If there is one individual who most-epitomises Albion in the Community (AITC) it is surely Jadey Yesilada.
The inspirational Brighton & Hove Albion fan spent 12 months leading a fundraising campaign to help double the provision of disabled sport in Sussex – a campaign which ended up raising more than £206,000.
He has completed the Brighton Marathon, a Brighton to Paris cycle ride and the Brighton and Hove Triathlon and made it his personal mission to inspire as many other people as possible to raise funds for AITC.
Jadey also visits schools, colleges, universities and businesses to deliver disability awareness training and talk about the impact AITC has had on his life.
For Jadey, who has cerebral palsy, it all began 16 years ago when he attended a session with the charity’s then-fledgling Seagulls Specials sports club. Since then he has gradually got more and more involved with its work; completed an 18-month coaching apprenticeship and become AITC’s official ambassador.
And, having benefited first hand from AITC’s work, the 24-year-old wanted to do something to help create similar opportunities for other people.
He came up with the of Jadey’s Dream – a year-long campaign to raise money for our disability department. The money raised from his campaign has helped fund extra sessions, extra equipment and extra coaches – creating new opportunities for local disabled people.
And he isn’t finished. For him, showing others what they can achieve is almost as important as raising money. He said: “I am a firm believer that there is no such word as can’t. I just want to make a difference in the community.”
He has certainly done that and earlier this year he won The Argus’ newspaper’s Community Star of the Year Award.