Jimmy Montgomery

Club legend backs Mandela Day

by Sunderland AFC

Jimmy Montgomery set for charity visit.

Sunderland AFC is to donate food parcels and clothing to the city’s Centrepoint hostel for homeless young people, as part of its commitment to the International Mandela Day campaign.

Friday 18 July marks the official International Mandela Day, in tribute to the late former President’s birthday. The objective of Mandela Day campaign is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good, under the mantra of “Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day.”

The late Mr Mandela gave 67 years of his life to the struggle for social justice and the campaign is asking people around the world to use some of their time to support a charity or serve their local community.

Club ambassador and 1973 legend, Jimmy Montgomery, will visit the hostel later this week, taking along food parcels courtesy of SAFC’s foodservice partner Bidvest 3663 and training kit donated by the first team players.

Mr. Montgomery officially opened the Centrepoint Dundas Street hostel in 2012 and will now return to see the progress it has made in the last two years. The charity provides homeless young people with a safe place to stay and support in finding work and learning important life skills like cooking and cleaning, which are key to living independently.

Speaking ahead of his visit, Jimmy said: “The hostel provides a vital service for those most in need in our city. It’s a fantastic place and I’m delighted that the club is supporting the great work they do there.

“The Mandela Campaign encourages people to help their local community. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture, doing something that makes a difference to people’s lives, no matter how small, is a great thing to get involved in.”

Susan Justice, Regional Account Controller, Bidvest 3663 added: “Nelson Mandela epitomised the willingness to put others first so what better way to mark his special day than supporting SAFC in their charitable work with the Centrepoint Homeless Centre in Sunderland. Bidvest 3663 are delighted to be in the position to help such a worthwhile cause.”

Jennifer Tennant, Centrepoint Area Manager in the north east, said: “It’s fantastic to welcome Jimmy back to Centrepoint Dundas Street. Times have rarely been tougher for homeless young people, so we really can’t thank SAFC and Bidvest 3663 enough for their generosity.

“Experiencing homelessness at a young age, often through no fault of their own, can destroy the confidence of the 16-25 year-olds who stay with our charity. So as well as support to learn new skills and find work which we provide, it’s imperative that young people are helped to feel part of the community again and SAFC are a massive force in bringing people in the city together.” 

Sunderland AFC’s ground-breaking partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which began in 2013, was the first of its kind in world football. The club linked up with the not-for-profit organisation, which was established in 1999 to support the former South African Presidents’ ongoing engagement in promoting his legacy of social justice.

As a Legacy Advocate for the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the club is helping to promote Mandela’s legacy through the global reach of the Barclays Premier League.  At the same Sunderland AFC is utilising the organisations’ knowledge and expertise to continue to raise greater awareness of social issues, such as inclusion and diversity.

Further information on the initiative and how to get involved can be found at www.mandeladay.com, or follow the campaign on #Time2Serve or #MandelaDay.