City fans help raise thousands for local causes - by buying face masks
- Credit: Along Come Norwich
A Norwich City fan group has raised thousands of pounds for local charities through selling Canaries-themed masks – much to the surprise and delight of its founders.
Along Come Norwich launched its club-related designs around two months ago, which cost £11.50 with half the profits going directly to local causes.
The total raised so far has now passed the £4,500 mark, with more than 2,000 face coverings featuring designs seen on classic City shirts sold to date.
Co-founder Jon Punt, 41, hopes the group will be able to surpass £5,000 for charities.
“We probably thought we’d sell a couple of hundred,” he said. “We knew there would be a desire for Norwich City ones, and no-one was doing them at the time – I know the club are doing them now but we were probably one of the first out of the blocks.
“I was a little uncomfortable with it, unless we were giving something back to local good causes. I didn’t want to feel like we were profiting from the pandemic.
“So we left it a bit later than we otherwise would have, but after we talked about it as a group and agreed to use it to put something back into local causes it seemed like a no-brainer.”
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The first £3,000 raised has already been dished out – the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation (CSF), domestic abuse charity Leeway and New Routes, which works with asylum seekers in the city, each received a third.
The next lump sum will also be split three ways. The CSF are set to benefit again, while the other two charities to receive a donation are yet to be finalised.
“They’re all causes that we thought were really, really worthy and are steeped in the Norfolk community,” Mr Punt added.
The fansite founder admitted that government rules enforcing the use of face coverings on public transport and in shops had played its part in the number of sales, though he also praised the Canaries fans who were still desperate to display their club colours despite their club’s disappointing Premier League season.
He said: “Norwich fans are incredibly dedicated and loyal and, even when times are really bad – as much as some like to whinge a little bit – they’re still always there for the club.
“We’ve got another stock of masks inbound from our supplier, and as long as there is demand we’ll be happy to keep selling them as it helps the community.”
• To purchase a mask, visit the Along Come Norwich website.