Foundation of Light’s ‘Give a Quid to Tackle Mental Health’ campaign has been named the ‘Best Low Budget Campaign’ at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) 2019 North East PRide Awards.
The campaign raised over £30,000 for Sunderland AFC’s official charity, over the course of six weeks in April and May this year, and beat tough competition from South Tyneside and Northumberland Councils, Tyne and Wear Metro, Tees Valley Combine Authority and South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust to be awarded with the PR top gong.
The concept of ‘Give a Quid’ was created to tackle a range of challenges across the region by calling on fans and businesses to donate just £1 to support the Foundation’s award-winning sport, education, employability, health and wellbeing programmes.
The charity is currently running the second phase of the campaign, aiming to tackle social isolation with nearly £10,000 raised since the end of November.
The mental health campaign told the uplifting stories of people who have been supported by the Foundation of Light, including Maia who took part in the Back on Track Study Programme after being bullied at school.
‘Give a Quid to Tackle Mental Health’ was backed by a number of famous faces including the SAFC players and former manager Jack Ross; Sunderland AFC legends Niall Quinn, Kevin Ball, Jimmy Montgomery and Marco Gabbiadini; athletics legend Steve Cram CBE; North East England Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive James Ramsbotham; BBC commentator Guy Mowbray; SAFC Chairman Stewart Donald and club staff.
Over the course of the six week period, the award-winning charity ran a wide range of fundraising activities across the north east, including bucket collections in Sunderland city centre, club mascots Samson and Delilah visiting local businesses to gather support and raise awareness, as well as a showcase ‘Foundation Match Day’ at the Stadium of Light, when the Lads played Doncaster Rovers on 19th April 2019. Match-worn shirts from the Doncaster Rovers game raised over £4,000 alone.
Foundation of Light Chief Executive, Lesley Spuhler OBE, said: “We are delighted that our Give a Quid campaign has been recognised as the best low budget campaign in the North East, beating some amazing competition.
Our incredible fans have shown why they really are the best in the country. The passion and pride they show in supporting their community is second to none. The support they showed the Give a Quid in April has highlighted how important improving mental health is to our supporters.
“We are currently in the second phase of the campaign and we have so far raised nearly £10,000 to tackle social isolation. The generosity of our fans is just incredible. Thank you to everyone who has, and continues, to supported us.”
The CIPR North East PRide Awards 2019 judges commented “This was a great campaign that effectively aligned supporters, the club, employees, and local stakeholders and champions. The team did everything they possibly could to enhance delivery and achieved all their objectives and more. Well done!”
Following the campaign, the Foundation launched the ‘Heads First’ initiative to promote positive change through a range of new initiatives and programmes.
Fans are being encouraged to help end the stigma around mental health by signing up to the Heads First Fans Mental Health Pledge, developed in partnership with Washington Mind. By signing the pledge, fans are committing in any way they can to;
- support changing the negative attitudes towards mental health
- not be afraid to start conversations with friends, family and colleagues
- encourage those who may be struggling to seek help and support
Joining forces with Washington Mind, Foundation of Light is now able to support people to try new sports and activities to help improve both their physical and mental health. Get Set to Go will run throughout the season with other courses starting on evenings and weekends later in the year.
SAFC supporters’ group, Sunderland Branch Liaison Council, is also working pro-actively with the charity, recently launching the Match Day Mental Health Hub, which has been supported by money raised during the Give a Quid campaign.
The Hub offers free, informal and confidential drop-in service for both home and away fans on SAFC home matchdays at the Beacon of Light.
The Hub is the first of its kind in the UK and sees qualified, experienced counsellors from Washington Mind and a trained volunteer from the Branch Liaison Council supporting fans in a relaxed and welcoming environment.
How to get involved in Give a Quid
Help us to tackle social isolation today! There are lots of ways you can get involved. Why not organise a red and white day at work? Or get out of the office at lunch time and enjoy a ‘wellbeing walk’. Or maybe get together to chat over lunch with friends and colleagues.
Businesses who support the campaign can receive visits from the Black Cats mascots Samson and Delilah and Foundation of Light social media team, to help with fundraising and raise awareness of this life-changing work.
If you are a business and would like to get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Clare on 0191 563 4777 to find out more.
Join the conversation on social media using #FoLGiveaQuid:
- Twitter – @SAFCFoL
- Facebook – com/safcfol
- Instagram – com/foundationoflight
- Linkedin – com/company/safcfol
Donations to the Give a Quid campaign can be made in person at the Beacon of Light, or online via JustGiving
9 December 2019