An overview of the club's efforts in the local community during the first month of the calendar year
As the New Year began, Wanderers’ kicked off their community efforts for the calendar year with an event that ran in conjunction with their first league fixture of 2015 against Leeds United.
Winston’s Wish, the club’s local charity of the year and an organisation which provides support for children who have lost loved ones in action, were given the opportunity to raise their profile at the Whites’ home fixture against Leeds with a bucket collection taking place alongside an information booth being erected in FanZone.
Elsewhere, academy graduate Josh Vela and Bolton Wanderers Community Trust ambassador Tony Kelly paid a visit to a young supporter who was battling cancer.
Twelve-year-old Kiegan Wilcox, a student at Thornleigh High School, was diagnosed with Nasopharyngeal Carsinoma cancer late last year - a rare form of the disease which starts at the back of the nose, working its way through the glands into the neck and eventually spreading into the lungs.
Luckily, it was discovered before it had reached Kiegan’s lungs, with the doctors hopeful that the youngster will recover with intense treatment.
And Vela, alongside Kelly, took time out to meet Kiegan, alongside providing two signed shirts to the Fallon family - one for the youngster himself, and one for a raffle to gain funds for his treatment.
Kiegan has since travelled to the University of Florida Proton Therapy Institute where he underwent radiotherapy which is not available in England before returning home at the start of May.
The family are currently awaiting scans at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, with their hopes being that the treatment has been successful.
The start of the year also saw manager Neil Lennon appear as a special guest at the Bolton Wanderers Supporters Association’s social meeting, with the Bolton boss attending a question and answer session with around 300 supporters and members of the BWSA in the stadium’s Platinum Suite.
After covering topics ranging from his career in the game to date, his relationship with backroom staff members Garry Parker and Johan Mjallby and his approach towards matches, the manager then took time to sign autographs and pose for photos.
Across Bolton at the Castle Hill Young People centre, first teamers Rob Hall and Sanmi Odelusi spent an evening in the company of local youngsters involved in the club’s Premier League Kicks initiative.
The pair, who were accompanied by Community Ambassador Tony Kelly, took time out of their schedules to join in the fun with teenagers who use the Premier League funded facilities at Castle Hill.
Odelusi and Hall firstly took part some small-sided football games on the centre’s astro turf pitches before visiting the youth club where they played table tennis and pool with the youngsters and also posed for photographs and signed autographs for those present.
A nationwide initiative supported by the Premier League, over 50 top flight and Football League clubs are currently involved in Premier League Kicks.
Offering those aged between 12 and 18 the chance to take part in positive activities, the project aims to build safer, stronger communities through the development of young people’s potential alongside increasing participation in spot overall.
Each project is unique to its location, with the Castle Hill based branch focusing prominently on the sports aspect of the programme alongside offering a safe place for children to enjoy themselves.
For more information on the Premier League Kicks programme, please visit www.bwct.org.uk.
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