Just for (charitable) kicks

Jungle Drums meets the charity with a thrifty twist putting the spring into sport for África

The team at Bounce practically take the ‘d’ out of fundraising. Founded by school friends Ali Little and Mark Shield in January 2008, who realised young people too often turned off by the prospect of giving to charity, they sought a fresh solution. “We wanted people to do fun and rewarding things in which, almost as a by-product, they ended up giving money to charity. So the ethos behind Bounce is to have fun whilst you give. We call it The Bounce Effect”, explains Little.

Jumblist Massive, Bounce’s flagship event, takes the traditional jumble sale and puts it to the latest tunes. People don’t have to pay to get in and get a choice of clothes, accessories and shoes to the latest tunes. “We operate a Radiohead-style pricing policy where you pay what you think the item is worth; people come along and get really good value for tons of wicked gear – old stock from the likes of Urban Outfitters”, explains Little. “We raise a fair amount of money in the process; our only cost is website maintenance, so all the money goes to a good cause”.

Would You Get Off With Me If It Was For Charity? A touch forward you might think, but this is another event devised by Bounce in which participants pay for an evening of speed dating and cool music. Little revealed: “I didn’t think it’d work, but we‘ve had a tremendous response and are almost booked up for the next event”.

Subsequently Bounce, along with Promoting Equality in African Schools (PEAS), provided schools in Uganda with sports facilities including grass, hard courts and all-weather football pitches. “Secondary schools in Uganda aren’t free so PEAS built free ones in rural areas and funded facilities where people can’t afford to send their children to school”, says Little. “£6-8,000 can buy an all-weather pitch, a grass pitch and changing rooms; a small amount can make a lot of difference”.

This embodies the fundraising remit of Bounce, blending fun, play and charity, and providing sport infrastructure to help improve physical and mental wellbeing for those in extreme hardship. Bounce has also benefitted the Western Sahara region, providing sports equipment to refugee schools. The latest project, coinciding with the World Cup, is providing football camps for 300 children in various township in South Africa. “Working with the Charity Umzingisi we’re helping kids who are orphaned or involved in street crime, with a football camp, but also seeking to educate them about sexual health and AIDS awareness,” says Little.

Physical Education isn’t offered at Township schools, which can leave kids physically and emotionally deprived of fun, team activites. Little sums it up: “Football can provide a platform for education, break down boundaries and strengthen communities”, and the football camps will give the children things they lack at school and help them to experience the World Cup.

By Olly Hunter

For Bounce’s next event, being their Jumblist Massive jumble sale close to Oxford Circus on June 22nd, check out details on their website here: thebounceeffect.org

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