There has been a fantastic response from Evertonians to the Carlisle flood relief fundraising campaign, launched last weekend by the Blues’ Fans’ Forum.
Ahead of this Sunday’s FA Cup fourth round tie, Everton supporters have been encouraged to back the initiative, aimed at raising money following the devastating flooding that affected the Cumbria region last month.
A target £7,500 was set - and over 90 per cent of that total had already been reached by Thursday evening, following a superb uptake from fans.
Over £6,500 has so far been raised, including a significant donation to the Just Giving Fund from Everton Football Club.
Everton Fans' Forum chairman Nick Mernock said: “As Evertonians we are renowned for taking some great followings away from home and enjoying the places we visit. When this draw came up it seemed an appropriate thing to do. Carlisle are a fantastic club with a long standing tradition and history. The devastation was shocking, so why not try and make a bit of a difference with the catalyst of this Cup game?
“We set out to raise £7,500 because Carlisle is a community club like ourselves and the devastation has meant that a lot of the interaction has stopped, so we wanted to focus our fundraising in that area. The reaction has been tremendous.”
The Everton Fans’ Forum have been working closely with Carlisle United, with it being decided that the proceeds will go to their Community Sports Trust, itself a registered charity, to help the club pick up its vital community outreach programme in the wake of the floods.
The photo above illustrates the post-flooding damage to the ticket office at Brunton Park.
Monies raised will be divided between Carlisle's important community programmes – Carlisle Key, which works closely with disadvantaged and homeless young people, and Hospice at Home, which helps families dealing with serious illnesses and conditions.
Carlisle United have been overwhelmed by the generous gestures from Evertonians and have thanked those who have already pledged support to the campaign.
The Club’s media officer, Andy Hall, said: "This gesture from Everton fans is another example of how the football family comes together in times of adversity. The response from the football community to the situation we have found ourselves in has been overwhelming and it is clear to us now that we are not alone.
"I would like to thank Evertonians, on behalf of the community of Carlisle, for doing this for us and for two fantastic charities. It means a lot and we feel humbled by what has been done at a time when we most need help."
Those wishing to know more about the fundraising campaign or looking to make a donation, simply click here