HFC Youth Team: Scoring Smiles

Players across Henfield Football Club’s youth teams helped score some smiles during the festive season with the hundreds of Christmas cards they made and wrote for elderly people in our local community.

The children, age between five to 14, really enjoyed making and writing around 530 cards as part of the club’s ‘Score Some Smiles’ campaign, which were distributed to around 230 local people. Many players spent lots of time writing cards that were tailored to the recipient’s particular interest, including football, or drawing lovely pictures on the cards. The club’s U8s team even hosted a card making evening for players. Players’ parents also supported the club’s appeal for donations to buy small gifts for the card recipients too.

The cards and gifts were delivered the week before Christmas by members of the club’s youth teams to recipients including residents at Red Oaks, Upper Mead and Terry’s Cross care homes, people living in sheltered accommodation, attendees of The Haven and clients of Henfield Home Checks.

Joe Penfold, co-chair of Henfield Football Club, said: “We were thrilled by the response from our youth players to our ‘Score Some Smiles’ campaign. It was wonderful to see so many players making and writing cards to help bring some festive cheer to elderly people in our village. We chose to write Christmas cards because often many elderly peoples’ friends and relatives, who they used to receive cards from, have passed away and they no longer get as many. We hope the cards made lots of people smile.”

Players from the club’s U10s team also presented vaccine volunteers and staff at Henfield Medical Centre with thank you cards and Christmas gifts in recognition of all their hard work in helping people in Henfield and beyond get their Covid-19 vaccines and boosters. The players raised money for the gifts during lockdown last year by taking part in a 100 goals challenge inspired by Captain Tom Moore. 

Sam Witherden, HFC’s other co-chair, said: “HFC has have been part of Henfield since 1899 and scoring smiles from local people is as important to us as any match scoreline. The Club has exciting plans for 2022, including hopefully progressing our plans for a new clubhouse at our existing site at the Kings Field, the return of our brilliant youth tournament in May and a World Cup quiz at the Henfield Hall in November.”

Henfield Football Club now has around 380 registered players across its youth and senior teams. The thriving youth section ranges from U6s to U16s, including the Wildcats, for girls age 5 to 11 and a range of different age group girls teams. The club is currently seeking planning permission for a new clubhouse from Horsham District Council.

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Joe Penfold