Hemel woman’s football boot charity needs help storing and washing donations

The Hemel Hempstead charity has given out 1296 pairs of football boots and sports trainers and needs helps to store and clean donations.

Thursday, 12th May 2022, 11:23 am
Updated Thursday, 12th May 2022, 11:57 am

A charity founded by a woman from Hemel Hempstead is asking for help from the public to store and wash donated trainers.

Fiona Foulkes runs One Impossible Thing from her home which collects donated football boots and trainers and gives them to people who are unable to buy a new pair.

The charity, which has given out nearly 1300 pairs of trainers since last year, has seven donation points in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

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The charity has given out nearly 1300 pairs of trainers to people in need.

She says that if the charity is to expand, they need to find a washing place and somewhere to store its donations.

“I can't really expand because I just don't have the capacity and the resources to clean them,” Fiona said.

“If there was a sports club that we could go a couple of days during the week to their clubhouse. We could pop in a wash the shoes with our volunteers and then store them there.”

The idea for this charity came out of the pandemic when Fiona’s son had grown out of his brand-new football boots and was not wanting them to go to waste.

A note that someone wrote in the pair of trainers that were donated. One Impossible Thing asks people write a note to put in their preloved shoes so it can be passed on to the recipient to inspire them.

“When I was sorting through my son's football boots and because of lockdown, he didn't use them much. So he had near perfect pairs of football boots that hardly been worn,” Fiona said.

The mother-of-two said: “On the flip side, obviously there must be people who need those boots for their kids because their feet have grown but they don't have the money to buy them. So that's kind of how it started.”

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Last week, Dacorum Athletics Club and their runners donated 88 pairs of sports shoes to the charity.

One Impossible Thing hopes to bring confidence and pride to children and adults who want to play sports, but don’t have the right equipment.

Fiona said: “We’ve taken football boots up to the schools for their girls' football team. Football is very male orientated so it's kind of giving the girls that confidence. Football boots will improve their game because they're not slipping around everywhere.”

She added: “We didn't want anyone to be hindered by the fact that they didn't have a pair of sports shoes that they could take part in activities.

Fiona and her small team of volunteers collect, wash and give out the sports shoes.

The trainers are given to people who need them through holiday activity camps for those on Free School Meals, school sports teams, youth clubs, and charities running community sports programs.

Local people who have unused, pre-loved our out-grown sports shoes and boots can drop them off at several donation points in and around Dacorum:

Hemel Hempstead – Hemel Hempstead Sports Centre; the XC Centre; Our Gym.

Luton - Inspire: Luton Sports Village; Lewsey Sports Park and Lea Manor Recreation Centre.

St. Albans - Westminster Lodge

Anyone who has storage space or washing facilities or who wants to find out how to help, information can be found here.