Rangers Charity Foundation Donates £20K to Partner Scottish Autism
Rangers Connor Goldson presented Scottish Autism with a donation of £20,000 (22,400 Euro) from the Rangers Charity Foundation, marking the end of their year-long partnership which has seen the Foundation significantly increase awareness of the lifelong developmental condition among supporters.
The money will allow Scottish Autism to continue to provide invaluable advice and support to anyone affected by autism via the charity’s Advice Line and will pay for furniture and equipment in the social area of Founders House, a new residential service for autistic adults who may live with other health related issues such as Parkinson’s, limited mobility or sight loss.
Connor Goldson commented: “I am honoured to present Scottish Autism with £20,000 from the Rangers Charity Foundation. The partnership has helped raise some brilliant awareness of autism and as a footballer it is encouraging to know that more people will now get the opportunity to play the game through the Foundation’s Autism Football programme. It is also great to see the ways the fans supported the partnership by taking on fundraising events such as the Big Ibrox Spinathon and Blue All Over Fun Run – they and the Foundation are a credit to the Club.”
Standing ovations for educational video
One of the major highlights of the partnership saw Scottish Autism have an eye-catching presence at Ibrox for the SPFL match against Dundee on 7 April. The charity’s mascot Wallace the Bear joined Broxi as the players warmed up in Scottish Autism branded t-shirts, electronic advertising messages highlighted the charity’s services around the Stadium, supporters were given information leaflets and a short film was shown on the big screens before the game and at half-time.
‘The Journey’, which features a cameo by Rangers legend Mark Hateley, depicts the journey made by Jack, a young autistic Rangers fan, as he comes to see his favourite team play at Ibrox. Based on the real life experiences of autistic people and their families, the short film received a standing ovation from supporters within the Stadium.
Over the season, the partnership also saw the Rangers Charity Foundation promote Scottish Autism’s ‘A is for Autism’ campaign, take part in Autism Awareness Month and launch a new football programme for children aged between nine and 12 who are autistic.
“These donations will make a huge difference”
Karen Wilson, Fundraising Manager, Scottish Autism, commented: “Working in partnership with the Rangers Charity Foundation over Season 2017/18 has afforded us with a fantastic opportunity to help increase accessibility for autistic people and their families attending a football match, whilst helping to raise public awareness and understanding of autism. We are hugely grateful to the Rangers Charity Foundation and their supporters, who have been incredibly supportive throughout the duration of the partnership raising funds for our Autism Advice Line and Founders House, as well as taking on personal fundraising challenges and supporting our initiatives and events. These donations will help make a huge difference to the hundreds of autistic people across Scotland who access our services daily.”
Foundation Director Connal Cochrane added: “We have been delighted to partner with Scottish Autism over Season 2017/18 – raising funds for and raising the profile of the charity and autism among the Rangers Family. Our supporters, through the Rangers Disability Matters Group, previously raised thousands of pounds to create Broxi’s Den at Ibrox, a facility that allows supporters with complex learning difficulties and sensory challenges such as autism to enjoy matches at the Stadium.
“Our supporters have reacted brilliantly to this partnership and have been incredibly supportive by sharing information about autism and Scottish Autism’s work and initiatives. The Club and Foundation aim to be as inclusive as possible – we want everyone who wants to, to be able to enjoy football and our autism football programme will be a fitting lasting legacy of the partnership as we attempt to achieve that goal.”