Stars of Soccer Aid for Unicef Welcomed to 10 Downing Street for Reception with Prime Minister Theresa May

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Watch Soccer Aid for Unicef on Sunday 10th June from 6:30pm on ITV

Tickets for the match are on sale now. Visit manutd.com/socceraid or call 0161 444 2018

All public donations to Soccer Aid for Unicef will be matched by the UK government

Wednesday 6th June 2018 – Today the Prime Minister welcomed the stars of this year’s Soccer Aid for Unicef, including former Olympic athletes Usain Bolt and Soccer Aid co-founder Robbie Williams to a reception at 10 Downing Street. The event celebrated the commitment by the UK government to match every £1 donated by the public through its UK Aid Match scheme, doubling the difference for children in danger around the world.

Soccer Aid for Unicef star players including Sir Mo Farah and Olly Murs joined the Prime Minister to celebrate change made possible by the generous donations of the British public, who have previously raised more than £24 million for Soccer Aid for Unicef since the first match in 2006.

The reception also welcomed young reporter Kendra, aged 14, who travelled to see how donations to Soccer Aid for Unicef can help children in Lesotho, school children and Unicef UK Children’s Champions – members of the public who campaign in support of children’s rights and UK aid in their communities.

The garden event offered guests the opportunity to engage with and learn about the work done by Unicef through its partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID). Interactive stalls included a School in a Box, which helps at least 40 children continue their education in times of emergency and conflict, VR headsets showing childhood around world, and an opportunity to take part in the Soccer Aid Playground Challenge alongside school children.

Soccer Aid World XI captain Usain Bolt said: “We as the Soccer Aid team are honoured to have met UK Prime Minister Theresa May at Downing Street today to celebrate the vital work made possible by donations to Soccer Aid for Unicef and the UK government, who are matching all donations this year pound for pound.”

Robbie Williams, co-founder Of Soccer Aid for Unicef said:Soccer Aid is always such a special event to be a part of, and seeing the real difference made by the money raised really helps the importance of the game hit home. I hope we can push the total even higher this year to help even more children around the world.”

The Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Today’s reception is a chance to celebrate charity workers and the kindness of those who help raise money including the Soccer Aid for Unicef participants who have previously raised £24 million to support vulnerable children around the world.”

“We could not have done this without the extraordinary generosity of people in the UK and their determination to support others in need.”

Unicef UK Executive Director Mike Penrose said: “We are hugely proud of Soccer Aid for Unicef and the place it holds in the heart of the British public. Time and time again we have proved what a generous nation we are, and with the UK government matching public donations for Soccer Aid for Unicef pound-for-pound this year, together we can make double the difference for children.”

International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, said: “UK aid will continue to work to make the world – and ultimately the UK – a better, safer and more prosperous place and through UK Aid Match we are giving the British public a say in how the aid budget is spent. We will be matching all UK public donations to Soccer Aid for Unicef pound-for-pound up to £5 million.

“I want to say a huge thank you to the British Public whose fundraising efforts are helping save lives around the world. Today’s reception is about them.”

Soccer Aid for Unicef features an impressive line-up of celebrities and former sportsmen this year, including: Robbie Williams, Usain Bolt, Sir Mo Farah, Eric Cantona, Gordon Ramsay, Olly Murs, Michael Sheen, Mark Wright, Brendan Cole, Joe Wicks, Rak-Su, Clarence Seedorf, Robert Pirès, Yaya Toure, Jaap Stam, Patrick Kluivert, Edwin van der Sar, Kevin Pietersen, David Seaman, Dan Carter, Phil Neville, Jamie Redknapp, Danny Murphy and Robbie Fowler.

You can also join the Soccer Aid team and try your luck at the Blindfold Keepy-Uppy Challenge to see how many keepy-uppies you can do blindfolded. Share your videos with your social media followers and get them to donate to Soccer Aid for Unicef with the link unicef.uk/keepitup

The Soccer Aid for Unicef match will take place at Old Trafford on Sunday 10th June, just four days before the FIFA World Cup in Russia begins. Tickets are on sale now and the game will be broadcast live on ITV. Kick-off is scheduled for 20:00 BST.

Soccer Aid for Unicef is the original England vs. Soccer Aid World XI charity match. It was launched and co-founded in 2006 by Unicef UK Ambassador Robbie Williams and Jonathan Wilkes and has previously featured A-list stars such as Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, Mike Myers and Niall Horan, plus footballing royalty including Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo and Ronaldinho.

Unicef, the world’s leading organisation for children, has joined forces with ITV to make the pro-celebrity football match bigger and better than ever, with more potential to raise money and vital support for children in danger. Soccer Aid for Unicef is produced by Initial, part of Endemol Shine UK, for ITV.

100% of all public donations to Soccer Aid for Unicef will be doubled by the UK government, up to a total of £5 million, and will go towards supporting the vital work protecting children around the world. So far £24 million has already been raised through Soccer Aid over the last 12 years.

Tickets for the Soccer Aid for Unicef football match on Sunday 10th June 2018 at Old Trafford are available now at www.manutd.com/socceraid or by calling 0161 444 2018 with tickets priced between £10 and £50.

Visit socceraid.org.uk to find out more and follow @SoccerAid on Twitter and Instagram, ‘Soccer Aid’ on Facebook and use the hashtag #SoccerAid for regular player and match updates.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information on Soccer Aid for Unicef please call 0207 375 6030 or email media@unicef.org.uk

To buy tickets for Soccer Aid for Unicef match at Old Trafford on Sunday 10th June 2018, please visit www.manutd.com/socceraid or call 0161 444 2018. Calls will be charged at your local rate.

Ticket prices range from £20 to £50 for adults, with under 16’s priced at £10 and over 65’s half price on all seats. Hospitality packages also available.

Ticket sales are not eligible for UK Aid Match.

To donate to Soccer Aid for Unicef – and receive UK Aid Match – please visit: http://www.unicef.org.uk/donate/socceraid-for-unicef

About Soccer Aid Productions Limited

The multi-stakeholder project of Soccer Aid for Unicef will be run by newly-formed Soccer Aid Productions, a collaboration between Unicef UK and Triple S Events part of the Triple S Sports & Entertainment Group.

About ITV Responsibility

ITV, as an integrated producer broadcaster, creates, owns and distributes high-quality content on multiple platforms. We operate the largest commercial family of channels in the UK and deliver our content through traditional television broadcasting as well as on demand via the ITV Hub. For more information please visit itvplc.com.

ITV’s social purpose is to use its influence on popular culture to create positive change. Our on-screen social cause strategy is focussed on health and wellbeing, to inspire, engage and empower people to make a difference to their own and other people’s health. For more information please visit itvresponsibility.com.

About Initial

Initial is one of the UK’s leading entertainment content creators and producers. Part of Endemol Shine UK, the UK’s largest television production group, Initial is behind hit shows such as Big Brother, Tenable and Total Wipeout. Initial has been the producer of Soccer Aid since its inception in 2006 and has produced all 6 events for ITV

About UK Aid Match

Donations to Soccer Aid for Unicef made by the UK public from Friday 6th April until Friday 6th July 2018 will be matched by the UK government up to £5 million. UK Aid Match funding will go towards UNICEF programmes in Eswatini (previously Swaziland) and Lesotho.

The UK Aid Match scheme is run by the Department for International Development, and brings charities, the British public and the UK government together to collectively change the lives of some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. For every £1 donated to a selected charity appeal, the government will match it, to enable the charity to go further in changing and saving lives.