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‘Football boots for all’ initiative re-launches in Bristol

PC Ryan Day

An Avon and Somerset police officer is re-launching a scheme to provide football boots for disadvantaged children in Bristol after hundreds of pairs were donated following a successful campaign two years ago.

Neighbourhood Constable Ryan Day, who works as an engagement and prevention officer with schools in Bristol, created the “Caring for the Community: Football Boots Initiative” in 2021 to give more children in Bristol access to suitable football boots who might otherwise miss out due to their prohibitive cost.

“Boots for Youth 2.0” begins this week and will run throughout the summer holidays, with pre-approved drop-off points set up for people to donate their old or unused football boots. The boots can then be used by children who don’t have suitable sports footwear, which can often exclude them from taking part in extra-curricular activities.

PC Day explained: “Football boots can often run to around £100 a pair which is simply unaffordable for many families amid the current cost-of-living crisis.

“Kids’ feet grow so quickly that a pair of boots are often outgrown before they’ve reached the end of their useful life. This scheme is about giving another young person the opportunity to make use of them.

“I hope that the re-launch of the Boots for Youth Scheme will mean fewer boots thrown out and more young people able to take part in sports where they otherwise might have had to sit out.

“I think it’s a really simple way for families with unwanted boots to give back to the community and improve the lives of others.”

The scheme was initially launched following the COVID-19 pandemic, after many children outgrew boots which had barely been used during the lockdown. It was a huge success, with more than 400 pairs donated to families in need.

This time around, to maximise the life of the boots, the donations will be provided to a selection of local schools so that each has a ‘pool’ of boots available to borrow for the new school year.

Any donated boots need to be weatherproof, in good condition and in Sizes 4 – 11.

The boots can be dropped off at the following locations from Tuesday 18 July:

•             Keynsham Police Centre

Ashmead Rd, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1SA

•             Patchway Police Centre

90 Gloucester Rd, Patchway, Little Stoke, Bristol BS34 6PY

•             Bridewell Police Centre

One Bridewell Street, The Bridewell, Bridewell St, Bristol BS1 2AA

•             Broadbury Road Police Station

Broadbury Rd, Bristol BS4 1JT

•             Nailsea Police Station

Pound Lane, Nailsea, Bristol BS48 2NN

•             Bridgwater Police Centre

Express Park, Bristol Rd, Bridgwater TA6 4RR

Additionally, the following local organisations/businesses are collecting donations:

Bristol Rovers Club Shop – Memorial Stadium, Filton Avenue, Bristol, BS7 0BF

The Shed Gym – Market Industrial Estate Unit 11, Yatton BS49 4RF

Woods Estate Agents

Portishead – The Piazza Harbour Road, Portishead, BS20 7JN

Clevedon – 41 Hill Road, Clevedon BS21 7PD

Bradley Stoke – Ferndene, Bradley Stoke BS23 9DF

Clubs or individuals with a large number of boots to donate, or anyone who is interested  in becoming a drop off point for the initiative should contact Neighbourhood Constable Ryan Day at Ryan.Day@avonandsomerset.police.uk.