“I wish I could hug you! I’m just so thankful for everything you’ve done!”
How it all began
Set up by AFC Wimbledon fans in March 2020, at the start of the national lockdown, with just a trestle table and a signboard outside Morrisons supermarket in Wimbledon. Dons Local Action Group grew rapidly in the following days and weeks, joined by hundreds of fans and non-fans alike.
We first focused on food poverty and helped the vulnerable and isolated. Two weeks later, we included digital poverty and founded Keep Kids Connected. This inititative reconditions donated laptops and tablets before gifting the devices to schools. Enabling children, previously without access to their own device, the necesary tool to continue their online learning and access educational resources.
We have so far provided over 128,000 food boxes, 175+ furniture and appliances and 1000+ laptops and tablets across the boroughs of Merton, Wandsworth and Kingston. Working with local councils and with more than 100 aid agencies making referrals, we are feeding people in food poverty who find themselves without any alternative solution.
The power of a community
The response and enthusiasm from our volunteers made us grow beyond our wildest dreams in a record time, to such an extent that we decided to stay and broaden our focus to make a difference in the long run. We want to help people in our local communities who might be facing difficult times temporarily but also work with them to broaden their horizon if they wish.
While waiting to reopen their shop, Cakeology kindly supplied us with beautiful cupcakes multiple times a week so that we could send them to NHS staff or add them in our food boxes.
“I want to thank you for your kindness and generous shopping. We very much appreciate it.”
Defining our future
As we return to normality, we are focusing our efforts around five key areas of support:
we will work with charities and other organisations to tackle food poverty and make sure that no-one goes hungry.
Environment and Surroundings
we will organise ‘community clear-ups’, improve communal spaces, and help people improve their own homes and environments.
Mentoring, Education and Coaching
we will provide young people with key life skills, and mentoring to help them into employment, and to be active participants in their communities.
in partnership with the AFC Wimbledon Foundation we will introduce young people to sport for their health and well-being as well as the personal and social skills that playing sport brings.
we will respond to need in a nimble and practical way and continue to be life-enhancing for both our volunteers and the people we support.