Brighton and Hove Albion fans heading to the Seagulls’ home game with Everton today (October 15) are being asked to take a £1 donation with them to support the club’s official charity.
Albion in the Community (AITC) is fundraising before and after the Premier League match, with all money raised helping support its work across Sussex.
Volunteers will be out in force for a bucket collection before and after the Everton game, while a silent auction will take place in the stadium’s lounges. The shirts worn by the Albion players during the game will also be signed and auctioned online.
Matt Dorn, the charity’s chief executive officer, said: “Last season we raised more than £9,000 through a bucket collection at the home game with Norwich City and I am always overwhelmed at the generosity show by Albion fans. Much of our work would simply not be possible without that support.
“Our bucket collection also happens to coincide with people needing to use up their old pound coins. If every Brighton fan coming to the game donated one old pound coin, we would raise almost £30,000 which would have a huge impact on our work and the people who benefit from it.”
In the last 12 months AITC has worked with more than 30,000 people throughout the local area. and this season also marks 20 years since the launch of its first inclusive football session for people with a disability.
To celebrate reaching that milestone, AITC has designated October as Disability Month at the charity and organised a number of special events.
AITC is now the largest local provider of football opportunities for people with a disability and as well as 25 regular sessions it also runs five teams that compete under the Brighton and Hove Albion banner and a growing number of sides that play in the Sussex Disability Football League. The charity also delivers disability awareness training to local schools, businesses and universities. It costs between £3,000 and £5,000 a year to run one of AITC’s regular sessions.
Donations from today's match will go towards funding the charity’s inclusive football programme and wider work throughout Sussex. AITC currently runs around 60 different projects and programmes, providing often life-changing support to people of all ages.
AITC currently works with 129 local schools, has a thriving further education team, runs a string of health-related campaigns and provides free football to thousands of people living in areas of deprivation.
For more information on the charity, visit: www.albioninthecommunity.org.uk