Southampton FC managers, players and legends were amongst those in attendance at Saints Foundation’s charity dinner, which has raised £127,064 for the charity’s life-changing work.
Rubén Sellés, Marieanne Spacey-Cale, James Beattie, Francis Benali MBE and Ché Adams were amongst an eclectic line-up of Saints past and present supporting the charity of Southampton Football Club at their annual charity dinner last night (Thursday 20 April).
Guests heard how Saints Foundation has been giving life-changing support to people of all ages and backgrounds – from putting 17-year-old Liam on a path to success, to helping 71-year-old Anna recover from injurious falls, the night showcased the wide variety of support that their projects give to Southampton communities. The dinner also provided a platform for the charity to launch their new plan to further support the city moving forward.
Saints Foundation ambassador Kenzie Benali and comedian Tom Deacon reprised hosting duties for the second year running. With preparation underway for Saints' game against Arsenal, injured players Ché Adams and Juan Larios represented the Men’s First Team squad, alongside Saints Women’s players Ella Morris and Rosie Parnell.
First Team Lead Coach Rubén Sellés showed his support for Saints Foundation by attending the dinner, before travelling up to London to join his team later in the evening. He spoke on-stage about the importance of the club’s charity alongside Women’s Head Coach and Saints Foundation ambassador Marieanne Spacey-Cale.
Completing the line-up of inspirational ambassadors in attendance were Franny Benali and Sam McQueen, who spoke about the inspirational fundraising challenges they’re taking on for the charity, and James Beattie, who shared his recent involvement with the Foundation’s new men’s mental health programme, Saints By Your Side.
From the wider community, Saints Foundation were honoured to welcome the Lord Mayor of Southampton Cllr Jacqui Rayment, MP for Romsey and Southampton North Caroline Nokes, Leader of Southampton City Council Cllr Satvir Kaur, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary Chief Constable Scott Chilton, and hundreds of valued supporters from the local business community, who all showed hugely generous support via the evening’s fundraising efforts.
Thanks to massive fundraising efforts and the support of headline partners Gather & Gather, BDB Pitmans, Peter Cooper Motor Group, Inland Homes, Charters Estate Agents and the Premier League, the whopping total at the end of the evening reached £114,050. Further donations have since pushed the final total up to an incredible £127,064 – an incredible figure that Saints Foundation will use to continue delivering life-changing projects to the people of Southampton.
Greg Baker, Chief Executive Officer of Saints Foundation, said: “We’re hugely grateful for the generosity of all our guests at this year’s charity dinner.
“Given the huge challenges facing our city and its people, this massive total is beyond our wildest expectations. It means we can continue making a real difference to thousands of people in our city at a time when support is desperately needed. Thank you to everyone who attended, donated and took the time to find out more about what we do.
“Excitingly, we also used this year’s dinner to give our guests a sneak peek at our new plan to Support Southampton. Keep your eyes peeled for that in the coming weeks, and please support us if you can!”
Saints Foundation is launching its new plan to Support Southampton in the coming days and weeks.