Sunderland AFC’s official charity, Foundation of Light, has smashed its £30,000 fundraising target to tackle mental health issues in the North East.
The charity’s ‘Give A Quid’ campaign called on fans and businesses to donate just £1 to support the Foundation’s award-winning sport, education, employability, health and wellbeing programmes.
The campaign was backed by a number of famous faces including the Black Cats’ manager Jack Ross, Sunderland AFC legends Niall Quinn, Kevin Ball, Jimmy Montgomery and Marco Gabbiadini as well as 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.
Give a Quid told the uplifting stories of people who have been supported by the Foundation of Light to combat their mental health challenges, including Maia who took part in the Back on Track study programme after being bullied at school.
The campaign reached more 600,000 people on social media and saw a wide range of fundraising activities taking place across the north east including bucket collections in Sunderland City Centre, club mascots Samson and Delilah visiting local businesses and a showcase ‘Foundation Match Day’ at the Stadium of Light when SAFC played Doncaster Rovers on 19th April 2019.
Match-worn shirts from the Doncaster Rovers game have so far raised nearly £4,000 via an online auction, with Lee Cattermole, John McLaughlin and Lynden Gooch’s still up for grabs on the Foundation’s eBay page.
On Wednesday, the SAFC Branch Liaison Council presented a cheque for £600 to Foundation of Light Commercial Director Phil King, which saw the money raised so far tip over the £30,000 mark.
Foundation of Light chief executive, Lesley Spuhler OBE, said: “Once again 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 have shown to the Give a Quid campaign has highlighted how important improving mental health is to our supporters.
“We knew that £30,000 was an ambitious but achievable target but with the support of Sunderland AFC, the local business community and a lot of generous people we’ve achieved it with money still coming in. Thank you.”
Donations to the Give a Quid campaign can be made in person at the Beacon of Light, or online via the Foundation of Light website.
Written By CHRIS FRYATT
23 May 2019