COMMUNITY charities across the North Coast are set to score thanks to an unusual fundraising initiative by the London Northern Ireland Supporters Club (London NISC)…
The ‘green and white army’ exiles have a goal of raising £10,000 for charity thanks to fun miniature likenesses of Northern Ireland manager and former Coleraine star Michael O’Neill.
The club will be selling the miniatures in aid of funds and have chosen Sandelford School in Coleraine, Portstewart Community Association and CAN in Ballymoney as their respective charities in the local area.
Nicknamed the ‘Wee MON’, the novel idea has the backing of O’Neill himself, who said: “My family and I found it very amusing when we were presented with one of the little figures.
“It’s great to think that something small has the potential to help raise such a large amount for local charities.”
Revealing how the idea came about, London NISC chairman Neal Anderson explained: “The club brings together 200 NI fans from across London and SE England and we always try to do something creative for our annual membership pack.
“This year we came up with the idea of the ‘Wee MON’. It was originally intended only for our members, but the sizable minimum order quantity from the supplier meant we ended up with a few spares.”
The Portstewart native added: “The London NISC regularly raises funds for good causes back home, like our Euro 2016 single ‘Making our Way to Paris’ which was donated to the Cancer Fund for Children.
“We have also given funds to the NI Hospice and recently made a donation to the William Dunlop fund. Despite our members living in London, we always want to contribute to charities back home in Northern Ireland.
“As the club has already covered the costs of making the Wee MONs, we thought why not donate all proceeds from the spares to charity.
“Reflecting the size of the mini figure, we also wanted to help smaller organisations where the funds will make a genuine difference to local communities. Our members have nominated twenty charities across Northern Ireland.
“I didn’t ask specific reasons why each charity was nominated as some are for personal reasons, others because they were local to where they were originally from. We’ve at least 6 Coleraine fans in the club and that’s why we wanted to give back to the local community.”
Neal revealed to colerainefc.com that the Wee MONs have sold well to date and expects them to be the ideal stocking filler for Christmas.
“We have been relying on the word of mouth and social media to help us sell the miniatures,” he continued.
“We have sold over 500 so far but we have only 1500 left to buy as they are a limited edition.
“They are an ideal Christmas present for Northern Ireland fans, but Michael was also an ex-Bannsider, so I’m sure it will popular amongst Coleraine supporters.
“Coleraine recently played in Wales and we sold a few and we would like to thank everyone who has purchased a miniature so far. Despite being a small gift, they will go a long way in helping local charities here in Northern Ireland.”
The London NISC is now working together with The Amalgamation of NI Supporters Clubs to help promote the Wee MONs.
Each one is available for a minimum donation of £5, plus postage. To get a limited edition ‘Wee MON’ visit HERE.