The start of the summer saw planning and preparations for the upcoming academic year get underway at ICSM Netball. With an ever-expanding club, we decided to shift some focus to the development of the club off-court whilst maintaining team progression on-court. One particular area of focus was club engagement within the community with the aim being to use match-free days to organise volunteering opportunities for our members.

We started early, gathering a group of existing members to volunteer at The Colour Run in Wembley at the beginning of September. Next up was targeting newcomers and remaining members of the club. With our next match-free day being the 23rd of November and following the success of last year’s redesigned RAG Circle Line event, we decided to collaborate with this year’s ICSM RAG Chair, Syra Dhillon. Together, we organised for a group of 15 netball girls to spend an afternoon crafting for Imperial College Healthcare Charity’s annual Wishing Tree Stall at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington.

Imperial College Healthcare Charity is an independent charity raising vital funds for research and projects that help improve patient healthcare at the five London hospitals of Imperial College Healthcare Trust. The Wishing Tree Appeal is one of many projects run by the charity throughout the year. This year, the wishing tree appeal is supporting young children with long term illnesses and life-changing conditions. Money raised from the stall will be used to support vital outreach programmes such as ‘Looking Forward Days’ which allow young patients to meet, share experiences and talk to other children and teenagers with similar conditions. Funds raised will also allow the charity to support families in crisis with financial relief for travel and accommodation, thus allowing families to stay together whilst their child is in hospital and hopefully alleviating some worry at testing times.

We would like to extend our thanks to Lauren Levy and the team at Imperial College Healthcare Charity for their warm welcome and allowing us to contribute to their good cause! A special thank you to Syra Dhillon for helping to organise the afternoon. We had a fantastic time rediscovering our crafty sides and spreading some festive cheer!