The Shadow Secretary of State for Child Poverty and a Conservative peer sitting in the House of Lords have lent their support to an important initiative called Football For Change.
The social mobility movement was launched by Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold, Wolverhampton Wanderers captain Conor Coady and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher earlier this year.
And the not-for-profit enterprise, which is aiming to help school leavers affected by poverty and economic disadvantage, has now been given stellar parliamentary backing from Labour MP Wes Streeting and Conservative peer Lord Stuart Polak.
Streeting said: “For too many working class kids, the opportunities available to them are narrowing.
“Over the last 11 years, participation in competitive sport has fallen. Football For Change has enormous potential to give kids the chance to develop skills that set them up well for learning and for life, while making friends and having fun.
“We need it to succeed.”
Football For Change was founded in order to support young people who are struggling for employment and education opportunities by giving them training and funding chances to continue their academic journey.
Alexander-Arnold and Coady joined the likes of Carragher, Gary Neville, Gary Lineker and Steven Gerrard in supporting the important cause with players like André Gomes, Jack Harrison, Toni Duggan, Anthony Gordon and Dominic Solanke all adding their weight to the initiative.
Lord Polak added: “The importance of footballing heroes initiating and supporting charitable endeavours such as Football for Change can not be overstated.
“Trent, Conor and Jamie are to be praised – I know that this initiative will have amazing benefits for the young people of my home city of Liverpool and throughout the country.
“Football for Change turns the levelling up agenda from rhetoric into real action.”
Swinton Insurance sponsors Football For Change and the group is chaired by CEO Ian Donaldson while also being backed by a number of major businesses including Sedulo and DAM Health.
It is needed now more than ever due to the amount of disadvantaged young people who have seen any chance of a better life further torn from their grasp due to the effects of Covid-19 with opportunities decimated during the pandemic.
Alexander-Arnold said: “Football For Change is about giving everyone opportunities they deserve from a young age.
“Cities like Liverpool are more deprived than other areas and so it’s important for us to come together to support this. Everyone that has given it their backing so far is massive for us and this is only going to help improve young people’s lives by showing them a more positive path.
“To have the platform I’ve got now and reach out to so many people, be a role model for so many, it’s important to use that in the right way and get involved in initiatives like this.
“You see so much deprivation within cities like Liverpool, whether that be food, shelter, education or even opportunities just to play football. And that’s why initiatives like this are so important, to give people opportunities and give people an equal chance to leave their problems to one side and prosper.
“Football For Change is so easy to get behind while the benefits and impact you’ll have on young people will be absolutely massive.”
Football For Change will use the football stars and business leaders involved, who have succeeded in the face of adversity, as role models to promote social mobility.
They have also set an ambitious target of raising a £250,000 fund to help NEET young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into education, training and employment.
The new scheme will distribute grants to organisations supporting young people in the most deprived areas.
A star-studded gala dinner including the players involved will take place on November 13 at the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool.