Sunderland AFC has donated 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.
Club ambassador and legend Jimmy Montgomery led the way, ensuring boxes of essential clothing and food for the youngsters were in safe hands, with the parcels set to help youngsters on Wearside.
Boxes of goods included training kit donated by the first team players, food parcels courtesy of SAFC’s foodservice partner Bidvest3663 and toiletries donated by staff throughout the club.
The visit to the hostel comes a week before International Mandela Day on Friday 18 July, which is a tribute to the late former South African 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.”
Speaking after the visit, Jimmy said: “I visited the centre when it first opened and it’s a fantastic place for the young people.
“It’s great to be able to help once again. The club plays a huge role in the region and it’s good to be involved in this project and make a difference in the local community.”
Rhys, aged 19, who has benefited from the Centrepoint hostel, said: “It was great to meet Jimmy who is a Sunderland legend. The donations are a massive help to people at the centre.
“The centre has really helped me and through their work I’m now a qualified football coach and I want to start doing volunteering work through these qualifications.”
Brett Curran, Business Manager, Bidvest 3663 added: “It’s great to be able to support International Mandela Day and the local lads at the Centrepoint hostel, giving something back to the local area to such a worthwhile cause.”
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 atwww.mandeladay.com or follow the campaign on #Time2Serve or #MandelaDay.