Former England striker and BBC football pundit Alan Shearer has today launched his charity the Alan Shearer Foundation, which hopes to raise £250,000 a year.

The foundation aims to providing funding and expansion for the already operational Alan Shearer Activity Centre which is a free recreational, sensory and social facility for disabled children and adults, their families, friends, schools and groups. It also hopes to assist the funding of the The Alan Shearer Short Break Centre which offers short breaks, at no cost to the participants, for people with complex disabilities.

“This is a very special and proud day for my family and me. I have worked very closely with St Cuthberts Care for the last six years or so and I have supported the charity in developing two specialist facilities for people with profound disabilities.” Alan said in a statement.

The launch of the fundraising foundation was supported by ITV personalities Ant and Dec who have joined the charity as patrons.

One half of the double act, Ant McPartlin, told BBC Look North, “It’s Alan Shearer. And we have seen the work the foundation has done in the past. We have been down here before, we have taken a look around.

“And when Alan asked us to be patrons of it we jumped at the chance because it is such a brilliant cause.”

The launch took place in Newcastle the city which is ‘home’ to all three of the big names backing the foundation and where Shearer became a football legend playing for Newcastle United.

In 2006, he donated more than £300,000 from his Newcastle United testimonial match to the St Cuthberts Care charity which he has become heavily involved with.

“I have witnessed first-hand the desperate plight of many families caring for severely disabled children and adults.” Alan adds, “These families face enduring emotional, exhausting and very often financial challenges every day and I just felt I had to do more and knew I could do more. This is why I have launched my Foundation and I sincerely hope it will help to ease some of these difficulties.”

In 2011, at a cost of over £100,000 a year, The Alan Shearer Activity Centre offered its sensory facilities to disabled members completely free of charge. At the same time, its sister service, The Alan Shearer Short Break Centre, offered over £30,000 worth of free short breaks to people with complex disabilities.

More details and donation information can be found here

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