Leicester City chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha has announced the club have launched the ‘Gift of a Wish 2020’ charitable programme on his late father’s birthday.
The announcement of a fund to support valuable work in the community within Leicestershire was made on what would have been Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s 62nd birthday.
Aiyawatt – currently in Thailand – also highlighted the importance of communities standing together and supporting each other during the coronavirus pandemic.
In an open letter posted on the Foxes’ official website, he wrote:
Dear Leicester City family,
I wanted to write to you all and extend my very best wishes to you and your families during these challenging times.
Today marks the 62nd birthday of our beloved late Chairman, Khun Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
Always 💙 pic.twitter.com/eZHeNWF4uV
Wherever in the world you are reading this, the ongoing pandemic will have affected people in many different ways and my thoughts are with you all as the world collectively seeks to overcome this crisis.
I’m writing to you all from Thailand, where measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 are similar in scale to other countries around the world, and I am reminded of the importance of community in overcoming difficult times.
Football brings people together and while currently people are being asked to separate and to maintain distance from one another for the wellbeing of everyone, it’s important we find ways to support each other through this unique set of circumstances.
The world is more connected now than it has ever been and maintaining those human connections, albeit from our own homes, will become increasingly important as we move through this together.
As a club, we feel we can play an important role in this, using our resources, our reach and our influence to support public health services and to support the members of the Leicester City family that need it most.
Staff at the club are working constantly to deliver this and to ensure that, in the absence of football, we continue to fulfil our responsibilities as a focal point for our communities – bringing people together, supporting the vulnerable and trying to do the right thing.
But we are acutely aware that there are a huge number of worthy causes of all sizes within Leicestershire communities, for whom the pandemic both demonstrates their immeasurable value, yet threatens their very existence.
It is with this in mind that today, on what would have been my beloved father’s birthday, the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Foundation is relaunching the Gift of a Wish programme for 2020, making funds available to causes in Leicestershire to apply for grants to support valuable work in the community.
In these unprecedented times, a proportion of the funds available will be allocated to causes whose work supports those affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
It is also important that we make support available to causes whose work will take on added significance in the future, as our communities begin to emerge from this crisis and rebuild services affected by it.
As was the case with the 2019 Gift of a Wish programme, which received an extraordinary response, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees will consider the merits of every application and distribute the funds in a way they collectively feel offers the most appropriate support to the greatest cross-section of our communities.
We intend to launch further information on Gift of a Wish 2020, including details of how to apply for funding, early next week.
The Coronavirus pandemic has presented the world with an unprecedented situation, where advice and recommendations are understandably changing as it evolves, which makes it all the more important that we remain agile and continue to make decisions in good faith, based on facts and how we feel we can best deploy our resources to offer the right level of support to the right people.
“This in itself will be an evolving process and we’ll continue to keep our activity under review.
Football will be back, but that is for another day. This is about an extended family of people coming together to support each other through difficult times.
Our overwhelming priority right now is the wellbeing of our staff, players, fans and the wider public, and supporting the communities whose support has always been so important to us.
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