Aviva kicks off a weekend of sport for charity partner

Article date: 21 February 2014

  • Sponsorship donation aims to raise awareness & funds to support children who run away from home

Leading UK insurer, Aviva, is handing over its sponsorships to charity for a 48 hour fundraising push.

This weekend, Aviva is using its shirt sponsorship of Norwich City FC (NCFC) plus branding at all 12 Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs to allow its charity partner Railway Children to take centre stage for Aviva’s community weekend.

The activity kicks-off on 22 February and calls on the public to take five minutes out of their weekend to show their support for Railway Children’s new ‘Take 5’ Campaign (www.railwaychildren.org.uk/take5).  This small action can go a long way to help children on the street and raise vital funds for the charity.

NCFC Director Stephen Fry will be showing his support on Twitter alongside Aviva Premiership Rugby and NCFC players. They will be posting ‘Take 5’ selfies and encouraging fans to retweet the images using the hashtag #Take5. Aviva will donate £1 for every tweet or retweet containing #Take5 over the weekend (ie 00:01 Sat 22 Feb ’14 to 23.59 Sun 23 Feb ’14), up to £100,000. This donation figure, £100,000, represents the worrying number of children that run away from home each year in the UK.

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 and 16 during rugby match; a total of 114 children during the Aviva Community Weekend fixtures.

As part of their international Street to School programme, Aviva works in partnership with Railway Children in the UK to raise awareness of this hidden issue, as well as providing vital funds for the charity to deliver crucial support and services before, during and after young people run away from home.

Terina Keene, Chief Executive, Railway Children, said: “Having a child run away from home is every parent’s nightmare. Sadly, it’s far more common than you might think. Two-thirds of runaways aren't reported as missing to the police, and many are too vulnerable or scared to seek official help. This is an alarming statistic when you consider the potential danger it can put them in.  Take 5 is the new campaign we’re launching this year and we hope this weekend’s activity will help us raise awareness as well as valuable funding for the charity.”

Norwich City FC Manager Chris Hughton said: “We are proud to once again join long-term club sponsors Aviva in supporting Railway Children during this weekend’s clash with Tottenham. To think that 18 children are estimated to run away from home during Sunday’s game says a great deal. We hope to raise as much awareness as possible over the Aviva Community Weekend to help support children who may run away from home.”

Saracens Defence and Forwards Coach, Paul Gustard, who recently had the opportunity to visit one of Railway Children’s London Projects, said: “It is great to see Premiership Rugby joining such a worthwhile campaign.  I saw for myself the positive effect the charity is having for children on the streets in the UK on a visit to one of their London Projects. I just hope that with the additional support of Aviva Premiership Rugby, we can top last year’s campaign total and generate both financial support and recognition for the charity’s critical work.”

Along with donating shirt logos, Aviva will also be dressing key stadiums in Railway Children’s colours for the match. This will include programme adverts, LED signage boards, and media backboards, in an effort to provide as much noise about Railway Children as possible. NCFC players will also wear Railway Children’s logo on their shirts in pre-match training prior to the match.

Limited edition NCFC match shirts signed by players will also be auctioned with proceeds going to Railway Children.  Only 36 of these shirts will be produced for the game (two for each player in the squad).  More information on the auction can be found at


For more information on match day activity please see http://www.railwaychildren.org.uk/take5.

- Ends -

For further information, please contact:

Charlie White     Hill+Knowlton Strategies   020 7413 3029            charlie.white@hkstratgies.com

John Franklin    Aviva Press Office           01603 680795 john.s.franklin@aviva.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

Aviva’s community weekend includes the following fixtures:

Saturday, 22nd February 2014

14:00    Bath Rugby v London Wasps

15:00    Gloucester Rugby v Harlequins

15:00    Worcester Warriors v Sale Sharks

Sunday, 23rd February 201

13:00    London Irish v Leicester Tigers

15:00    Newcastle v Northampton Saints

15:15    Saracens v Exeter Chiefs

16:00    Norwich City FC v Tottenham Hotspurs FC

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