Sunderland AFC's official charity is hoping to raise £30,000 towards a campaign which improves the mental health of people living in the North East.
The Black Cats take on Doncaster Rovers on Friday, April 19, at the Stadium of Light and the match is being dedicated to the Foundation of Light to raise awareness and funds for the award-winning community organisation.
The Give a Quid campaign hopes to raise £30,000 to support the charity’s work across the North East to improve people’s mental health, through its programmes.
Fans and businesses are being encouraged to host their own fundraising events in the build-up to the day, by supporting the bucket collections in the stadium and purchasing the charity’s ‘Grand in Your Hand’ lottery tickets at the match or by donating online through JustGiving.
A fundraising pack is available on the Foundation of Light website for businesses or community organisations who want to get involved, with businesses who support the campaign set to receive visits from the Black Cats’ mascots Samson and Delilah, and Foundation of Light social media team.
Lesley Spuhler OBE, Foundation of Light chief executive said: “Research shows one in 10 people in the North East will be diagnosed with depression and one in 10 children aged between five and 16 have a diagnosable mental health problem.
“The problem is very real.
"We frequently hear stories of how bullying and other pressures in life have made people we support consider suicide, or how they had become so anxious that they wouldn’t leave the house.
“Our sport and education programmes are making a real difference to those affected by mental health issues, giving them a new and positive outlook on life.
"£30,000 will go a long way to helping us support more people as well further enhance a number of programmes to create a strong bedrock on which to build positive mental health for future generations.”
Sunderland AFC managing director Tony Davison added: “Working with and supporting our local community is something that is at the heart of who we are as a football club.
“We know Sunderland fans are passionate and proud, and we know from initiatives such as our seat change and Gift of Football campaigns that we can do something amazing when we pull together.
“The Foundation Matchday is a fantastic way for supporters to get actively involved with the club’s charity and to raise vital funds for mental health, something that will affect so many within our community.
“I would urge as many people as possible to support us and help us get to our £30,000 target."
Donations can be made in person at the Beacon of Light, or online via foundationoflight.co.uk.
Businesses wanting to get involved can contact email@example.com or call her 0191 563 4777 to find out more.