Thursday, 3 January 2013

Maz's fundraising diary

With my 40th birthday approaching and feeling slightly dubious, I decided I wanted to do something that could make a difference. Something with depth and worthwhile. Asperger syndrome is something that is close to my heart and I wanted to raise awareness and funds for children on the autism spectrum.

My idea was to gather some close friends and organise a trek in Snowdonia on my birthday. With two months to plan the trip, I contacted The National Autistic Society and they kindly supported me with ideas and importantly with helping receive press coverage. The trek was a success and raised over £500.

Maz and his friends on their Snowdonia trek
With the first event under my belt, I didn’t want to stop there, so I decided to carry on and organise more activities. I set up my own charity page on various social networks to help raise more awareness of autism. My next mission was for me and a group of friends to visit ALL 20 Premier League clubs in just two days!

Although there are so many children on the spectrum who love to play and watch football, there are not many football coaching schemes suitable for them. Local football clubs are often unable to cater for young people with a disability who want to develop their footballing skills to get more enjoyment from the game, without necessarily aspiring to become professional. This means that many children are missing out on the opportunities that are open to non-disabled children.

We received some great responses from clubs such as Chelsea and Spurs, who invited us for exclusive VIP days at their grounds!
A VIP tour of White Hart Lane, Spurs’ ground
After visiting all the clubs in 33 hours, I then arranged an Auction Party to sell all the memorabilia we had collected on our tour. The items included a signed Spurs top, signed Chelsea football and a signed Pelé top!

On the night we managed to raise over £3000 and had a great time increasing awareness of autism.

Here is to more events in 2013!

Maz Ataie

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