Colchester United have confirmed their official Charity Partners for 2018, with the two charities unveiled at the U’s weekend game against Cheltenham Town.
Over recent seasons, the Essex based side have teamed up with charities of all sizes to help promote the great work being carried out by the good causes, as well as raising valuable funds.
The two charities chosen for 2018 are Mid and North Essex Mind and Royal Association for Deaf People.
They will be able to make use of a package of benefits from the club, which includes the use of an executive box on a matchday and the opportunity to host a large event at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Speaking about the choice of partners, U’s General Manager Tim Waddington said: “We are delighted to welcome the new partners on board and look forward to working with them in the coming twelve months.
“The club is proud of how we have made the stadium a true community facility with people from all walks of life visiting for a wide range of activities, and our Football in the Community programme offers real opportunities to work in our local community each day.
“We are keen to help the two charities achieve their aims and all at the club will be involved in working with them over the course of the year.”
Mid and North East Essex Mind is a local, independent charity who supports children and adults living with a mental health problem. They believe that no one should have to face a mental health problem alone and offers a range of services including adult counselling services, adult peer support groups, practical support, and a dedicated emotional wellbeing service for children and young people.
Although they are affiliated with the national ‘Mind’ charity, they don’t receive any funding from them and instead rely on donations and support from local people and businesses to keep their services going.
Jenny MacPherson, Community Partnerships Fundraiser says: “We are absolutely thrilled to have Colchester United Football Club supporting our organisation and we are looking forward to working with them in 2018. The club are heavily involved in the community and with local events, so we are really excited about this partnership.
“Sadly in the UK, suicide is one of the leading causes of death in men under the age of 45 and each year 1 in 4 people will suffer from a mental health problem.
"To have support from the club is invaluable to us when raising awareness of the services we provide in the local community and in turn breaking the stigma in talking about mental health, particularly amongst young men who all too often feel they are unable to seek support and speak about their experiences.”
For 176 years, the Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD) has worked to ensure that Deaf people have access to services in British Sign Language.
From supporting children and families, to helping Deaf people find work, to befriending older people; we are here to make sure the people who use our services get the support they want, when they need it and that it is accessible to them.
Amanda Casson-Webb, Director of Communication Services and Community Development said: "We are delighted to have been chosen alongside Mid and North Essex Mind as Colchester United’s Charity Partner for 2018. We are proud to be part of the Deaf community particularly here in Colchester.
"This partnership offers us a fantastic opportunity to raise vital funds to support our services as well as increase Deaf Awareness."