The club’s official charity teamed up with The Caring Foundation – a charity set up by Richard Caring, who owns Bill’s Restaurant and Bar in North Road and The Ivy in the Lanes in Ship Street, and his wife Patricia - to provide ready-to-eat meals to some of the most vulnerable people the charity works with locally.
Staff at both restaurants volunteered to work for The Caring Foundation throughout the Covid-19 crisis and have been producing thousands of meals which were delivered to the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre in Lancing each Thursday morning from where Albion in the Community staff distributed them across Sussex.
And in just eight weeks the initiative saw Albion in the Community deliver 12,500 meals to more than 800 local people.
The food parcels included more than 2,400 shepherd’s pies, 1,400 lamb Bolognese dishes, and 4,100 mac and cheese meals. Football-themed worksheets and fun activities were also distributed to any families receiving the meals.
Among those to benefit from the free meals were many of the people who would ordinarily be attending Albion in the Community’s football sessions for people with a disability, as well as the families of young people who go to the charity’s free weekly football sessions held in areas of deprivation.
Albion season ticket holders who were having to shield as part of Covid-19 precautions were also included, as were several families living near to the club’s training ground in Mash Barn Lane, Lancing.
Meals were also delivered to families in Brighton and Hove, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Worthing, Bognor Regis, Burgess Hill, and many other local towns and villages.
Matt Dorn, Albion in the Community’s chief executive officer, was keen to thank The Caring Foundation and the other organisations which had supported the initiative.
He said, “As a charity we know only too well how challenging this period has been for many of the people we work with. To be able to provide so many of them with free meals has been amazing.
“Our thanks go to everyone at The Caring Foundation for their incredibly generous support.
“I’d also like to thank our friends at Brighton & Hove Albion and the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership for their support in helping us launch the initiative, and to Impulse Leisure, which provided an additional pick-up and distribution site for the final few weeks.
“It has been a real team effort and one everyone connected with the initiative should be incredibly proud of.”