Charlton Athletic Community Trust’s (CACT’s) annual fundraiser for its Down’s syndrome programme, the Charlton Upbeats, has this year become a one mile walk to be done individually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Saturday, April 25th remains the date of annual Upbeats Walk, but supporters are encouraged to walk a mile at some point between 11am and 1pm and donate online.
The Charlton Upbeats programme for young people and adults with Down’s syndrome has been running for 12 years and is entirely funded by voluntary donations.
Due to the government’s guidance on mass gatherings, CACT is urging as many supporters as possible to walk one mile, donate £10 to the project and nominate someone to do the same.
Last year’s walk raised more than £24,000. With some trips cancelled, however, this year’s target has been lowered to £10,000.
CACT’s Head of Early Help and Prevention, Carl Krauhaus, said: “Following the generosity of supporters in previous years, which has helped us build a limited amount of cash reserves for unforeseen circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to lower this year’s fundraising target. This is because we have fewer activities planned for the Upbeats over the next few months having unfortunately had to cancel a number of trips scheduled due to the pandemic.
“However, it’s vital we do reach the £10,000 target to keep the Upbeats running for another year, and we’re very grateful for all the support the programme has received since it started, which we hope can be repeated even at this difficult time.”
Nicky Ely, whose son William plays for the Upbeats, said: “For William, it means everything. It’s the highlight of his week and also for the parents it’s fantastic, because we get together, we’ve got something in common with our children and it’s comradery for the children as well as the parents.”
A significant number of Charlton players, past and present, have done the walk, donated or supported the programme in the past.
Look out for more information and some special features about the Upbeats on CACT and Charlton’s Athletic’s social media channels next week. The next edition of the weekly CACT quiz with former Charlton player Scott Minto on Thursday, April 23rd will have a special focus on the Upbeats including a number of questions about the history of the programme.
Fans who are unable to walk a mile but would still like to donate to the programme, can do so by clicking here.