Darren Randolph chats with Ambition Aspire Achieve ahead of Spurs game

Sunday's Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur marks Club charity partner Ambition Aspire Achieve’s (AAA) dedicated awareness fixture and this week, in the lead-up, Darren Randolph called their founder Kevin Jenkins OBE to catch up. 

Ambition Aspire Achieve is based in Newham, a stone’s throw away from London Stadium at Hermit Recreation Ground, and focuses on supporting children and young people who are experiencing disadvantage and poverty, to overcome their multiple difficulties and follow positive pathways in order to achieve their full potential. 

Every year the charity makes a difference and changes the lives of 800 local children and most recently, over the Christmas period, West Ham United supported their Christmas Toy Appeal; providing almost 3,000 children with a stocking for Christmas day and 100 families (approximately 300 children) with a seasonal Christmas food hamper – aiding those most vulnerable and who otherwise would not have had anything.

“I love West Ham and I told mum I want Santa to bring me something West Ham and he did! This is the best present,” said a young person who received a gift.

At the time, noting the impact of the Christmas Toy Appeal, a local social worker remarked: “Many of our children and their families are living in unsuitable housing, having to budget on very little money, being trapped indoors with no access to friends or extended family. Especially this year a lot of what gives family and children joy is just not accessible at the moment.

The first team squad trained in Ambition Aspire Achieve T-Shirts ahead of Sunday's game against Tottenham Hotspur

“Enabling children and families to enjoy Christmas, to have some wonderful presents to open and something to look forward to on Christmas day will have made all the difference - especially seeing as we have gone back into lockdown; ensuring that Christmas was a happy time will hopefully make the next few months a bit more bearable. Thank you again, for allowing us to bring some real genuine joy, and warmth and kindness to these families.”

The charity usually delivers a range of activities, including after school clubs, holiday play and youth sessions, youth clubs, disability specific activities, detached youth projects, information, advice and support for vulnerable young people, mentoring and personal development programmes, doorstep inclusive sports clubs and outward-bound activities and experiences.

However, through the pandemic, due to government guidance, they have had to alter their work and have focused on ways they can continue to help families in this challenging time, running provision like regular foodbanks. 

During the conversation with Darren, Kevin mentioned that AAA are now working on an Easter Egg appeal and the first team goalkeeper highlighted the importance this can have across the community, saying: “Some families, they won’t be able to afford any kind of Easter Eggs, so if you can help out in any kind of way it does bring some happiness and relief and probably confidence as well to the family – that obviously helps massively.”

Kevin added that there are a variety of ways people can get involved and assist the charity’s services, commenting: “They can volunteer their time, they could donate Easter Eggs or donate to our regular foodbanks each week. If they’d like to consider making a financial contribution towards what we’re doing to keep us going then on our website there’s a Virgin Money Giving site. Or, they’re very welcome to contact me if they’re interested in doing some fundraising for us.” 

If you would like to learn more about Ambition Aspire Achieve and how you can help them, head to their website at theaaazone.com.