The GFC Community Trust recently returned from Sri Lanka having supported the Take Heart Mercy Mission for the second year running

Gillingham Football Clubs’ two charity partners teamed up for the second time recently, during a week-long trip to Sri Lanka.  

The Take Heart Mercy Mission, was developed as a result of the great work carried out over the past 10 years by a group of volunteer medics from the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London, and previously with Guys Hospital, led by the prominent children’s heart surgeon, Conal Austin, and leading cardiologist John Simpson. 

Over the course of the week the medical team worked incredibly hard and carried out 20 heart operations on young people from all over Sri Lanka, and hundreds more heart scans also.

Following on from the success of 2014, the GFC Community Trust were again able to send four of its team for the week to support the great work achieved by the medical team and by Chairman Paul Scally, by delivering a five day soccer school to local children.  

Whilst the medics were busy at the hospital, Community Trust Manager Adam Lawrence, along with coaches Barry Cooper, Georgia Bowie and Jay Scally were able to partner with St Aloysius College (a local school in Galle) to deliver football coaching sessions for its students. 

During the five days, the Community team engaged with over 1200 young boys and girls, rewarding their hard work with a Gillingham FC, Take Heart T-Shirt as well as certificates and pictures of the coaches.

Adam commented: “The trip has been incredibly humbling, seeing first-hand the hard work that the Chairman and the medical team put in to the charity. I am delighted that for the second year, the Trust has been able to support the Take Heart charity further and deliver these soccer schools.  

The young people who have been involved are so very grateful, and have a fantastic attitude towards learning.  It has been a real pleasure!”