Aviva donates £97,774 to charity Railway Children after extraordinary success of twitter campaign

Article date: 25 February 2013

  • Football sponsorship used to raise awareness of children running away from home

Aviva are set to donate £97,774 to charity Railway Children after the overwhelming goodwill shown by fans who tweeted their support for the charity on Saturday during the #1every5 twitter campaign.

For the second year running, Norwich City FC players proudly wore the logo of charity Railway Children on their shirts during their Barclays Premier League triumph over Everton, to lend their support for sponsor Aviva’s UK charity partner and help raise awareness of the fact that one child runs away from home every five minutes in the UK.

For every tweet or retweet posted on Twitter on match day including the hashtag #1every5, Aviva pledged to donate £1 to Railway Children with the aim of reaching a target of £18,000. Last season, the community game activity raised £10,000.  Fans got involved in their thousands making #1every5 trend number one in the UK and worldwide.

Overwhelmed by the support of the British public – which included tweets from NCFC Director Stephen Fry, TV Presenter Jake Humphreys and comedian Ricky Gervais as well as NCFC footballers led by club captain Grant Holt – Aviva has generously increased their donation to £97,774. This reflects the full number of 97,774 individual tweets or retweets using the hashtag that were generated during the 24 hours of Saturday 23rd February, raising valuable awareness and vital funds for Railway Children.

Railway Children provide help and support to children under 16 who have run away from home or are at risk of doing so.  They estimate that one child runs away from home every five minutes in the UK. That’s the equivalent of 18 children during a 90 minute football match. They run away or are forced to leave homes where they suffer poverty, violence, abuse and neglect.

Heather Smith, Marketing Director at Aviva Direct Insurance said: “We would like to thank all who showed their support for our charity partners Railway Children this weekend by tweeting the hashtag #1every5. This match offered us a fantastic opportunity for us to build on our year-round work with Railway Children, raising awareness and funds for the charity.

“We are delighted to have far exceeded our original target of £18,000 with a total of 97,774 tweets. In recognition of your overwhelming support we will be donating £97,774 to Railway Children. Many thanks to all those who joined in, and helped to spread awareness of the fact that one child runs away from home every five minutes in the UK – a hidden issue which deserves more attention.”

Terina Keene, Chief Executive, Railway Children said: “Many thanks to the British public for your amazing support and to Aviva for their kind generosity. One child is estimated to run away from home every five minutes in the UK. That’s the equivalent of 18 children during a 90 minute football match.

“I hope that while fans were tweeting their support using the hashtag #1every5, they took a brief moment to think about how shocking this statistic really is - sadly, for most of us, it’s far more common than you might think. Young people run away or are forced to leave homes where they suffer poverty, violence, abuse and neglect. Aviva’s generous donation of £97,774 provides much-needed funds to help us deliver crucial support and services before, during and after young people run away from home.”

For more information on match day activity and for a chance to win one of the signed limited edition shirts, please see http://www.railwaychildren.org.uk/ncfc

- Ends -

i‘Still Running III' – The Children’s Society 2011

Notes to editors:
For more information contact
Glen Holland at Hill+Knowlton Strategies on 0207 413 5925 or 07590 649 537
John Franklin at Aviva UK Press Office on 01603 680795 or 07800 692110

Donations via twitter
For every tweet or retweet posted on twitter on match day including #1every5, Aviva will donate £1 to Railway Children. Please see www.railwaychildren.org.uk/ncfc for full terms and conditions.

£1 could buy a warm drink for a vulnerable child on the streets. £10 could fund resources for 30 young people at a runaway prevention workshop, and £25 could help keep one of our workers on the streets, seeking out children who may be at risk.

About Aviva & Norwich City Football Club

Aviva became Main Club Sponsor of Norwich City in July 2008 building on its previous community focused partnership with the Club. In 2011, Aviva were the first Premier League sponsor to donate their shirt to a charity as part of Aviva’s ongoing commitment to Railway Children in the UK, a partnership that forms part of Aviva’s international Street to School programme, This year Norwich City will once again be wearing Railway Children’s logo on their shirts for the match on 23rd February against Everton Football Club.

About Railway Children
Railway Children is a leading children’s charity fighting for vulnerable children who live alone at risk on the streets, where they suffer abuse and exploitation. In the UK, society often denies their existence, and in other countries the problem is so prevalent that it has become ‘normal’.

Children and young people run away or are forced to leave home where they suffer poverty, violence, abuse and neglect. They find themselves living on the streets because there is nowhere else to go and no one left to turn to. The problems they face on the streets are often even worse than those they endured at home. Every day we fight to change their story.

Railway Children race to reach children as soon as they arrive on the streets and intervene before an abuser can. Our pioneering work in the UK, India and East Africa enables us to get to street children before the streets get to them. For more information on how you can get involved visit www.railwaychildren.org.uk.
Twitter: www.twitter.com/railwaychildren
Facebook: www.facebook.com/railwaychildren
YouTube: www.youtube.com/railwaychildren

About Aviva
Aviva provides insurance, savings and investment products to 43 million customers worldwide.

We are the UK’s largest insurer with over 14 million customers and one of Europe’s leading providers of life and general insurance. We combine strong life insurance, general insurance and asset management businesses under one powerful brand. We are committed to serving our customers well in order to build a stronger, sustainable business, which makes a positive contribution to society, and for which our people are proud to work.

We are ranked as one of the UK’s top ten most valuable brands and Aviva Plc is in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.  In 2011 we invested £5.3m into our UK communities. One in three of our employees were involved in community investment activities which included giving nearly 33,000 hours.

Aviva is working in partnership with Railway Children through the Aviva Street to School programme to get children living or working on UK streets back into everyday life.  Find out more at www.aviva.co.uk/street-to-school.

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For broadcast-standard video, please visit http://www.aviva.com/media/video/.

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