Thursday 27 February 2014
Aston Villa's Gabriel Agonlahor and Marc Albrighton have urged the club's fans to give their support for the Acorns Children's Hospice's attempts to raise £100,000.
Villa’s Barclays Premier League home match against Stoke City on 23 March will be a special fundraising event for the club's official charity partner. The fundraising will begin in the build-up to the fixture, with club staff holding bake sales, sporting challenges and making personal donations. Villa will also sell once-in-a-lifetime opportunities on eBay, including mascot places and a pass to the press box for the visit of Stoke.
“We have beaten the fundraising target each year and I really hope we can do the same again in 2014”
Agbonlahor is Villa’s ambassador for Acorns and has called for fans to continue showing their support for the charity at the third such event for Acorns.
“We have beaten the fundraising target each year and I really hope we can do the same again in 2014,” he said. “We’re encouraging fans to get behind the day in whatever way they can and will be asking the club and the rest of the team to show their support, too.”
Albrighton, who donated £20,000 to Acorns after scoring the 20,000th goal in Barclays Premier League history in December 2011, has also made a plea to supporters.
“Acorns is a local charity that we’ve had a long association with and we’re always happy to do anything we can to help them," the Villa midfielder said. "If we can raise even more money this season than we did last year, it would be absolutely brilliant.
“The fans have always supported these days really well so we would urge them to do the same again.”
The players were joined in their support for the day by the family of 12-year-old Jessica Greaves, who has cerebral palsy and quadriplegic spasticity. Jessica's parents Matt and Natalie are grateful for what Acorns has done for them and hope it can reach more families.
“It’s vital that Acorns gets the funding it needs to keep running and supporting families like ours”
“Acorns give us the opportunity as a family to a have a break from the strains and stresses of everyday life, as well as providing Jessica with the essential stimulation she needs to develop and grow as a person in her own right,” Matt said. “It’s vital Acorns gets the funding it needs to keep running and supporting families like ours.
"We’re excited to be fronting this year’s Acorns Day and hope it’ll be the biggest success to date.”
Elinor Eustace, corporate and partnerships fundraising manager at Acorns, said: “This year marks the second year of our ambitious growth strategy to reach 50% more local children and families by 2018 and the start of our associated ‘Branching Out’ campaign.
“We want to be able to provide specialist care and support to every local child and family in need and hitting the £100,000 target will make a huge difference in helping us to achieve our goal."