Sunderland AFC fans have raised over £16,000 for the club’s official charity to tackle social isolation in North East communities.
The charity’s ‘Give A Quid’ campaign is calling on fans and businesses to donate just £1 to support the Foundation’s award-winning sport, education, employability, health and wellbeing programmes, with an overall target of £30,000 to tackle this important societal issue.
All money raised will fund life-changing programmes including the expansion of the ‘Extra Time Hub’ which provides the over 55s with the opportunity to socialise as well as take part in a range of activities such as day trips, seated exercise, multi-sports and pilates.
The Extra Time Hub currently takes place every Wednesday at the Beacon of Light on Stadium Park, but the charity hopes to expand this programme into South Tyneside and County Durham.
The campaign has been backed by a range of famous Wearside faces including the Black Cats’ players and manager Phil Parkinson, SAFC legend Marco Gabbadini, as well as North East England Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive James Ramsbotham, BBC commentators Guy Mowbray and Nick Barnes, as well as SAFC Chairman Stewart Donald and club staff.
On Saturday, Sunderland AFC’s Sky Bet League One match against Blackpool was dedicated to the Foundation of Light, with a range of activities taking place across the stadium site including over 1,800 people attending the SAFC FanZone in the Beacon and a half-time on-pitch display from Foundation of Light community groups. The display included walking football by the Foundation’s walking football group and Veterans in Crisis; disability sport by Children in Need Multi-Sports and Saturday FC; and family learning games with parents and children from Eppleton Primary and Broadway Juniors.
The Lads’ match-worn shirts are currently being auctioned on Foundation’s eBay page. Shirts up for sale include Captain Max Power, Grant Leadbitter, Luke O’Nien, Duncan Watmore, Jon McLaughlin and Lynden Gooch, with the auction closing on Thursday, just in time for the Christmas post.
The match day programme ‘Red and White’ was dedicated to the campaign, with the cover showing a striking image of an elderly lady alongside a statistic that there are over one million chronically lonely people in the UK.
One SAFC fan who donated commented “The advert on cover of [the] matchday program [sic] is the reason I am donating. Until I saw this, I was unaware of such a problem. Maybe I am lucky as a young grandparent in my 40’s.”
Fundraising activities have also been taking place across the region including bucket collections in Sunderland city centre, club mascots Samson and Delilah visiting local businesses and Foundation staff taking part in bag packs at local supermarkets.
Once again our fans have shown why they really are the best in the country. Their passion and pride in supporting their community is second to none.
Lesley adds “Research has shown that just £1 invested in tackling social isolation can save over £3 in health care costs, as being withdrawn from a support network or the community can cause depression, anxiety and obesity. To raise over £16,000 really will make a life-changing difference to hundreds of vulnerable people across our communities, so thank you to everyone who has so far supported the campaign.”
Join the conversation on social media using #FoLGiveaQuid:
- Twitter – @Safcfol
- Facebook – facebook.com/safcfol
- Instagram – instagram.com/foundationoflight
- Linkedin – linkedin.com/company/safcfol
1 – Age UK 2016, No-one should have no one
2 – (Valtorta et al, 2016) (James et al, 2011) (Cacioppo et al, 2006)
If you are a business and would like to get involved, contact email@example.com or call Clare on 0191 563 4777 to find out more.
16 December 2019