Creating a sporting difference in Ghana

Late November saw The Change Foundation team up with Farm4Life and their Sports 4 All programme to raise the awareness of disability inclusion, develop sports in the community and introduce Blind Cricket to Ghana. Although the premise of the programme was similar to others embarked upon by the Change Foundation this would be a trip to remember.


Day one saw members of the TCF development team, Si Ledwith and Alex Bassan as the focal point of a press conference at the National Stadium in Accra. Alongside members of the Paralympic Committee, Ghana Cricket Board and the leading Presidential candidate for Ghana, Si and Alex discussed the issues surrounding disability sport and why inclusion was important for everyone. Coverage of the press conference was shown on two television channels including GTV, three radio stations and a variety of newspapers.


The following day Si and Alex taught the Ghana National Cricket team how to play blind cricket with the use of simulation glasses. The team were shown how to guide players, employ ‘useful’ communication, experience running with a blindfold on and navigate themselves through an obstacle course and the cricket pitch whilst having a ‘temporary’ visual impairment to contend with. Now equipped with the skills and knowledge, the National players will go out into the community and the schools to set up blind cricket teams with the view to organising competitive fixtures in the next 12 months.

Highlights from the rest of the trip included:
• Developing Blind Cricket at a school for the Blind up in the mountains North of Ghana.
• Coaching the National Rugby team using Rugby 4’s, a tool that they will now use to raise the awareness of the sport and attract more players into the game.
• Visiting a community project in Teshie where we taught over 60 young people to play Street20 Cricket and Rugby 4’s as well as a plethora of skills and drills.
• Developing sports in a school for the deaf and those with learning difficulties, allowing for greater participation in sport and improved knowledge for the sports tutors.
• Spending time developing sports at a local Orphanage which is run by one of our Farm4Life associates.


It’s fair to say that this was a hugely successful trip that achieved so much more than it originally set out to do. We believe that the impact of this programme will last long into the future and we endeavour to return next year to continue building upon the foundations that we have laid thus far.

*’Farm4Life’ – aim to support the poor and vulnerable through education and the provision of resources, to encourage self-sufficiency within individuals and small businesses.


It’s Easy Fundraising for The Change Foundation

Did you know that with every Christmas and Boxing Day Sale gift you buy, you could be raising money for The Change Foundation?

Over 2400 high street and online retailers including Amazon, M&S, Boden, Waitrose, House of Fraser, Vodafone, Virgin Atlantic and many more, will donate a percentage of what you spend this Christmas to The Change Foundation when you shop with them, via ‘EasyFundraising‘.


It’s like nectar points scheme but instead of earning points, each purchase generates a donation. So instead of going directly to a retailer’s website, go to The Change Foundation easyfundraising page first, register yourself, then choose the retailer you want to shop with – then everything you spend with that retailer earns a free donation for the charity. It’s completely free to use and your shopping won’t cost you a penny more.

On average, each retailer will donate 5% of the cost of your shopping – and those donations soon mount up.

So whatever you need to buy during the festive period or even from your weekly grocery shop or fashion must-have, to your business travel, office supplies or mobile phone just follow the link on the easyfundraising image below and raise money for the work of the charity whilst you shop.


BT Supporters Club backs Hit The Top

The Change Foundation is thrilled to have received a grant from BT Supporters Club of £80,000 over two years towards its Hit The Top  programme in London

The support from the BT Supporters Club will assist the charity in growing our club network by using cricket and multisport activities to develop the life and employability skills of young people with a disability living in London.  The Change Foundation has delivered opportunities to young disabled people for over 15 years and this support will enable the charity to develop the self-confidence, communication skills and independence of over 200 young people enabling them to pursue employment opportunities through increased aspirations.

The Change Foundation’s Acting CEO Andy Dalby-Welsh commented, “We are thrilled to be partnering such a fantastic organisation who are championing sport and what it can do for disadvantaged people.”  


Hit The Top goes Beyond The Divide

The Change Foundation’s Hit The Top programme recently showed a number of global sport for development practitioners why it continually proves to have a powerfully positive impact on the lives of young people.


As part of the Beyond Sport* Summit held in London from 19th to 21st October, The Change Foundation hosted a site visit at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground, for a number of the delegates attending the conference. The delegates were introduced to the game of Blind Cricket through various activities as well as being informed as to how the game can help young people in building confidence, developing trust, supporting teamwork and growing friendships.


The delegates then had the opportunity to play some Blind Cricket and get to know number of the young people involved in the Hit The Top programme and clubs.  The afternoon’s visit showed the Beyond Sport delegates the true impact of the success of Hit The Top including the highly skilled coaches involved and most importantly the positive influence, it has had on the young people taking part.

Dan Levey – a coach with the charity and England international
shares his Hit The Top story.



Staff from the charity were also involved in leading and supporting a number of The Beyond Sport Summit’s key activities and workshops throughout the 3 day conference in London.

*Beyond Sport is a global organisation that promotes, develops and supports the use of sport to create positive social change across the world.


Heroes are made at Lord’s

The most famous cricket ground in the world played host to The Change Foundation’s latest ‘Hit the Top Heroes’ sports festival where large numbers of young people took part in a wide range of sporting activities.

Hit the Top Heroes is an exciting project delivered by five young leaders and coaches (the Heroes) each with a variety of disabilities. They work to inspire and engage parents, teachers and other young people with a disability aged 13 and under to the benefits of participating in sport.

The sports on offer at Lord’s for the six groups taking part included; Cricket (naturally!), Rugby, Dodgeball, Football, American Football and Handball.

Those taking part were also joined by the stars from the GB Ladies Hockey Team who helped out on the day as ‘mentors’. Sarah Haycroft of Surbiton, England and GB Hockey said on Twitter, “What a great day at Lord’s with so many young people of all abilities playing sport!”.

The day, led and co-ordinated by Daniel Mynott, Development Officer at the charity, was split into 6 rounds, 3 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon, to give everyone as many opportunities as possible to participate in all the sports.



The Hit the Top ‘Heroes’ also run creative and engaging in-school (both in special and mainstream) sessions via assemblies, parent’s evenings and clubs. The hope is to engage with over 1,000 under 13’s by using sport to improve their physical and mental well-being, whilst increasing their confidence and independence.

Teeing off onto the fairway of fundraising!

The Change Foundation are once again indebted to our friend Graham Evans (who also ran the 2015 London Marathon in aid of TCF) who kindly pulled together a golf day to help raise further funds for the work of the charity. His first task was to perform a minor miracle, as due to adverse weather conditions, he moved the entire competition to another golf course on the morning of the event!  Amazing!

GolfDayHoleinOneCarThe colourful Hole in One Car – kindly donated by The Birchwood Group

After the initial panic, the day got under way with 56 golfers in attendance. Each of the 18 holes had two sponsors which alone raised £3,600. It was wet, windy and on one of the toughest golf courses in the South-East but everyone managed to finish.

Fashion Faux Pas or Golf Etiquette? – You Decide!
TCF’s Si Ledwith getting ready for his round

In the evening a three course meal was served and a band was hired to entertain everyone. After the meal, The Change Foundation were represented on stage by Si Ledwith, Head Of Programmes and Alex Bassan, Development Manager, who thanked everyone for their support and generosity, not least to Graham. A raffle was also held towards the conclusion of the evening and it is estimated that the closing total is in the region of £6,000. A monumental effort.

As a result of Graham’s passion and The Change Foundation presence, several of those that attended the day are now keen to put on their own golf days in aid of the charity and these will follow over the coming months.

Special mentions to the Signtek team who made the day possible, to Birchwood who provided a car as the prize for a hole in one and to Scott Halliday whose company Performance Fitness (Eastbourne) donated a lot of money towards hole sponsorship.

Thank you Graham for all your magnificent efforts and we all look forward to next year!

Olympic & Paralympic venue Eton Dorney provides perfect inspiration

The Olympic and Paralympic venue of Eton Dorney proved to be the perfect inspiration for The Change Foundation’s inaugural event of Dragon Boat Racing. Here’s just a quick peek as to what went on!

Teams from British Airways (eventual winners!), Omniserve, Savills, VCCP and a guest Change Foundation team enjoyed a day of competitive Dragon Boat racing as well taking part in some Blind Cricket and ‘Rugby 4’s’ . Those their on the day had the chance to experience the sports with which the charity Development Team use to help engage with and support young people.

DragonBoat1TCF’s Mike Henderson – with some serious warm up’s!

DragonBoat9aOmniserve in full flow!

 It was a great chance to spend some time in the great outdoors networking, enjoying hospitality, playing sport, racing Dragon Boats and at the same time helping to change young people’s lives.


Daniel Mynott, Development Officer at The Change Foundation
shares his story

Thank you to Gable Events for all their hard work as well! And to Mike Davey from Just90TV for his much appreciated support in recording the events of the day on film for us to re-live!

Now looking forward to next year’s event (but not on Rugby World Cup Opening Night!).

British Airways – TCF Dragon Boat Racing Champions 2015

Fine Art exhibition painting a picture of support for young people

The Change Foundation teamed up with London based Fine Art and Landscape specialist, Raymond Martinez, to exhibit and sell a selection of his finest artwork in the Europa Gallery in Sutton Central Library in support of the charity. The exhibition was officially opened and supported by the Mayor of the London Borough of Sutton, Cllr Muhammad Sadiq who has also chosen The Change Foundation as one of his locally nominated charities for the year.

The exhibition took place in the Europa Gallery at Sutton Central Library in September 2015.

Cllr Muhammad Sadiq, Mayor of Sutton, said, “I’m very proud to have been involved with this exhibition of wonderful art here in Sutton Central Library in support of The Change Foundation. It’s an honour to support such a worthy cause making a difference for young people when they need help.

Cllr Muhammad Sadiq continues by saying, “Raymond Martinez is a fantastic artist – you can see that by having a look around at his superb paintings here. I encourage anyone with an interest in fine art to make the time to visit.  In Sutton we’re dedicated to young people and ensuring they have the support they need to succeed.”

Ray Martinez chose The Change Foundation because he could relate to its work of dedicated and expert support for young people who are struggling in life, “My childhood was difficult and painting was my salvation. You can help a young person on their life journey by coming and buying a work to enjoy in your own home so I will be exhibiting a variety of works”.


Pictured left to right: Henry Glynn, Development Manager at The Change Foundation; Andy Sellins, The Change Foundation CEO; The Mayoress of Sutton; artist Raymond Martinez; The Deputy Mayor Cllr Joyce Melican;  The Mayor of Sutton Councillor Muhammad Sadiq. The picture shows The Mayor of Sutton welcoming and addressing guests invited to the exhibition preview (21/9/15), with a selection of Raymond’s art work behind.

Raymond Martinez is an active Fine art artist based in London. He originated from Wales, studied at the Slade school of Art, lived and worked in Italy for 30 years.


Hit The Top Sports Day proves inspiration to greater achievement

The Change Foundation’s HQ Cricket Centre played host to the 2nd annual ‘Hit the Top Sports Day’ in late August, which involved the young people on the ‘Hit the Top’ programmes competing against their parents. Thankfully the rain stayed away and very soon the young people on the programme started to arrive for the day and before long our Tuffers Bar was buzzing with young people and their parents ready to get playing sport!

The day was led by the inspirational Daniel Mynott, Development Coach, who welcomed everyone (along with some of his colleagues) with a short introduction about ‘Hit the Top Sports Day’ was all about. Then it was time to get into the various sports on offer which included Cricket, Football, Tennis and Visually Impaired Rugby.


At the lunch break all the participants were treated to a feast of food, prepared by The Change Foundation ‘Master Chefs which was enjoyed by all!


The sporting activities then carried on into the second half of the day when everyone was split into 2 groups with one group playing a bit of Visually Impaired Rugby and the second group going back to the other sports they tried in the morning.

The day was a great success and with the one of the parents saying, “At school my son only likes to do one sport for the whole year and so today has been a big achievement for him”

Huge thanks to all the TCF staff but more importantly to the parents and young people for taking time out of their summer holiday to attend this day and look forward to the 2016 event – Olympic year!