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Tickets.com has partnered with Young Carers MK to give two special MK Dons fans the perfect fan day experience.
The project was part of the T.Cares programme, Tickets.com’s global initiative which seeks to support local community efforts by arranging remarkable experiences for deserving individuals.
The subject of this latest campaign was Young Carers MK, a charity local to the Tickets.com UK offices in Milton Keynes which supports over 650 children and young people aged 8-19 years old. The initiative helps those who care for a family member with a physical or mental illness, disability or drug and alcohol dependency, and provides young carers with one-to-one support, specialist group work, targeted activities, information, advice and guidance, school support, and someone to talk to who understands.
After researching the charity, Tickets.com learnt of a story about Ben and Valmik, who arranged a dog walk and school fancy dress day to raise money for Young Carers MK and Willen Hospice, a local charity that looks after patients with a terminal illness.
“We were really inspired by Ben and Valmik’s generosity and passion for supporting the charities,” said Natalie Jones, Tickets.com’s internal sales manager.
“Like so many other young carers, Ben and Valmik have a lot more to deal with than most people their age and we felt that they were very deserving of a break from their day-to-day responsibilities. When we found out they were both big MK Dons fans, we couldn’t wait to speak to the club and arrange a day that we knew they wouldn’t forget!”
In partnership with longstanding client MK Dons FC, the Tickets.com team set about arranging a VIP experience for Ben and Valmik.
They were invited to attend last month’s match against Northampton Town and before kick-off, were taken on a stadium tour by MK Dons’ all-time leading goal scorer Izale McLeod.
As the stadium filled, the boys enjoyed a three-course meal in the Dons’ hospitality suite before visiting the home changing room to wish the team good luck. They then headed out pitch-side for photos with the team captains and referees.
As the match ended in a tense 0-0 draw, the day was far from over for Ben and Valmik. They were taken behind the scenes to attend the Man of the Match presentation, won by Dons defender George Williams, where they also received memorabilia including a home shirt signed by the pair’s favourite player, Chuks Aneke.
Speaking after the event, Young Carers MK Team Co-ordinator Debbie Norton said; “We would like to say a huge thank you to Tickets.com for offering Ben and Valmik the opportunity to spend the afternoon as VIPs, and also a massive thank you to the MK Dons team.
“It means so much to young carers to be able to get out and enjoy themselves, as often they are reluctant to leave the person they care for. Young carers can become isolated and miss out on valuable childhood experiences so this was a wonderful opportunity.”
Valmik said: “This was a fantastic experience that will stay with me forever. From seeing the club’s all-time scorer Izale Mcleod, to sitting just a few seats away from chairman Pete Winkelman, it was a truly memorable day.”
Ben also said: “Valmik and I were over the moon when we found out about the hospitality experience at MK Dons, and wow, what an experience! I would like to thank everyone at Tickets.com and MK Dons for providing us with this opportunity.”
Natalie Jones concluded: “The work that Young Carers MK does for young people like Ben and Valmik is fantastic and we were honoured to work with them on this project. The boys had a great day and we’d like to extend our gratitude to MK Dons for their hospitality and support in making the experience so special.”
For more information about Young Carers MK, visit www.youngcarersmk.org.
For more information about T.Cares and to find out how your charity or project could get involved, visit https://provenue.tickets.com/uk/t-cares/.