsmacked by the amount of money Homeserve donated, and how much the fans raised themselves."
From the £1458 pledged, 15 premium quality and fully lined ponchos have been purchased at a total cost of £699 including the printing of both the Walsall FC DSA and Homeserve logos, leaving a total of £759 which will now be put to use to further benefit disabled supporters of Walsall FC. Ideas of just how the money will be spent will be discussed at the next Management Committee meeting which is due to take plae later this month.
One idea is to purchase a wheelchair, which can be stored at the Banks's Stadium for use by supporters with mobility needs or other difficulties when required, but we really want to hear from you, and your ideas of how the money should be spent in order to benefit not just wheelchair supporters, but all disabled supporters of the club.
Please contact via our online contact form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas of how Walsall FC DSA should spend the money. Your assistance would be gratefully appreciated.