Wednesday, 22 May 2024
Wednesday, 22 May 2024

North West charities given huge boost from Football for Change funding

FOOTBALL for Change, the social mobility initiative launched by football stars Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jamie Carragher and Conor Coady, has released more than £150,000 of grants in its first round of funding for 2023.

Young people and organisations who support young people to build better futures through education, employment and sport were all eligible to apply for grants of up to £10,000.

16 organisations – the majority based in the North West – have been allocated major funding, including Everton in the Community, Liverpool FC Foundation, The Inclusive Hub and Dame Kelly Holmes Trust.

Football for Change has raised over £700,000 since launching in 2021, with the initiative founded by Alexander-Arnold, Carragher and Coady alongside business figureheads such as CEO of Ardonagh Retail, Ian Donaldson, and public relations leader, Daniel Hughes.

Football for Change brings together sports stars and business leaders to help NEET (not in education, employment or training) young people find education or employment opportunities, as well as helping others who face barriers achieve their full potential.

Last year, Football for Change sent 40 disadvantaged young people to the United States of America for a month-long sports and education retreat, and the initiative is partnering with Steven Gerrard to do the same again this year.

Football for Change is also helping to finance the build of an education hub at The Brunswick Youth Club in Bootle.

It has also partnered with Local Solutions to support young people in employment while placing homeless youngsters back into work and accommodation in Glasgow.

Football For Change has the backing of football superstars including Borussia Dortmund and England midfielder Jude Bellingham and Lioness hero Beth Mead.

Sir Rod Stewart is a patron of the charity and performed at the charity’s first major gala in 2021. This was the first of several epic fundraising events coordinated by the Football for Change team, with rock legend Noel Gallagher headlining another gala at Old Trafford cricket ground in 2022.

The event raised hundreds of thousands of pounds with stars and organisations such as David Beckham, Formula 1, Dua Lipa, Manchester City, Frank Lampard and Westlife donating behind-the-scenes prizes to the auction.

And with the latest round of funding, Football for Change has released more than £150,000 of grants to fund organisations supporting young people through education, employment and sport.

The Inclusive Hub, based in North Liverpool, will use their grant to offer apprenticeship and training opportunities to disadvantaged teenagers, while Talk the Talk Education is utilising the funding to work with 60 groups of high-risk individuals, aged between 15-25, in a bid to develop learning and confidence.

Everton in the Community, Liverpool FC Foundation, City of Liverpool Football Club and Dame Kelly Holmes Trust are among the 16 deserving organisations that have been awarded funding.

Football for Change co-chairman Jamie Carragher said:

“This is what Football for Change is all about. The funding released today will change lives – there is no doubt about that.

“The charities awarded grants are already doing amazing work and this money will allow them to go further and benefit more young people, the majority from the North West.

“I am delighted to be part of this initiative and there is more to come because Football for Change is just getting started.”

Commenting on Football For Change, Trent Alexander-Arnold, said:

“Football for Change is about helping young people onto a positive path. It is footballers and business leaders coming together with a goal to help improve the life chances and opportunities of young people from some of the most challenged communities in the country. It is a brilliant initiative and is needed now more than ever.”

Everton and England star, Conor Coady, said: 

“We set this up to help give youngsters a better start in life and this is exactly what we are doing. It is great to see this funding being distributed and I am looking forward to seeing the difference it makes.”

Ian Donaldson, CEO of Ardonagh Retail and co-chair of Football for Change, said: 

“This is something that’s very close to my heart as I know first-hand how vital these funds will be in supporting young people in our local communities.

“Playing football from a young age gave me so many life skills and a solid foundation to build on. It’s an incredibly proud feeling to know that the funding will be distributed to these amazing groups to continue to support kids like me to have that same great start in life.”

Football for Change 2023 first round of funding beneficiaries:

  • City of Liverpool Football Club (Knowsley)

  • Everton in the Community (Liverpool)

  • Kirkdale Amateur Boxing Club (Liverpool)

  • Dovecot and Princess Drive Community Association (Liverpool)

  • Leadership Through Sport and Business (Liverpool)

  • Talk the Talk Education CIC (Knowsley)

  • Liverpool FC Foundation (Liverpool)

  • Together Were Stronger CIC (Liverpool)

  • Tranmere Rovers in the Community (Wirral)

  • Dame Kelly Holmes Trust (Bath and North East Somerset)

  • Pathways 2 Phoenix (Sefton)

  • Rapid Response North West (Wirral)

  • The Inclusive Hub CIC (Liverpool)

  • Apollo Sports Club CIC (Knowsley)

  • Big Help Project (Liverpool)

  • Running Head First CIC (Wirral)

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