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Newcastle United and Michael Carrick Foundations team up to open Boot Room for disadvantaged children

Donations of unwanted and forgotten football boots and astro trainers will change the game for deprived young Newcastle United Foundation participants with the launch of Michael Carrick’s Boot Room.

Increasing numbers of children are arriving at free community football sessions delivered by Newcastle United Foundation wearing threadbare boots, school shoes or in some cases, wearing just socks on their feet.

To ensure football is an accessible sport for all, the official charity arm of Newcastle United has teamed up with Michael Carrick Foundation to provide drop-off locations courtesy of the Co-op supermarket for unused football boots and astro trainers.

Every single pair donated will be collected, cleaned and redistributed across the region to deserving children and teenagers unable to join their friends on the pitch without a pair of boots to call their own.

Jonny Larkin, Senior Project Coordinator at Newcastle United Foundation, said: “Sadly, it’s becoming more and more common for young people to arrive at our sessions with football boots that are literally falling apart or only held together with tape.

“We also see participants who share one pair of boots with their siblings – it can be one between two, three, four or more. There are others who arrive wearing socks with no shoes at all, or only have open-toed sandals, plimsolls or school shoes.

“We can usually find something for these children to do, like collecting bibs, but we can’t let them play football for their own safety.

“Through no fault of their own, these young people miss out on playing sport, making friends or just letting off steam because they don’t have the right footwear to protect their feet.

“Donations of boots are really invaluable to our participants and go a long way to making sure sport is accessible for everyone in our region.”

More than 1,000 pairs of football boots were donated across Greater Manchester and given to disadvantaged youngsters during the first Carrick’s Boot Room campaign last year.

The Wallsend-born midfielder turned first team coach at Manchester United founded the Michael Carrick Foundation in 2017 to help provide youngsters with empowering opportunities where they can feel safe, valued and inspired to achieve their full potential.

Following on from the success of the first Carrick’s Boot Room, Michael Carrick Foundation partnered with Newcastle United Foundation to launch the initiative across the North East throughout October.

A dozen drop-off locations will be signposted in Co-op supermarkets and sports venues from Gateshead to Wooler until October 31st.

Michael Carrick said: “We are really excited to be able to build on last year’s success in Manchester and expand the campaign to Tyne and Wear with the support of Newcastle United Foundation. It is essential that inadequate footwear is not a barrier to participation in sport and any donated boots really will make a huge difference to the children who need them moost.”

The Michael Carrick Foundation provides vital funding for Newcastle United Foundation Premier League Kicks sessions running each week in Byker and The Parks, North Shields.

Thanks to the generosity of partners of the Foundation like housing group Bernicia, even children 60 miles away from Newcastle in England’s northernmost town, Berwick, are able to access Kicks sessions and will also benefit from the Boot Room initiative.

Project Coordinator Jonny Larkin added: “We are beyond grateful for every pair of boots that come in – our young people might only own one or two pairs of shoes themselves so this has a real and positive impact on them.”

Co-op supermarket Boot Room donation drop-off points:

  • Alnwick (Bondgate Within, Alnwick, NE66 IJD)
  • Bedlington (Netherton Lane, Bedlington, NE22 6DZ)
  • Hexham (West Street, Hexham, NE46 3BH)
  • Low Fell (Durham Road, Gateshead, NE9 5EX)
  • Morpeth (Loansdean, Morpeth, NE61 2FD)
  • Ponteland (Broadway, Ponteland, Newcastle, NE20 9PW)
  • Prudhoe (Oakfield Terrace, Prudhoe, NE42 5HF)
  • Seahouses (Main Street, Seahouses, NE68 7RF)
  • Wooler (Market Place, Wooler, NE71 6LH)
  • Wylam (Main Road, Wylam, NE41 8DN)

Sports venue Boot Room donation drop-off points:

  • Gateshead (Eslington Pavilion, Bolam Street, Gateshead, NE8 2TQ)
  • The Parks (Howdon Road, North Shields, NE29 6TL)

For more information on how to donate unused football or astro boots
Email jonny.larkin@nufc.co.uk

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