During last season we started an initiative called: ‘Wolves Wishes.’ The idea is to surprise Wolves fans – who may be terminally ill or going through a particularly hard time because of a traumatic event – with a special experience or gift.
The initiative has been a big success, receiving very good feedback from players, fans, sponsors and the media alike. So much so that, the campaign will be continued into 2015/16 season.
Here are just 2 of the many highlights;
Players pay school a special visit
THE FAN: Tracy Caddick, a teaching assistant at Lane Green First School in Codsall.
THE WISHER: Kelly Winwood, who started working with Tracy in January this year and the two quickly became friends.
WHY: Tracy is a teaching assistant who goes above and beyond in her job, consistently clocking up the hours, running additional events and activities for the kids, quite often at her own expense. She arrives at school at 7am every day to get everything ready and then leads a Breakfast Club at 8am. She also runs a football team as part of an after school club and does as much as she can for the pupils on top of being a Year Three Teaching Assistant.
KELLY SAYS: “You will never ever meet a woman who will put anyone and everyone before herself. She is a rock within the school to everyone and anyone at the school would back me up for this. The football team she runs have had their struggles and not scored many goals but Tracy is always happy and makes the team feel like winners every time. We wanted her to know just how much we all love and appreciate everything she does for us.”
THE WISH: Samuel Ricketts and Dave Edwards surprised Tracy with some Wolves goodies, including the use of an executive box for a forthcoming game. Students were also handed some Wolves gifts and match tickets, and staff from Wolves Community Trust put on a small sports session.
TRACY SAYS: “I had no idea anything was going to happen, I was told that the football team were having their picture taken for the parish magazine. I did wonder a little bit when I was told to wear my Wolves kit though! But I was really shocked - it has been amazing.”
Defender hits Darlo to surprise brave fan
THE FAN: Joel, a 13-year-old aspiring footballer from Darlaston.
THE WISHER: Nicola, Joel’s Mum, who felt he deserved a special treat this Christmas.
WHY: At the age of 8, Joel lost his Dad to cardiomyopathy, a heart condition, which offers no warnings. “The morning I had to tell Joel his Dad had died during the night was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” says Nicola. Joel’s Grandad then became a key influence, becoming a “surrogate father” before he passed away this year after suffering from throat cancer. “Their bond became so tight,” said Nicola. “Sadly my Dad died in March this year and once again Joel has lost the main role model in his life.” Joel is not only a keen Wolves fan but also plays himself whilst also puts the kit out and collects the balls for Darlaston Town.
NICOLA SAYS: “I’m sure most parents think their children are the best but my son is something else. In his 13 years of life he has seen so many tough times and, with the help of sport and I include his beloved Wolves in this, he is still such an inspiration to me. For his short life he has experienced more loss and tragedy yet stays focused and I feel now, more than ever, he needs to know how amazing I and others think he is. I would love him to receive a surprise and for him to meet Danny Batth. It would make his entire year and show him how so proud I am of him.”
THE WISH: Danny surprised Joel at his home after school one night. He spent an hour with Joel, delivering a box full of Wolves goodies as well as teaming up to play a game of FIFA on the X Box. Even though Danny is a Play Station man!!! Danny also took a pair of used boots and a signed football which he signed: “Keep going Joel – see you in the South Bank.”
JOEL SAYS: “I was told I was having a surprise Christmas present and that I had to be home and changed for 4 o’clock but I didn’t know what it was. And then Danny Batth turned up who is my favourite player. I was really happy but I didn’t know what to say. He then gave me some Wolves presents and we played a game of FIFA. I can’t wait to tell my friends about it but I don’t think they’ll believe me.”
Community Case Studies
We have a closer look at the processes and procedures that clubs have put in place to manage and organise their community activities.