John Bishop, Eméli Sande and sports stars team up for Football For Change fundraising lunch

Comedian and broadcaster John Bishop joined forces with music superstar Emeli Sandé over the Easter weekend to raise money for Football  For Change – the charitable initiative launched in 2021 by footballers including Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Coady and Jamie Carragher. 

Football For Change aims to lift young people from disadvantaged backgrounds out of poverty by providing life-changing opportunities in education and employment.

Since launching, Football For Change, which is sponsored by Swinton Insurance, has sent over 80 disadvantaged young people from Merseyside on a month-long education and sports retreat to Texas, helped fund the development of a new education hub at the Brunswick Youth Community Centre in Bootle and has partnered with Local Solutions to provide job training to homeless young people. The charitable initiative is set to allocate a further £150,000 in funding to projects focused on young people this month. 

Big names from world football including Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, Leeds United star Jack Harrisson, Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Match Of The Day presenter, Gary Lineker are also supporters of the initiate as is Sir Rod Stewart who attended the inaugural Football For Change gala in Liverpool in November 2021. 

At the lunch, John Bishop hosted a Q&A with footballers Trent Alexander-Arnold, Conor Coady and Jamie Carragher while Read All About It songstress Eméli Sande performed to the room of celebrities and business leaders at Liverpool’s Titanic Hotel. 

More than £100,000 was raised in a sensational auction with lots donated by David Beckham, Noel Gallagher and former Everton and Manchester United ace Wayne Rooney. 

Jamie Carragher said: 

“This has been another incredible Football For Change event with footballers, celebrities and business leaders getting together to raise money for young people facing some of the most extreme obstacles to building better futures. It is great to see Football For Change already having an impact in communities and I really hope we can continue to make a difference. We have done quite a bit already but there is still a lot for us to do. 

“Too many have seen opportunities taken away from them in recent years. We’ve got to level the playing field so they all have the same life chances.”

Ian Donaldson, CEO of Swinton Insurance and co-chair of Football For Change, added: 

“I keep saying that Football For Change is unique because it is a powerful collaboration between business leaders and footballers which is something that has not been done before now. It is making a big difference and we are already seeing that from the projects we’re helping. The money we’ve raised at this event will allow us to help even more people. 

“I am proud to be the co-chairman of Football For Change and I am pleased that Swinton Insurance is the headline sponsor of important events like this.”