RAF

Meet The Military Team Taking Football Kits To Most Deprived Areas Of Nepal

Since its inception in 2006, the appeal has delivered over 247,500 items to 58 countries worldwide.

RAF Shawbury is well known for its state-of-the-art facilities used to train pilots but tucked away in the corner of the base is a small team about to embark on an important trip.

Taking Football to Africa and Beyond is a charitable appeal run by a mix of military personnel both past and present, as well as civilians.

The group supply children and adults with thousands of football kits all over the world. 

Since its inception in 2006, the appeal has delivered more than 247,500 items to 58 countries worldwide and their next stop is Kathmandu in Nepal.

"This one is very different to previous trips," said Wing Commander Neil Hope, who leads the appeal.

"Generally we will go and we will just do delivery trips to schools and football clubs. 

"This time we are doing some deliveries in Kathmandu... but the vast majority of the trip is going to be spent trekking to Everest Base Camp delivering the kit in schools, or to children, or to anybody really that we see along the route."

Kits have been donated by grassroots clubs, Premier League sides and even the England national team.

The value of the kits is thought to be worth around between £40,000 and £50,000.

Taking Football to Africa and Beyond
Football boots are also being taken over to Nepal.

Retired Warrant Officer Louise Simpson, who works as the programme administrator, told Forces News: "It makes you realise how well off we are in this country. 

"You see the children sat at the side of the street in the slums and then when we go into the schools and give them pencils et cetera, the smiles on their faces - it's an unbelievable experience."

With all the boxes packed, the team is ready to fly in just a couple of weeks when they will be joined by former Chief of the Air Staff Sir Stephen Hillier who is also part of the team.