Liverpool FC and Scotland International, Andy Robertson, has launched his own charity to support socially deprived and critically ill young people across his home nation.
The charity, which will be called AR26 after his initials and shirt number, has been set up to give children equal access to football training, support and job opportunities for free.
The Liverpool full-back has claimed that the charity will be rolled out before Christmas and then continue with three further projects that will include the creation of a community-run football academy for young people; a scheme to provide young people with access to further education, training and job opportunities; and a platform where sick children and their families can experience once in a life-time opportunities.
The Christmas campaign will focus on assisting 26 other Scottish charities to ensure that children receive Christmas presents in the Ayrshire, Arran, Dumfries and Galloway area and appropriate seasonal clothing for attending school in the winter months, via the Renfrewshire School Bank.
“Throughout my career, I have always tried to help support charities and good causes whenever I could, but I wanted to do more,” stated Robertson.
“There are many parts of my life that make me feel blessed and privileged, but without a doubt the most significant of all is the encouragement, help and support of a loving family, amazing friends and brilliant coaches. Without them – and without luck – my circumstances could have been so different.
“AR26 will look to provide support and opportunities for those who, through no fault of their own, feel left behind and, in some cases, abandoned.
“Opportunity should be a basic human right for everyone. To deny young people in Scotland equality of opportunity is to undermine our future. My own experiences have taught me that none of us can achieve anything on our own. We all need other people, we all need help, we all need support - and more than anything - we all need a chance.
“I am extremely proud to be Scottish because of the values our country is built on. At our best, we are about solidarity, fighting for what’s right and looking after each other. AR26 has been set-up based on those ideals - we want nothing more than to create a long-lasting positive impact on children and young people across Scotland. There’s an amazing team here at AR26, and I hope many more will join us in our journey. By coming together, we can make a difference to those who need it the most – especially at this time of the year.
“Christmas can be special, but for many families, the financial pressure or health uncertainties can make it a very stressful and worrying time. Starting this weekend, we hope to provide some additional support and meaningful experiences for families this festive season by donating to some amazing charities and projects each day in the run up to the 25th. If we can bring a smile to even just one person’s face this Christmas, then it will all be worth it.”
Amanda Nisanci, Head of Partnership at AR26 Charity, added: “I am delighted to be embarking on this exciting journey with AR26 Charity. Andy’s passion to utilise his platform and the power of football to inspire tomorrow’s generation is truly contagious and he is the perfect role model to be at the helm of AR26.
“We fully appreciate that the charity launches at a time when positive interventions are needed now more than ever for young people across Scotland and are very much looking forward to making an impact from the outset with our forthcoming Christmas campaign.”
Author: Jake Wilkin