Article date: 15 November 2011
Shirt gift aims to raise awareness of the plight of young runaways
A national charity that supports vulnerable young people on Britain’s streets will be given a major boost this weekend as Aviva hands over its high-profile shirt sponsorship of Norwich City to Railway Children.
The Railway Children logo will take pride of place on the Canaries’ shirts for the eagerly-awaited clash against Arsenal on Saturday which is being televised live on Sky Sports. Additional fundraising for the children’s charity is also taking place throughout the day.
The event marks the first time a commercial sponsor has handed over its shirt logo to a charity for a one-off Barclays Premier League match. It’s the result of the close working relationship between Aviva and Norwich City and the initiative has been approved by the Barclays Premier League.
City Chief Executive David McNally said: “Norwich City are delighted to support Aviva’s charity partnership with Railway Children and their gesture of handing over shirt sponsorship for the Arsenal game. It is a great opportunity for our fans to show their support and to raise the profile of such an important cause.”
This is the fourth year that Aviva has given away its Norwich City shirt sponsorship to charities. This year’s sponsorship marks the continuation of Aviva’s commitment to its chosen national charity, Railway Children, which helps raise awareness of the fact that every year in the UK an estimated 100,000 young people under the age of 16 run away from home1.
One in six of these end up sleeping rough. Often these young people are escaping very difficult home circumstances and see the streets as their safest option.
Former X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke, who has just been announced as the Railway Children’s first UK celebrity ambassador, will also be at the match on Saturday.
Alexandra said: “It’s shocking that here in the UK children are ending up alone and at risk on our streets. But what’s more alarming to me is that people aren’t talking about it more. It’s not just something that happens in other countries, it’s happening right now in our communities and to our children. We need to start shouting about it.
“This gesture from Aviva for this match will help spread the word, and I hope that the Norwich City and Arsenal fans attending the game will be ready to lend their support to Railway Children.”
Aviva’s work with Railway Children is part of its five-year global “Street to School” programme to raise awareness and support for children living and working on the streets around the world.
Terina Keene, Railway Children, Chief Executive said: “It’s a chilling fact that every year in the UK 100,000 young people under the age of 16 run away from home.
“Having survived a difficult home environment, many young runaways have lost their trust in adults and see the streets as their only alternative if they feel they cannot live at home any longer. Faced with limited choices and not knowing where to turn, many end up living alone on the streets, where they are at risk of violence, sexual abuse and drug or alcohol dependency.
“We fight for children living on the streets everyday, and we are delighted that Norwich City, through our partners Aviva, have embraced Railway Children and our cause so wholeheartedly. This game will provide a much needed boost to Railway Children’s work across the UK, by raising awareness of the issue, as well as much-needed funds.”
Anne Filatotchev, marketing director, Aviva UK said: “Aviva works with Railway Children to raise awareness about the issue of young runaways. With the high profile nature of our Norwich City sponsorship and of Barclays Premier League football in general, we have the perfect opportunity to raise awareness nationally of the important work this charity does.”
Notes to editors:
For more information contact:
Ben Goldhagen at Hill and Knowlton on 0207 413 3127 or 0784 102 7002
Aviva and 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 the past three seasons Aviva has enabled the Norfolk public to nominate and vote for the charity that they feel should benefit. Winners have been The Benjamin Foundation, EACH and the Hamlet Centre.
About Railway Children
Railway Children is a leading children’s charity campaigning for and supporting 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.
Railway Children aims to reach children as soon as they arrive on the streets and intervene before an abuser can. Our pioneering project and research 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.
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
Aviva is the world’s sixth largest* insurance group. We provide 44.5 million customers with insurance, savings and investment products with total worldwide sales in 2010 of £47.1 billion**.
We are the UK’s largest insurer with over 14 million customers. Our combination of life, health and general insurance is unique in its scale and breadth in the UK market. Customers can choose to buy our products through intermediaries, our corporate partners or from Aviva direct and we have become the partner of choice for many of the UK’s biggest organisations.
We are ranked as one of the UK’s top ten most valuable brands and Aviva Plc are in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. In 2010 we invested £4.3m into our communities in the UK, which included 1,500 Aviva volunteers giving 24,000 hours for good causes. In addition, our employees gave £600,000 through fundraising and donating.Read our corporate responsibility report at www.aviva.com/2010cr.
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*based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2010.
**at 31 December 2010.
1. ‘Still Running II' – The Children’s Society 2005.