Squad members from the Pilgrims' 2016/17 League Two promotion-winning campaign have auctioned their match-worn shirts in aid of Plymouth Hospitals Charity. They have raised an amazing total of £11,131.07!
The iconic white away shirt with the green band was recently voted the winner of the 'World Cup of Kits' on the club's official Twitter account - which gave Pilgrims midfielder Antoni Sarcevic an idea.
“I saw that season's kit had won the club's vote for the best ever, and I thought about how we could try and use it for a good cause,” said Antoni.
"I got in touch with the lads from that season and we agreed it would be a positive thing to donate the shirts to auction for the NHS."
The players agreed, in partnership with Plymouth Argyle Football Club (PAFC), that funds raised from the shirt auction would be donated to Plymouth Hospitals Charity. The charity benefits patients and staff at University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, some of whom are currently carrying out antenatal and phlebotomy work in a temporary workplace at Home Park Stadium.
"It's a difficult time for many, and most of us want to help out in any way that we can," said Antoni. "NHS staff are going above and beyond at the moment to look after our community, and we are so grateful for that."
Antoni was the first to donate his shirt to the cause, and the auction of more shirts from Antoni's promotion-winning teammates has now raised over £11,000.
The donation will be divided to support two important causes. The first is the refurbishment of the area surrounding the wildlife pond at Derriford Hospital which acts as a wellbeing area for staff and patients. The second is an initiative set up by the Manager of one of Derriford’s COVID wards, Leann Sherlock. Due to visitor restrictions and infection control regulations, Leann has found that many of her patients are struggling with boredom and need things to occupy them during their stay, particularly patients who don't have smart phones.
She and her team have been giving "gift boxes" to patients on admission to the ward containing things like colouring books, pens, crossword puzzles and photo frames. Leann initially put out a request on Facebook and was met with an amazing response from the local community. Plymouth Argyle’s incredibly generous donation will help the team continue to provide morale boosting gift bags for isolated patients.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to Antoni and PAFC for their very generous donation,” said Leann. The money will help towards items to keep our patients occupied. It has been gratefully received by our patients who can feel very isolated during their admission especially having no visitors.”
To find out more about how you can fundraise or make a donation to Plymouth Hospitals Charity, please visit: https://www.plymouthhospitals.nhs.uk/charity-home