Creating a village for professional athletes is no mean feat.
From white goods to bathroom supplies, exercise essentials to everyday kitchen materials, making a home away from home means each country brings in what they can to keep its contenders comfortable. And at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games it was no different.
But where does it all go when the event is finished? Worry not, the Organising Committee had great plans and enlisted Event Cycle to help. Rather than send the leftover items for recycling, they chose to repurpose them with the communities around the city in which the Games were based.
Donate for Victory!
One of the many core values that Victory Church in Rugeley holds is their love for their Community. They offer venue hire, children's clubs, birthday parties and much more.
Sam Smith, a very active member of their team, is always searching for ways to enhance their spaces and help the organisation engage more with their local community. He was able to take delivery of a number of items that would benefit not just his church, such as the New Testament and Psalms books but also their community led programmes.
Deck chairs were reserved for their outdoor events, toilet brushes for their bathrooms as well as a French Boules Set and Foam Dart Pistols for their children's hub and sensory zone. When you offer such an eclectic array of events, you never know what might come in useful!
Small world, big hearts
Just across the road from Victory Church sits another one of our beneficiaries, Help a Squaddie. Help A Squaddie’s main goal when formed was to help rehouse Homeless Ex Service Personnel. They soon discovered that homelessness could often be prevented if the symptoms and issues were addressed much sooner in the process. They set about changing their main objectives into helping struggling veterans get the help when and where they needed it.
Kerry Urquhart, CEO of the charity, advised us that the kettles and toilet brushes that they received from the village donation are in storage ready for the opening of their new Veterans Crisis house. And the clothing received will be distributed amongst their client veterans who need it.
Kerry told us: “We have always known that the thing missing in our area for veterans is Crisis housing. We have managed for seven years by placing veterans in hotels but obviously this is not ideal and more so, when mental health crisis is a factor.
“Early in 2021 we applied for £300,000 from the National Lottery thinking we had very little chance of success but in December 2021 we received the fantastic news that the funds had been granted. We have found a house and had an offer accepted. The House is named The Russell Aston Home For Veterans after a soldier who was Killed in Acton in Iraq. Each bedroom is also named after a fallen soldier which has given huge comfort to their families knowing that their sons live on to help other veterans in need…”
Work hard, play hard
Balsall Heath Children's Action Team Support (BHCATS) was formed as a group to help local children and young people with disabilities be part of the local community and to support, develop and appreciate their different potentials.
They are always looking at ways to support more than 80 families directly and help their wider network of over 20 organisations. When they saw the chance to receive some free flags to decorate their play spaces, they quickly got in touch.
The flags really brighten up the play space and that's not all…
BHCATS core activity is delivering play and leisure opportunities for local children and young people with disabilities, from those with physical disabilities including multiple and complex to those with learning and behaviour support needs.
Receiving numerous office and everyday items from this event will certainly help them to continue to deliver their excellent work supporting young children, young adults and their families. Woven baskets, rope, hand paper towels, cable ties, pliers and even a mini golf set, allow them to realise their ambitions and we are excited to see how far it will take them.
The team's ambition is to run regular after-school, weekend and holiday provision from a bespoke building to ensure that all children and young people have the opportunity to play, grow and be independent.
Teamwork makes the dream work
Running gyms and providing a destination for youths, helps create a real family dynamic and a sense of belonging.
After 5UP initially benefited from some key items such as kettles and crockery for their onsite kitchenettes as well as towels and fans to use in their gym facility, it was obvious to co-founder Major Heran, that he needed to keep a close eye out for any future donation alerts so that he could help as many organisations as he could within his network.
With such a wide reach to gyms, schools and social clubs, 5UP helped us realise a use for a lot of the items that were available, post event.
Astroturf for a new sports zone at Birmingham Youth Sports Academy (BYSA) as well as more towels, antibacterial sprays and children’s playmats for sister gyms, was quickly snapped up to encourage safe and clean sports through play.
Tip of the iceberg
These are just a few examples of 15 charities that benefitted from our Villages inventory.
The difference these items will make to their local communities and organisations is huge and both us and our recipient charities are so grateful that they have a new purpose, after the main event.
Every item has a use and a reuse, whatever it is #EventCycleIt
Events don't have to be wasteful, they can be helpful instead?
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