Southern Co-operative is supporting a charity football tournament to raise money for people affected by cancer.
The society made a £3,000 donation to the Football for Cancer tournament, which has grown from a one-off match in 2008 and brings together beginners and experienced players.
It has raised almost £1m for local people and charities, and can offer grants to families fighting cancer in less than 24 hours.
Southern Co-op learnt about the charity from through its availability manager Lee Cook, who said: “I decided to get involved in FFC this year having been made aware of the charity through friends that have previously played in the tournament.
“It has already been incredibly special as you meet so many people who have been touched by cancer and want to make a difference to others.”
He added: “In 2017 I lost my uncle Kev and my second cousin Rob to cancer – both were still relatively young. Both left a legacy that I am proud to be representing in FFC 2019.
“They were both avid football fans for rival teams – this difference in footballing allegiance led to a healthy family rivalry and we enjoyed many a debate around whose team was the best over the years. Both of them were truly inspirational in the way they fought against their disease.”
Football for Cancer has so far given 200 grants and helped over 24 charities. The tournament runs in three cities: Portsmouth, Southampton and Bournemouth.
Ben Brown, FFC’s events and corporate sponsorship manager, said: “An FFC grant could be used for paying the bills, putting food on the table or travel costs for people to get lifesaving treatment. It could also help people get essential respite or help to create long lasting memories.
“Our charity relies on the money raised by the tournament so the support from Southern Co-op and our other main sponsors massively helps to cover the basic costs and make sure all the fundraising money goes directly into the grant scheme.
“We are also incredibly proud of how the game brings people together and gives people a way of remembering their family and friends. It is about building that bond and banter and having a kick about at the same time.”