FOOTBALLING legend Alan Shearer was today joined by TV duo and charity patrons Ant and Dec to launch the Alan Shearer Foundation.
The Foundation will aim to raise at least £250,000 every year to benefit thousands of disabled people throughout the north east.
Shearer and fellow St Cuthberts Care patrons Ant and Dec, launched the foundation today (Thursday) 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 region.
In 2006 Alan donated £320,000 of his testimonial money to St Cuthberts Care, to complete two specialist developments for people with disabilities – The Alan Shearer Activity Centre and The Alan Shearer Short Break Centre.
He said: “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.
“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.
“It’s free to use for everyne from Whitley Bay to North Tyneside to Hartlepool to wherever, so I would urge people to come and use it. It is an amazing place.”
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.”
Ant and 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.”
Visit www.alanshearerfoundation.org.uk for more information.