Black Cats join forces with Pudsey Bear to surprise youngsters

Sunderland stars scored with disabled youngsters when they visited a special school.

Friday, 18th November 2016, 9:02 am
Updated Friday, 18th November 2016, 11:22 am
Pupils at Barbara Priestman Academy with Vito Mannone, Steven Pienaar, SAFC mascot Samson and Pudsey.

Vito Mannone and Steven Pienaar were joined by coaching staff from the club’s official charity, the Foundation of Light, to meet pupils at Sunderland's Barbara Priestman Academy and see how the Foundation’s ‘Making Moves’ programme is helping pupils.

Making Moves provides opportunities for thousands of youngsters and children who have a wide range of disabilities such as Down’s Syndrome, Autism, Asperger’s, hearing impairment, visual impairment and wheelchair users to take part in a variety of sports and activities.

Steven Pienaar with pupils at Barbara Priestman Academy

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Goalkeeper Vito Mannone praised the programme and the work of Children in Need and the Foundation of Light: "It’s very important for the club to come to places like this and it was nice to surprise the kids and play a few games with them.

"It brought back memories of when I was at school playing and I could see the passion of the kids and teachers who do a great job teaching them important life skills.

"It is good to give something back to the fans and community."

Children in Need currently supports 2,400 projects across the UK and has supported the Foundation of Light since 2006.

Vito Mannone poses for a selfie with pupils

Working together, the two charities have increased access to sport and physical activity to disadvantaged children and young people, increased awareness of healthy lifestyle choices and reduced social isolation through physical activity.

To find out more about Children in Need and to donate to the charity please visit

For more information about Foundation of Light visit

Steven Pienaar with pupils at Barbara Priestman Academy
Vito Mannone poses for a selfie with pupils