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3 Peaks Challenge
We enjoyed it so much that we've decided to scale the Irish Three Peaks on 17th September 2011. This will take in the highest peaks in Eire - Carrauntoohil (1,038m), Benkeeragh 1,010m and Caher 1,001m
We appreciate that 'the three peaks' is not snorkelling the entire British Canal system armed with nothing but a McDonald's straw or sledging down Kilimanjaro on a Quality Street tin lid, but for us this challenge truly isn't a 'walk in the park'.
For a bunch of recruitment consultants, clients, friends and suppliers climbing three great big hills in succession is truly a challenge. It will be gruelling and we'll be sore but we promise you a whole heap of photos depicting our pain!
A hundred special thanks to everyone that sponsored us on our UK Three Peaks and helped us to raise over our target £2000 for the MK SET!
Why MK SET?
As a goal led business we wanted to choose a charity that actually made a difference to people's lives. We chose MK SET after hearing the brilliant work that they do in helping give kids the discipline, focus and goals to set them on a positive path for the future.
The story that made us realise that it was the right charity for this challenge was the tale that we heard of a teenager who turned up for the first time at football training wearing a 'tag'. No questions were asked on the proviso that he was respectful, turned up on time and tried.
The lad wasn't the most gifted of players but he turned up to every session with the right attitude, made friends and always applied himself. For the first time in his life he made proper friends and felt like he 'belonged' to something that expected nothing more from him than a smile on his face and a positive attitude.
A year later and equipped with a first stage football coaching qualification, he was helping to coach one of the MK Dons Disabled teams. About the same time he also applied for a job with a major retailer.
Having always been told that he was 'good for nothing, would amount to nothing' and would probably have no option than to turn to a life of crime he finally found that he was useful. In coaching, he was earning the respect of those around him and his self confidence grew.
But, one day he didn't turn up for training. Concerned that perhaps he'd gone back to his old ways one of the senior coaches decided to give him a call. The response was the best news that his mentor could have hoped for - "Sorry I wasn't there Gaffer, I've just landed my first job and it clashes with training. Sorry mate, I won't be coming anymore!"
And, the best of all, the hiring manager told him the reason that he got the job over all of the other candidates was because he'd earned a vocational qualification outside of conventional education and that he'd done something for his community.
So here's a life that without the opportunity offered by SET would possibly have taken a different course and that's why we feel it's great. It's a full circle charity that doesn't provide quick fixes of some cash here and there. It offers long term support and hope. It supplies the skills for life to succeed like confidence, a willingness to help others, team spirit, knowing what it's like to win (and to lose with dignity), a sense of community, a sense of belonging, a sense of 'tribe' and the sense of pride.
And how good is MK SET? - Well in their first competitive season the MK DONS Disability team won the Regional FA Cup with some of the coaching staff developed through SET!
So, our fund-raising aim is £2,000. To MK SET this is a huge amount that will make a HUGE difference in helping children, teenagers and young adults to be inspired, gain confidence and truly believe they can accomplish their dreams through application, desire, focus and discipline.
For some of them it may be their 'second chance', a different path. For others it may be the first chance for them to do something they might not have had access to before. Whatever their background our ultimate goal is to give everyone the belief that they have a purpose; that they can be who they want to be, that they have a future.
For more information please visit the MK SET website.
For more information please take the time to read some of the real stories below so you can see true examples of how MK Dons SET are contributing so fantastically to the lives of disadvantaged children throughout the city and to the Milton Keynes community and beyond.
MK Dons SET works in partnership with MKC Adult Social Care services Staff members from Adult Social Care have gained football coaching qualifications to support the delivery of football and other sports activities to their client base alongside professional and volunteer coaches working on the wider MK Dons PAN disabilities football project. These players represent MK Dons FC Disability at local, regional and national competition level. Pride, self esteem, improved skills, recognition, healthy choices and fitness are obvious benefits to these participants but equally important are the aspects of social inclusion, trust, friendship and opportunities that most of us take for granted.
Some examples of how this project has helped benefit individuals with special needs include:
A female player with Down syndrome has learned the five core skills of football (running with the ball, dribbling, turning, passing and shooting). Due to her development of these skills she won the female player of the year award last season in front of an audience of 400+ people.
Another player who attends on a regular basis, was offered the work opportunity of a lifetime, when he was asked to support the head grounds man on match days at Stadium: MK. His first day at work was in front of around 10,000 people.
The Disability coaching sessions not only teach people how to play football, they help to keep them fit. Positive encouragement from coaching staff has helped players to lose weight through exercise other than the football sessions. A number of these players may now be seen at their local Gym working on fitness as a matter of their own choice, which is a huge step forward in learning and aspirations for people who might not otherwise have such an opportunity. This is proving to be great news as we continually strive to promote a healthy lifestyle with positive choices and outcomes.
The project is positive testimony to partnership working between MK Dons SET, MKC Sports Development and MKC Adult Social Care, where agencies listen to each other and develop meaningful outcomes in a potentially difficult area to bring life changing benefits to participants.
If you can, please dig deep so that we can raise £2,000 to assist such a worthwhile cause in continuing to deliver such a fantastic initiative to young people across Milton Keynes.
If you haven't already, please tell your friends and point them in the direction of this page. We will show our gratitude by ensuring we update this page with photos and information on how the boys are getting on with their physical and mental preparation for the Aaron Wallis 3 Peaks Challenge!
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by Rob Scott
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