Brighton & Hove Albion fans are being encouraged to donate old baseball caps and sun hats to help the city’s homeless population stay safe in the summer sun.
Albion in the Community (AITC) is the football club’s charitable arm and recently launched a health awareness campaign called Speak Up Against Skin Cancer - urging supporters to take care in the sun.
It is a joint initiative from AITC, Brighton and Hove City Council and NHS Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and the hope is the project will help address rising levels of skin cancer locally.
Brighton and Hove currently suffers from the 14th highest rate of new cases of malignant melanoma diagnosed each year and with the city benefiting from more sunlit hours than most of the country, the need to take precautions is clear.
That is not always practical for many of the city’s homeless population so AITC and the Albion are teaming up to distribute second-hand hats to people who need them.
Any fan who brings an unwanted cap or sun hat and gives them to AITC volunteers at Brighton’s home game with Blackburn Rovers will be given a voucher for £5 off a brand new cap from the Seagulls Superstore (valid on Saturday, August 22).
The only proviso is that the donated hat is clean and in usable condition.
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Sue Brown, AITC’s health co-ordinator, said, “Skin cancer is a real problem in Brighton and Hove – not least because the city has a lot more sun than other parts of the country.
“Our campaign is about raising awareness of the condition, encouraging people to contact their GP if they notice any change in the shape of their moles or freckles and also to take precautions when in the sun.
“Wearing a factor 30 sun screen is very important – as is wearing the right sort of clothing. For obvious reasons this isn’t always possible for everyone. By collecting caps and sun hats from Seagulls fans we can pass these on to people who need them.”
The donated hats will then be given to First Base in Montpelier Place from where they will be handed out to the city’s homeless population.
A spokesman for First Base said, “With the sun being as strong as it is on the south coast, one hat could save a person’s life.”
More information on Speak Up Against Skin Cancer, which has been backed by Albion’s international midfielder Beram Kayal, is available online at speakupagainstcancer.org.