This is how Sunderland's 'Red and White Army' are backing a campaign to tackle mental health

The Red and White Army, the independent Sunderland AFC supporters group, is backing a campaign to tackle mental health in the region.
The Red and White Army, the independent Sunderland AFC supporters group, is backing a campaign to tackle mental health in the region.

The Red and White Army, the independent Sunderland AFC supporters’ group, is backing a campaign to tackle mental health in the region.

The group has announced its support of the Foundation of Light’s 'Give a Quid' campaign to raise £30,000 to support the charity’s work across the North East to improve mental health, through its programmes.

The Foundation of Light is Sunderland AFC’s official charity and uses the power of football to involve, educate and inspire young people and their families through award winning sport, education, employability, health and wellbeing programmes.

Launched last week, the campaign culminate in a dedicated Foundation of Light match when the Black Cats’ take on Doncaster at the Stadium of Light on Good Friday, April 19.

The lads will wear the charity logo on their playing shirts, with the shirts being auctioned off after the game and all proceeds going towards tackling mental health.

The Red and White Army is urging fans to get behind the campaign and make difference to their communities, by donating or volunteering to help with bucket collections around the stadium before the Doncaster match.

SAFC supporters are also being encouraged to hold their own fundraising events in the build-up to the day; purchase Foundation of Light ‘Grand in Your Hand’ lottery tickets at the match itself or by donating online through JustGiving.

Red and White Army chairman Andrew Hird said: “One of the best things about Sunderland AFC and its supporters, is that we look after our own and our communities.

"The fans’ response to our Sunderland Foodbank and the Gift of Football initiative at Christmas, saw fans stepping forward to donate and get involved to help those in need.

“SAFC’s ‘Give a Quid’ campaign is another fantastic way that fans can get together and show their support for our communities.

"If all our fans donate just £1 on April 19, or on the days leading up to the game, we will easily hit that £30,000 target and once again show that through the power of football we can make a difference.”

Foundation of Light’s commercial director, Phil King said “We are delighted that our ‘Give a Quid’ campaign is being endorsed by the Red and White Army.

"When the whole club comes together – players, fans, staff and the Foundation of Light – we can make a real difference to our communities.

“Our sport and education programmes are making a positive impact on those affected by mental health issues, giving them a new outlook on life.

"£30,000 will go a long way to helping us support more people and further enhance a number of programmes to create a strong base on which to build positive mental health for future generations.”

Donations can be made in person at the Beacon of Light, text FOLQUID to 70085 or donate online via foundationoflight.co.uk.

If you are a business and would like to get involved, contact clare.wilson@foundationoflight.co.uk or call Clare on 0191 563 4777 to find out more.