Port Vale’s efforts to help the community are being backed by their supporters across the world.
The Super Vale Abroad group has donated £500, paying for children’s activity packs which are being distributed by Vale along with food and care packages.
The group has more than 130 members, in 27 different countries, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Scandinavia.
The fans, who are mostly from North Staffordshire but now living abroad, were formed to find practical ways to help their football club.
They are keen to enable local fans to go to matches in their place, so have been funding matchday experiences for families and youngsters. But with the football season on hold, their money is being used towards the club’s effort to deliver hundreds of packages to the community during the coronavirus crisis.
Dave Thorley helps coordinate the group’s efforts from North Staffordshire. He says the group is looking to raise more funds to further their work with the club’s community scheme, the Port Vale Foundation Trust.
He explained: “Super Vale Abroad are exiled supporters who would love to go to games but, because of their location, can’t do that. The original concept was maybe just to get enough money to get a family season ticket so others could go in their place.
“That has extended with the members we have now got, donations we get from them and other events we’ve organised at the club. So, that has provided enough funds for numerous families and this year we have moved more to helping children.
“We are trying to create supporters of the future. So, the matchday experience is twenty children come along, are looked after by the Foundation, are given a tour behind the scenes, activities before the game and a seat for the match. We are also sponsoring mascots on a matchday.
“Before games were suspended this season we were on target to sponsor over 120 kids at games at Vale this season. Next season we would like to make that 200.”
The group’s fund-raising efforts include the Evening with John Rudge dinner in November held jointly with the supporters’ club. Mark Bright is also supporting the group and will attend a fund-raising dinner, but that has been postponed from its original date on April 3.