Brighton & Hove Albion have announced Grace Eyre and Macmillan Cancer Support as the club’s charity partners for the 2015/16 season. The club will be joining forces with both charities over the course of the season, alongside supporting its own charitable arm Albion in the Community, and continuing to support a number of long-standing charity partners.
Representatives from both charities will join Richard Reynolds pitchside during half-time at Tuesday night’s home game with Bristol City to introduce their charities to Albion supporters – with special matches later in the season being dedicated to raising awareness and collections for each charity.
The Grace Eyre charity was established in 1898 – one of the oldest in Brighton, to support those with learning disabilities. Since then, they have continued to support people across Sussex. “Grace Eyre is delighted to be one of Brighton & Hove Albion’s charity partners for the 2015/16 season,” Grace Eyre chief executive Eva Eriksson commented. “Both organisations have been at the heart of the community for more than 100 years.
“Our service users, volunteers and staff are looking forward to working in partnership to help raise the profile of learning disability issues across the city, promote inclusion in sport and raise vital funds to support people to play a role within their community.” The charity aims to support those with learning disabilities or mental health needs to enjoy personal freedom, be respected for their contribution and be treated as equals within the communities where they live. They support people to gain skills, knowledge and independence enable them to achieve their dreams.
Set to open in Spring 2016, the Macmillan Horizon Centre – which will be run in partnership with the Sussex Cancer Fund and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust – has been designed with input from people affected by cancer.
The centre will offer free, non-biased and easily-accessible information and specialist support to anyone affected by cancer in Sussex, in a calm, friendly and welcoming environment – so no one in Sussex has to face cancer alone.
“We’re thrilled to have been chosen as one of Albion’s official charities this season,” said Macmillan’s senior fundraiser for Sussex Sarah Coxhill. “Our relationship with the club goes back a long way and we’re looking forward to the fantastic opportunity of working with the club more closely at such an important time for our local services.
“The support of the club and Albion fans will make an immeasurable difference to the awareness of our work and services locally, specifically with the building of the Macmillan Horizon Centre opposite the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
“With cancer rates in Sussex 20 per cent higher than the national average and one in four of those people affected facing it alone, the new centre is desperately needed to ensure that no one faces cancer alone in Sussex. All funds raised through our partnership will go towards completing the building, set to open to the public in the Spring of 2016. Thank you Brighton & Hove Albion and here is to a fantastic season ahead!”
Albion’s ongoing charity partners include AITC, Children in Need, the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance, Kick it Out, the Poppy Appeal, Sport Relief, the Sussex Heart Charity and the White Ribbon Campaign.