In the picture: funding target for partially-sighted supporters achieved




CAST is supporting fundraising (CAFC IN THE PICTURE) for equipment needed to ensure that the match day commentaries currently supplied to partially-sighted supporters can continue:

"It's been a lifeline for me. It allows me to feel included. It lets me be part of the occasion. It would break my heart not to be part of The Valley atmosphere"

Do you remember the moment in November 2001 when Jonatan Johannson scored a 90th minute bicycle kick goal to equalise 4-4 against West Ham ? Can you imagine being at The Valley that night but not being able to see the action? Shouts and screams and mayhem all around you but you don't really know what has happened ?

It was at that West Ham match that Rob Shaw first started providing commentary for partially sighted supporters within the stadium. Individuals were able to pick up a receiver and headset from reception and to sit anywhere in the ground safe in the knowledge that Rob would make sure they kept completely up with the action. His commentary meant that they could be fully immersed in the drama rather than just be a confused onlooker.

Twenty two years later the service is still provided by a dedicated team of Charlton-supporting volunteers. Rob has been joined by Harry Low, Jamie Whitehead and Dave Lockwood who provide passionate and descriptive commentaries of every game. The problem is that twenty two years later they are still using the same equipment. The units urgently need replacing. Batteries no longer hold a charge and cannot be replaced. The headphones are simply falling apart.

Ideally the team would like to replace all the kits and thus be able both to meet demand and provide a reliable service. One generous individual has already pledged £1000 but the cost of twenty units, microphones and headsets is in the region of £6000. Another £5000 needs to be raised to maintain the service for the next twenty years.

We know that Charlton fans are generous and we would love to think that fans will support this initiative so that the Valley can continue to be an inclusive place for those partially sighted fans who still want to be there supporting our team. And so that, when George Dobson heads a 97th minute equaliser for another 4-4 against Ipswich,  they remain fully in the picture.

Link to the CROWDFUNDER page to make your donation: