Foundation tackles poverty with dedicated matchday

Foundation tackles poverty with dedicated matchday

The Foundation of Light has released details of a special campaign to tackle poverty in the North East.

Give a Quid aims to raise £30,000 to support critical community services to combat the impact of food, fuel and digital poverty across Sunderland, South Tyneside and County Durham, with Sunderland AFC dedicating their match against Gillingham on 2 April to the campaign.

The North East has the second highest rate of child poverty in the UK (behind London) with one in three children across the region living in poverty. Over 75% of those children, have one working adult in the household, laying bear the true impact of the cost-of-living crisis.

The result is a dramatic rise in child protection intervention and the number of children in care, with the North East currently having the highest rate of referrals to children’s social care in the UK, significantly higher than the national average, according to a joint report by the directors of children’s services in the region.

The Foundation works with thousands of young people and adults each year across Sunderland, South Tyneside and County Durham, supporting some of the most deprived areas in the UK.

As Lesley Spuhler, Chief Executive of the Foundation of Light explains, it is the very poorest in our communities who are set to be hit hardest over the coming months as prices rise.

“The rising cost of living means that the poverty rate amongst working households is the highest it’s ever been in the UK. Those who are on low incomes or with very low disposable income are set to be hit hardest over the next few months.

“Research shows that households on low incomes will be spending an average 18% of their income, after housing costs, on energy bills from April and for single parent households on low incomes, this rises to 54% - up 21% since 2019/20. After a very difficult two years, it is heart-breaking to see the impact on our communities and in particular the impact on children, who are put at greater risk.

“As a Foundation at the heart of our communities, we are here to help and make sure that the most vulnerable get the support they desperately need. Whether it’s delivering food parcels, teaching families how to cook healthy meals on a budget, telephone befriending or providing free access to IT equipment, we are working with partners to provide critical services and interventions to thousands across Sunderland, South Tyneside and County Durham.”

Over the last year, the Foundation has delivered thousands of food parcels to children and families across the region and working with the Red and White Army tonnes of food and toys have been collected for the Sunderland Foodbank and Salvation Army.

The Foundation has also worked closely with social services, councils and the police to provide support for hundreds of young people and adults helping them to gain new skills, reduce anti-social behaviour and improve their mental wellbeing through these very difficult times.

Bailey Wright, SAFC defender is encouraging those who can donate to get involved and show their support. “Give a Quid is a fantastic campaign which allows our supporters to tackle poverty in their communities and make sure that those who need help can access the right support. The Foundation do amazing work in the community and if each fan in the Stadium on 2nd April donated £1, we could hit our target and collectively make a real difference to local lives.”

The Foundation’s Give a Quid campaign was first started in 2019. To date, Sunderland supporters have raised nearly £100,000 through the campaign to support the Foundation tackle issues such as poor mental health and social isolation.

You can help by donate what you can to support our life changing work.

  • Just £5 will support the Foundation to teach a family how to cook healthy meals on a budget
  • £10 will provide a child normally in receipt of free school meals with food and sports activities during the school holidays.
  • £25 will support a socially isolated older person with food parcels, telephone befriending and activities.