As some Newcastle fans will know, Alan Shearer got involved with St Cuthbert’s Care in Newcastle in 2006 when he donated £320,000 of his testimonial proceeds towards the completion of the charity’s unique £1.2M activity centre for disabled people.
The Alan Shearer Activity Centre was officially opened by Alan on 11 May 2007. In October 2007 – an exact year after his outstanding financial contribution – Alan also opened the Alan Shearer Short Break Centre located on the same site to provide respite for disabled people and their carers.
In 2011 Alan and Lainya Shearer became patrons for St Cuthberts Care. In spring 2011, activities at the Alan Shearer Activity Centre became free to disabled members, at the same time they began to provide free short break holidays for disabled children and adults in the Short Break Centre located on the same site. The funding for both of these free services is in excess of £100,000 a year. Alan helped to raise £52,000 at the charity’s corporate ball and he organised a celebrity golf day raising an additional £45,000.
Last week saw all of this move on to more ambitious plans with the official launch of the Alan Shearer Foundation at the Alan Shearer Activity Centre in Newcastle, which was opened by Alan supported by Ant & Dec. The aim of the Foundation is to support disability in the North East by raising at least £250,000 every year to help thousands of disabled people throughout the North East.
In doing so the Foundation aims to:
- Offer a number of free and subsidised short breaks at the Alan Shearer Short Break Centre
- Continue to support and further develop the free facilities of the adjoining Alan Shearer Activity Centre
-Enable St Cuthberts Care, who facilitate the Alan Shearer Centre, to expand its disability provision across the North East.
Alan, supported by TV celebrities Ant and Dec launched the Foundation at a packed press launch attended by families, schools and groups who regularly attend the Centre plus patrons and board members of St Cuthberts Care, and influential members of the business community.
To start the fundraising ball rolling Alan, Ant and Dec signed a football, which will be auctioned via the Foundation’s website shortly.
During the launch Alan also urged his loyal fans and supporters of the Activity Centre to dig deep to raise funds for the Foundation. He also pledged to support his fundraisers by visiting some of them to thank them in person.
“This is a very special and proud day for my family and me,” said Alan who was joined at the launch by his daughters Holly and Chloe. He continued:
“The Centre has a special place in my heart; I love it here and always look forward to coming to meet everyone who uses it. I have worked very closely with St Cuthberts Care for the last six years or so and I have witnessed first-hand the desperate plight of many families caring for severely disabled children and adults. I knew I could do more which is why I have launched the Foundation.”
“I’ve got three healthy and happy kids – I’m lucky, and I know it. But my two daughters were at the launch on Thursday and looking around them. And I was saying to them: ‘Come and have a look – and see how lucky you are.’ I wanted them to see for themselves how difficult other people’s lives can be, and they have certainly taken notice.”
Following the launch Alan, Ant and Dec took time out to talk to disabled members of the Activity Centre and guests of the Short Break Centre plus their families and posed for photographs.
To learn more about the Foundation, please take the time to browse their excellent website.