A BLACK Cats fan is appealing for people to support his charity which helps disabled youngsters in Sri Lanka.
Social worker Chris Stubbs has lived in the Asian country since 1986 with his family, trying to give children with mental health problems a better quality of life.
The 56-year-old, who was awarded an MBE for his work in 2008, says he needs help for his charity Mencafep, which he founded.
The organisation provides non-institutionalised care for children with special needs, by supporting them in their own communities so they can stay and live with their families.
“I got a job in voluntary services overseas and that was a two-year contract to do social work.
“When we got over there, we realised that there aren’t any facilities for disabled children in developing countries.
“We started off with six kids in 1988 and now we are working with over 3,000 children and their families.”
Despite being caught in the middle of the Sri Lankan civil war, Chris and wife Ranji, 56, have worked hard to help as many disadvantaged youngsters as they can.
“The Sri Lankan government doesn’t pay anything towards these people so they are often just left locked away.”
Chris says that with the credit crunch and worldwide recession biting, Mencafep needs significant donations to continue its good work in Sri Lanka.
“We are looking for support from groups around this area for sponsorship and to help us raise funds,” added Chris.
Chris has now returned to the North East as his daughter Enya, 19, prepares to take a year out before going to university.
It has also allowed him to catch up on Sunderland AFC’s progress.
Chris, also dad to Mario, 27, said: “We get satellite TV in the area where I am in Sri Lanka so I try to keep up with what’s happening.
“I know we haven’t had a great start to this season.”
Chris now plans to stay in his native North East for the next six weeks before heading back to Sri Lanka.
To find out more about Mencafep’s work and to donate go to hwww.mencafepsrilanka.com or call Chris on 01642 874362.