Brighton & Hove Albion fans joined businesses and schools across Sussex in helping turn the county blue and white in support of the Seagulls’ official charity.
Albion in the Community (AITC) held its first-ever Blue and White Day on Friday (27 April) and encouraged people to wear blue and white in return for a small donation.
And the charity was overwhelmed by the response, with an array of Sussex-based businesses taking part alongside many of the 129 local schools that AITC works with throughout the year.
Staff at Plus Accounting, Brighton Gin, Gemini Print and telecommunications firm Focus Group were among those who joined in, while a pair of colleagues from MS Roofing Supplies raised money by agreeing to swap football shirts for the day – the twist being one is an Albion fan and the other a Crystal Palace supporter.
Seagulls mascot Gully was out and about visiting participating businesses and schools throughout the day, including Patcham High School, where AITC has a full-time member of staff, and Swiss Gardens Primary School in Shoreham.
Elsewhere, players from Brighton & Hove Albion’s Premier League and WSL squads visited the American Express offices at 1 John Street to thank staff for supporting the campaign.
Laura Rafferty, Danni Buet, Davy Pröpper, Ini Umotong, Chloe Sansom and Niki Mäenpää also met many of the employees who regularly give up their time to volunteer at AITC sessions throughout the year.
American Express is one of AITC’s official partners and staff at the company’s offices in both Brighton and Burgess Hill took part in in the fundraising day.
Beverly Sawyers, Vice President at American Express, said: “The charity does amazing work delivering high-quality and accessible programmes across the region, and it was great to see so many of our colleagues sporting blue and white in support of AITC’s fundraising efforts.”
Money raised from campaign will now help fund the AITC’s award-winning football sessions for people with a disability. The charity currently runs 31 of these sessions and they are regularly attended by upwards of 300 people.
They each cost between £1,800 and £5,000 a year to run, making fundraising campaigns like Blue and White Day vital to the charity.
Matt Dorn, the charity’s chief executive officer, was delighted with how the day went.
He said: “As a charity fundraising campaigns like this are incredibly important to us as they allow us not only to continue the work we do, but also expand it, creating more opportunities for people across Sussex.
“To have so many people showing their support for the work we do by joining in with Blue and White Day was fantastic.”
There is still time to donate to AITC’s Blue and White Day campaign. The charity is collecting donations online here: www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/aitc/bwday2018.