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Entrepreneur Helen McArdle CBE Pledges Family Support To Newcastle United Foundation

A family dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults across the North East are donating £500,000 to support the Newcastle United Foundation’s future in a purpose-built city centre facility.

Guests including Foundation Patron Jonathan Edwards CBE, Trustees Lee Charnley and John Marshall and the Lord Mayor of Newcastle Councillor David Cook were among attendees at St. James’ Park on Thursday, hearing more about the charity’s unique partnership with the McArdle family.

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Helen McArdle CBE is best known for her work in the North East’s care industry, having founded Helen McArdle Care in the 1980s and later, Kids 1stNurseries. In 2015, Helen was awarded a CBE for services to the care home industry and her surrounding community.

Helen is dedicated to creating a lasting legacy in the region, giving generous donations to worthy causes, which now includes a grant to Newcastle United’s official charity.

The substantial donation will be ringfenced for the Foundation’s capital project to transform former community centre Murray House, in the west end of Newcastle, into a state-of-the-art sports, education and health and wellbeing facility.

Helen said: “The Newcastle United Foundation was introduced to me by my son, Sean, some time ago, and my grandson, Luca, had his own experience with the Foundation when he used to attend football sessions. So, choosing to support the Murray House project was very much a family decision.

“I’m delighted to hear about the new building for the Foundation as so many things are environmental and if you’re in a purpose-built facility, it’s a nice feel-good factor and it gives you that ambition to do well.

“The Foundation has been particularly interesting because with my children being involved with the charity, I’d like to think that I’m leaving a legacy. One day I hope they will take over the mantle of looking after the Foundation – in any way that they can.”

The Foundation and the McArdle family have enjoyed a long-standing relationship since Helen began supporting the charity’s disability football programmes in 2014.

Sarah Medcalf, Senior Development Manager at Newcastle United Foundation, said: “It has been a pleasure to welcome Helen and her family to the Foundation and their support over the years has been vital to helping others across the region.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for us all at the charity with our Murray House project and we are very proud to have the McArdle’s support for our future, just a goal-kick away from St. James’ Park.

“The project is a culmination of years of hard work, building on Newcastle’s unrivalled passion for football and the Foundation’s proven track record in coaching, mentoring and educating individuals of all ages through sport.

“The centre will be a vibrant place for thousands of young people and their families to access new opportunities and we look forward to the McArdle family being a key part of our future.”

Among Foundation Patrons, Trustees, and staff joining the McArdle family at St. James’ Park, participants also shared their positive experiences of the charity’s programmes which reach more than 58,000 people each year across the North East.

Sarah added: “With this donation, we are now three quarters of the way to fundraising the amount we need to transform Murray House and Helen hopes that by highlighting her support with this event that other generous individuals and businesses will come forward.

“If we’re able to fund the gap, we anticipate bringing the project to life in autumn next year with the hub itself opening in autumn 2021.”

To find out more about the Murray House project and how you or your business can support it

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