By Rafi Mauro-Benady
A football fanatic is organising two five-a-side matches in the hope of raising £2,000 for youth charities.
Akeem Scott-Smith, 26, of Sydenham, plans to host the games at Waterloo Wolf Turf, Waterloo, on Sunday, October 24 between 1pm and 2pm – lockdown permitting.
The money raised via Akeem’s online fundraiser will go to the two charities of Akeem’s choice. The first is the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, which tries to create a society where everyone can succeed regardless of where they began.
The second charity is Lives Not Knives (LNK), a youth-led charity dedicated to ending the knife crime epidemic.
Akeem, pictured above, has already raised more than £500 of his target, and hopes he will surpass his objective before kick-off.
Both charities have personal significance to Akeem.
He said: “I chose the Stephen Lawrence charity for two reasons. One because I’m a regular donor to The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, so I would like to do fundraising on a bigger scale.”
He added that when Stephen Lawrence was murdered, it was traumatic for his parents who were terrified their son could suffer a similar fate.
Akeem, who graduated from the University of East London with a history degree in 2015, said: “The second reason is because when that (Stephen Lawrence’s murder) occurred I had only just been conceived.
“It’s been an impactful event to my family, and a poignant event, and it’s been part of black history in the UK.”
Regarding him choosing LNK, Akeem put it down to him knowing of people who have fallen victim to knife crime, and he wanted to do his bit to keep other potential victims safe.
He said: “I have been fortunate not to be directly impacted by knife crime, but I know quite a few friends or friends of friends that have, so I understand the need for such a charity.
“I started Googling charities which try to tackle knife crime, one of the most prominent ones was LNK, which I found interesting as I hadn’t heard about them until that point.
“I thought I’d love to fundraise for them as well as the Stephen Lawrence charity, as the impact of knife crime is heavily prevalent in the UK
“That’s why I wanted to somewhat help.
“I love football, I have only ever played for fun and not at an amateur level because I only properly developed an interest from age 16.
“In any case, virtually everyone loves football and it was very easy to get people excited about playing in the match and it seemed like something that could go ahead even with the ongoing pandemic.”
You can donate to Akeem’s fundraiser here.
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