Everton star Toni Duggan has backed an initiative called Football For Change, which is aiming to provide opportunities for the most disadvantaged young people in the UK.
The forward, who rose through the ranks with the Blues before leaving in 2013 to ply her trade at Manchester City, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid only to return home this season, believes the football stars and business leaders joining together to support this charitable project have a real power “to make the difference to young lives”.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Coady, André Gomes and Anthony Gordon launched Football For Change earlier this year, while legends like Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Neville Southall have also thrown their support behind the initiative as have Gary Neville and Gary Lineker.
The social mobility movement is bringing together football stars and business leaders to help young people get into education or find employment opportunities, as well as helping others from challenged communities who face barriers unlocking their full potential.
“I am really proud to join the Football for Change team,” Duggan said.
“We will help drive positive changes for young people who have been devoid of opportunity in both education and employment – a situation made even worse by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“There’s a collective goal from all the players and business leaders involved to give deprived young people the skills they need to prepare themselves for a brighter future.
“It is about making a difference to their lives because too often, those from socially and economically challenged communities face a real struggle to reach their potential, through no fault of their own. I’ve seen it growing up myself. There is a huge amount of work to do.”
Football For Change, which is being sponsored by Swinton Insurance and chaired by its CEO Ian Donaldson, was set up in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic due to the rising number of young people losing opportunities in education and employment, with those from disadvantaged backgrounds being disproportionately affected.
The charity will distribute grants to organisations supporting young people, in the most deprived areas of the country, with a focus on helping them into education, employment and training.
It has set an ambitious target of raising a £250,000 fund at a star-studded gala dinner at Liverpool’s Titanic Hotel on 13 November.
Players like Jack Harrison from Leeds and Bournemouth’s Dominic Solanke have also backed Football for Change which will use the football stars and business leaders involved, who have succeeded in the face of adversity, as role models to promote social mobility.
Swinton Insurance CEO, Ian Donaldson, said: “Football For Change has the power to change lives. It is gaining real momentum and is attracting support from business leaders and football stars from all over the country. It really is fantastic to have Toni’s support.”
Much-loved TV personality Matt Lucas is involved in the charitable initiative as are Mark Wright and Russell Howard who will host the fundraiser together in November.
For more information about how you can attend the gala dinner or get involved, please visit www.footballforchange.org.uk or contact firstname.lastname@example.org