Albert Bartlett have joined forces with AR26 Charity, founded and led by Scotland Captain Andy Robertson MBE, to bring free fun, food and football to young people aged 6-14 years in and around Airdrie.
Andy and his wife created AR26 Charity in 2020 to create chances for children and young people across Scotland, to close the gap on disadvantage and level the playing field – supporting those all-important first chances in life. The charity aims to do this via three core programmes delivered across Scotland: Football for All, Hope for Youths and AR26 Experiences.
The Football for All programme launched in April 2021 in five regions across Scotland appearing high on the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation: Dundee, Inverclyde, Glasgow North, Glasgow South and North Ayrshire. AR26 believe every child should have the chance to play football with no barriers, the three biggest barriers being: affordability, accessibility and anxieties around joining a traditional football club set up.
The programme delivers free weeknight fun and football in the heart of the communities it is delivered in, where the on and off the pitch education and engagement is of equal importance. The weeknight sessions are complemented by free, fun, food and football school holiday camps. As well as benefiting participants the programme also supports families and the wider community by taking young people off the street in a free, safe and engaging activity led by role model coaches during peak times of boredom and anti-social behaviour. The provision also brings volunteering and job opportunities to local residents and includes third party organisations to engage with the programme to showcase their offering and further support participants and their families.
Following the overwhelming uptake of the programme and the successful impact, the charity has been inundated with requests for the need for this provision in further communities across Scotland. By 2026, the charity aims to have 26 Football for All sites across Scotland. A further five regions have recently been launched doubling the current regions to ten: Edinburgh, North Lanarkshire, Perth, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire. Only possible through further sponsorship and support, AR26 are delighted Albert Bartlett are sponsoring the programme in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire.
The support received from Albert Bartlett will support an average of 80 6-14 years each week via free Tuesday night football. It will also support around 70 families with free, fun, food and football across Summer, October and Easter holidays, providing a lifeline for many families.
Amanda Nisanci, AR26 Charity, Head of Partnerships said:
“Having Albert Bartletts support in allowing us to launch a new Football for All region in Airdrie is extremely exciting. From the outset their commitment to their local community is inspiring and this forward-thinking partnership will allow us to go above and beyond the frontline programme itself by providing that further wrap-around support service to our beneficiaries’ families. Albert Bartlett is fully invested and already bringing creative ideas on how together we can further support our beneficiaries and their families as well as fully immersing Albert Bartlett staff in the partnership. We are thrilled to be launching the partnership at our Summer holiday Football for All Camp in Airdrie and excited for the year ahead.”
Alex Bartlett, Albert Bartlett, said:
“We are delighted to be supporting this fantastic new initiative in our hometown of Airdrie, as we celebrate our 75th year it is exciting to still work on new projects that enhance the community that has been at the heart of our business since we started trading back in 1948. The AR26 team, headed by Andy Robertson MBE, do a fantastic job, and truly makes a difference to the individuals and communities they engage with, and we are excited to see what the team deliver in our local area. Through our new partnership we will not only support young people to get involved in sport and healthy eating activities but will also showcase career opportunities available to young people in our business and across the wider food industry, as well as giving our own team the chance to get involved with volunteering throughout the year. We are excited to kick start the partnership at the summer holiday Football for All camps in July and look forward to seeing it build in the months ahead.”
To get involved in the Football for All programme or find our more please visit www.ar26.org.uk
You can follow the work of AR26 Charity across all social media platforms @ar26charity.