Steve Ovett donates Olympic vest for Brighton charities

Posted On 29 Oct 2012 at 10:01 pm

Brighton-born athlete Steve Ovett has donated the vest he wore when he won his Olympic gold medal to raise money for charities in his home town.

Mr Ovett, who won gold in the 800 metres at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, sent the vest to the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Bill Randall.

It will be auctioned to raise money for the mayor’s charities after Mr Ovett sent it from his home in Melbourne in Australia with a note saying: “Hope this fits the job.”

The pair met when Mr Ovett was made a freeman of Brighton and Hove in July.

Councillor Randall said: “When I met Steve in the summer he turned out to be all the things you would hope for in a hero and he promised to send me a ‘significant item’ for auction.

“I had no idea how significant it would be.

“His generosity is overwhelming and is further testament to his love for this city.

“It is a fantastic Olympic postscript to an extraordinary sporting year.

“The signed vest and the signed photograph Steve sent with it will be auctioned to raise money for the three charities I am supporting in my year as mayor: Allsorts, Martlets and the Women’s Centre.

“All three are hugely grateful for Steve’s kindness and the money raised from auctioning the shirt will help fund the very important work they do for Brighton and Hove where Steve remains an inspiration for a new generation of athletes.

“Charlie Grice, an outstanding young middle distance runner from Brighton’s Phoenix AC names Steve as his inspiration.

“With this act of kindness Steve will inspire the whole city.”

Councillor Randall said that the Allsorts youth project provided a range of counselling and advice services for young LGBT people under 26, many of them vulnerable.

It also raised awareness about LGBT issues in local schools, colleges and youth projects.

He said that the Brighton Women’s Centre had supported women in Brighton and Hove for more than 35 years.

It aims are to empower women and promote independence in a safe, women-only space.

The services offered include group work, open access drop-ins, holistic therapies, volunteer training and self-development courses.

It also provides an Ofsted registered preschool group and runs a Fareshare scheme.

Councillor Randall said that its work was particularly important at a time when women were suffering more than other groups from the effects of the recession.

He said that the Martlets Hospice touched almost every household in the city with its work, helping 1,000 people to live life as fully as they could, right up until the end.

Expert clinical care is provided by highly skilled and experienced doctors and nurses through the inpatient unit and the hospice at home service.

The hospice receives only 29 per cent of its funding from the NHS and has to raise £9,000 a day through charitable means to keep its doors open.

Councillor Randall said: “Peggy, my mother-in-law, spent the last weeks of her life in the hospice.

“She, and the rest of my family, could not have had more kindness or better care.”


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