Written by Mike Swadling
It’s FA Cup third round weekend again and I have spent much of the Friday in a number of meetings with one of the schools I’m a governor at. The meetings were productive, although I can’t pretend hugely fascinating. They were however an opportunity to support the head of the school and provide some insight from the commercial world into the world of education.
As soon as the draw was made for the Cup, we knew this one would be a little special. My team Palace were playing local rivals Millwall at the New Den, and as we hadn’t played them for a few years, we knew it would be quite some match.
Last year during the period between lockdowns, a friend and I ran a ‘Palace Day’ at a local members club (what used to be called a working men’s club), in aid of the club’s charity. It provided an opportunity to draw more people in to watch the match that day, helping raise some much-needed funds for the club and the charity.
This match would provide a similar opportunity, a chance to get the charitable collection for the year started and encourage people out to the club on a miserable January day. Between the time of first goal, picture quiz and lucky dip we managed to raise about £100 for charity and bring in some extra trade – not bad for a lunch time game. Of course, the result also went Palace’s way.
As someone who believes in less top-down government control and more local and personal responsibility, it’s been remarkably easy to help be that change. Being a school governor, I have a direct involvement with the school system in my area. We’ve been able to support a local business and a local charity. These activities have stretched me and helped me gain new skills. With government encroaching evermore into every part of our lives, let’s make sure liberty lovers are involved in building communities that can push back.