Ant & Dec Help Geordie Legend To Launch Alan Shearer Foundation
Footballing legend Alan Shearer, supported by celebrity duo and fellow St Cuthberts Care patrons, Ant and Dec, launched his Alan Shearer Foundation at 11am today (31 May 2012) at the Alan Shearer Activity Centre in Newcastle. The Foundation will aim to raise at least £250,000 every year to benefit thousands of disabled people throughout the North East.
The launch marks Alan’s continuing commitment to children and adults with profound disabilities. In 2006 Alan donated the largest share of his testimonial money, £320,000 (including Gift Aid) to North East charity St Cuthberts Care, to complete two specialist developments for people with disabilities. The two services bearing his name, The Alan Shearer Activity Centre and The Alan Shearer Short Break Centre, have been operational for five years.
“Working alongside St Cuthberts Care during these past five years, I have witnessed first-hand the desperate plight of many families caring for severely disabled children and adults,” said Alan Shearer.
“These families face enduring emotional, exhausting and financial challenges every day and I just felt I had to do more. I hope my Foundation will help to ease some of these difficulties.”
Last year, at a cost of over £100,000 a year, The Alan Shearer Activity Centre offered its sensory facilities to disabled members completely free of charge. At the same time, its sister service, The Alan Shearer Short Break Centre, offered over £150,000 worth of free short breaks to people with complex disabilities.
Alan added: “Since opening, these two Centres have gone from strength to strength making a huge difference to thousands of disabled people’s lives. This is why I feel compelled to launch my own Foundation; to raise money to remove financial barriers and to help to continue to make lives easier for those with profound disabilities.”
Once this funding is established the Foundation will also enable St Cuthberts Care to expand its disability provision, and ultimately, extend its reach across the whole of the North East.
Austin Donohoe, Chief Executive of St Cuthberts Care said: “Alan’s continuing endorsement of our services for children and young adults with disabilities is immeasurable. His support of the charity to date has been resolute and his Foundation is the icing on the cake.
It will enable us to continue to offer free and heavily subsidised facilities but it will also allow us to broaden the scope of our disability provision right across our region, helping even more people with disabilities.”
Led by Alan, the Foundation will raise funds through three corporate events every year, as well as appealing to the generosity of the wider public. Alan will be involved in fundraising activities undertaken for his Foundation and has pledged to visit a number of supporters to hear more about their fundraising efforts.
As part of the launch Alan will also be urging members of the public to sponsor his Foundation in this year’s Great North Run. He said: “There are loads of ways to fundraise but if you’re running and you haven’t chosen your charity yet, then please consider my Foundation; thank you all so much.”
Ant & Dec attended the launch and said: “As patrons of St Cuthberts Care we’re delighted to be here today to support Alan’s fantastic cause. Alan’s Foundation will make a real difference to disabled people’s lives in our region and we wish Alan every success with his new venture.”
You can find out more information by checking out Alan’s new Foundation website,www.alanshearerfoundation.org.uk which will go live on Thursday 31 May at 8am.
Alan Shearer Activity Centre & Short Break Centre
The Alan Shearer Activity Centre is a specialist sensory and social facility designed for disabled children, adults, families and carers. Membership is free as are almost all of the facilities. The Short Break Centre is a specialised short break service for children and adults with physical and learning disabilities, autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. Visit www.alansheareractivitycentre.org.uk and www.alanshearershortbreakcentre.org.uk
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