After a very successful GrEAT pub quiz to kick off the year, KEEN’s usual sessions are starting up in the next week, and I’m looking forward to seeing the exciting activities that our inventive volunteers are planning this term. If you’re a parent of an athlete and haven’t received the termly mailout, please drop me an e-mail and let me know!
I just thought I’d mention some great ways of helping KEEN out in the new year:
- Did you get any truly terrible Christmas presents? Why not convert them into money for yourself and KEEN, by listing them on eBay for Charity?! You can choose to donate any percentage of the final price to KEEN, and you’ll get a corresponding discount on eBay’s fees. We can also claim Gift Aid if you pay UK income tax! Just click the ‘Sell an Item’ button here: http://www.ebay.co.uk/egw/ebay-for-charity/charity-profile/KEEN-Oxford/81383
- Did you make a new year’s resolution? Need help sticking to it? Why not get your friends to sponsor you to see it through? LocalGiving.com’s Grow Your Tenner campaign will double donations of up to £10 until the end of February, or their matched funding pot runs out. Click here to set a page up: https://localgiving.com/supporter/account/fundraising/new, or here if you would like to make a general donation to KEEN via the Grow Your Tenner campaign: https://localgiving.com/donation/keenoxford
- Looking for a way to help out KEEN with no extra effort? With easyfundraising.org.uk popular retailers like Tesco, Amazon and Groupon will donate a percentage of your spend to KEEN when you make a purchase, at no extra cost! Every time you search the web using keenoxford.easysearch.org.uk instead of Google or any other search engine, half a penny is raised for KEEN Oxford. Search just 15 times a day and you can raise around £25 a year! Click here to install the easyfundraising.org.uk search engine into your web browser: worldwide search, UK search
Wishing you a very happy new year!
KEEN wishes all our volunteers, athletes, supporters and their families a very merry Christmas and a happy new year! The KEEN office will be closed from now until Monday 6th January. If you have a query, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be answered as soon as possible after we re-open. For urgent issues, you can contact our chair of trustees Paul Maryan at email@example.com.
A mini-review of 2012-13
This year we’ve celebrated 25 years of KEEN in Oxford and continued, through the founding concept of pairing enthusiastic young volunteer coaches with children with special needs one-to-one, to have a significant impact on the lives of our athletes and their families.
In the year 2012-13, there was a huge amount of KEEN activity, including ice skating trips, Christmas parties, swimming sessions, a treasure hunt, day trips, a go karting evening and more. All of this was made possible for the 143 athletes who took part by our 331 volunteers, and thanks to the foundations and donors who support KEEN.
Here’s how some of our volunteers have described their experience of KEEN this year:
“I have loved being able to spend time with all of the athletes and it has been a privilege to watch them all develop new skills, and I hope they have had as much fun as me.” Emily Jeffery
“… my personal highlights include everyone crawling through the giant tunnel into Fantastic Mr Fox’s den, mixing George’s Marvellous Medicine, or the amazing range of hats everybody made to wear to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.” Becky Turner
“To me two of the great things about KEEN are the dedication of its volunteers and the sheer diversity of activities it offers.” William Hallan
Review of the first term of 2013-14
Our sports session, AllSorts, remains the biggest of the week – we’ve had as many as 50 athletes along to some sessions this term! Sports coordinator Will and his team of session leaders have arranged an amazingly diverse array of activities for the athletes to rotate around, from traditional sports such as football, basketball and badminton to excitingly unconventional activities like capture the flag, crazy golf and boxercise. At our AllSorts Christmas party, we even had the British quidditch team champions, Oxford University Quidditch Club, along, as well as Father Christmas!
KEEN Teens, our teenagers’ social club, will be five years old at the start of next term! Sessions have been as interesting and varied as ever, including the construction of egg-based contraptions, a Mexican Day of the Dead party, and a session based around retro game show The Crystal Maze!
Zig-Zag, our creative workshop, continues to incorporate elements of drama, music, art and craft into a story each week, following a theme for the term. This term we went Around The World on the Cruise Ship KEEN! Captain Coordinator piloted us to Brazil, the Caribbean, Australia, India, Kenya and Russia, receiving stamps in our passports for each country and helping out the locals along the way. At the end of the trip, we realised that the anchor had been down the entire time and the chain had wrapped all the way around the world, so the last session comprised a mad dash to re-visit every country in an hour!
Our over-18s social club has entered its second decade and is going from strength-to-strength! We often have over 40 members and volunteers packing out the St Clements Family Centre and this term’s GrEAT coordinator, Emily, arranged a fantastic programme of activities for everyone. As well as the traditional pub quiz at the Mitre, this term saw our members doing Zumba, taking part in a puzzling murder mystery investigation and partying hard at the Stingray club night!
As always, Friday evenings at KEEN kicked off in slippery style with a massive ice skating session! Towards the end of term, we got together with Oxford University Brass Band to sing carols outside Marks and Spencers, spreading festive cheer, awareness of KEEN and raising some money too! We’ve also taken a group of athletes to see the pantomime at Oxford Playhouse, and we’ll be going swimming in January too.
My name’s Dan and I’m the KEEN coordinator for 2013-14. I have been a KEEN volunteer for the last five years, and have been very much looking forward to this opportunity to help so many enthusiastic volunteers deliver exciting activities for our athletes.
The year’s started fantastically: we’ve already skated across ice, Zumba’d at GrEAT, played nine sports at AllSorts, created eggy contraptions at Teens and taken a trip to Brazil with Zig-Zag. You can find loads of pictures by clicking here: http://www.keenoxford.org/photos!
There’s lots of information about KEEN and our activities on this website. If your question isn’t answered, please do get in touch with me – you’ll find all the details you need at http://www.keenoxford.org/discover/contact-us/.
Hoping to see lots of you at a KEEN session soon!
Thank you to all the volunteers, athletes, parents, trustees and supporters for making this such a fantastic 25th anniversary year at KEEN!
This year holds some brilliant memories for me and I will be sad to leave after 3 years volunteering then working with such an awesome organisation as KEEN. To see some of the best bits of this year via the medium of video, check out the sparkling 2013-14 video review here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8kcv7nXkZU. There are also some fantastic pictures of the KEEN Olympics on the website now which you should check out! Finally for those who didn’t get a chance to pick one up the annual review can be flicked through online here: http://issuu.com/keenoxford/docs/final__final__combined_annual_revie.
Thank you for all your support this year and all the best with 2013-14 and beyond!
KEEN Coordinator 2012-13
On Thursday 20th June KEEN was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF) for providing 25 years of fun in Oxford. The award came with a grant of £5,000 which is one of the biggest awarded to KEEN this year. The money was donated to OCF with KEEN in mind, by Oxford United. Oxford United have also said they would like to support our sports session, Allsorts, in a number of ways.
This is fantastic news and our deepest gratitude goes to OCF and Oxford United for making the award and the grant. KEEN activities have been so valuable to athletes, members and their families over the past 25 years and this award acknowledges all the charity has achieved since it’s humble beginnings back in 1988. In 2012-13 over 143 children and young people attended KEEN sessions and were enthusiastically supported by over 331 young volunteers.
KEEN relies on grants and personal donations to provide sporting and recreational activities to children and young people with special needs. This grant will pay for the hall hire and sports equipment for a whole year of Allsorts!