Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I'm Tim Maccabee, the father of Eloise and Tom Maccabee. Tom was killed at the end of 2014 in a car accident in Kuala Lumpur, where he was working for a Cancer charity called Makna. We set up a memorial fund in his name working with disadvantaged people focusing on football, because he loved the game so much. So that's how we came to form the Tom Maccabee Memorial Fund.
Why did you choose to support Hope for Children and Girl's United?
Finding a project is like the way you start anything these days, you just start googling something and in this instance I was googling something like "football charitable projects" and what have you. Long story short we got in touch with Hope for Children who said they had this project in Uganda helping young ladies in Namuwongo! Engaging with them via football helps the local girls with nutrition, sexual education, overall improvements to their lives. Doing all of that through football would fit in with exactly what Tom would have wanted.
What challenges and successes have you experienced in setting up this foundation and raising funds?
I suppose the challenges are partly finding the time and the motivation to do it. You have to find the time to set things up and organise things. The benefits are the actual fundraising we do through our two main events, which are also great fun. We get all of Tom's friends together and it's a chance for us to see them and for them to see us and we all have some fun. It's also really good to see the effect our fundraising is already having in terms of establishing the football teams and engaging around 30 young ladies. It's a great game and the football kit we'll be sending out will be in the West Bridgford Colts colours who are our partner organisation, who Tom used to play for.
If Tom could have done he would have flown out there himself and asked what he could have done because he loves football and giving other people the opportunity to play football is a fantastic thing for him. So he would have been straight out to Uganda wanting to get involved and sharing the love of the game.
Another thing that's great about football, and this is his quote "that it's got a unique capability to bring people together". If you take a football almost anywhere and throw it into a bunch of kids they'll start playing. The ability for one game to bring strangers together just by putting them in the same colours is amazing. Within 10 minutes those strangers will be trying for each other and encouraging each other. That's part of why we choose football as well.
About your two fundraising events, tell us more about them!
We do a winter memorial match, around the anniversary of Tom's accident, which is the 21st of December. It's a kind of tradition that all the friends come home to Nottingham for Christmas so along with the club, West Bridgford Colts, we said why don't we have a memorial football match on an evening as close to that as we can. We have an 11 a side game of football, friends vs Colts and usually raise a couple of thousand pounds! Then the summer one is a tournament which is put together by one of Tom's friends called Callum Gunn, he does most of the work on it. This year we had 16 5-a-side football teams at Nottingham Football Centre. The tournament is during the day, there's a bar there, there's a raffle, fundraising, and the teams themselves have the option to pay as much as they want to enter. So they give us a number and put some money in and we raise the bulk of the money from that. It's nice that we raise the money through football, which goes to help others play it.