Rangers Captain Lee Wallace has helped the Rangers Charity Foundation announce that its new National Charity Partner for Season 2017/18 is Scottish Autism.
The Foundation has pledged to raise £20,000 to help pay for the charity’s advice line and to create a social area within its new residential service, Founders House.
Lee commented: “It was a privilege to help launch the Foundation’s National Charity partnership for the season. I learned that there is approximately the same number of people with autism in Scotland as it takes to fill Ibrox Stadium – which really gives you a sense of how many people’s lives are impacted.
“The fans always get behind the Foundation and I know they will once again do everything they can to ensure this partnership makes a difference and is a huge success.”
Scottish Autism is a national charity that exists to help those diagnosed with autism to lead full and enriched lives and become valuable members of the community they live in. Established in 1968, it is the largest provider of autism-specific services in Scotland and is a leading authority and advocate for good autism practice.
The Scottish Autism Advice Line offers a direct first response to individuals and families often in crisis looking for information, advice and support. The Foundation’s donation will ensure that around 500 families across the country will be able to speak with an advisor trained and experienced in working with people on the autism spectrum.
Founders House, which is due to open in Alloa in 2018, will provide accommodation which meets the specific care needs of adults with autism from across Scotland who may live with other health related issues such as Parkinson’s, limited mobility or sight loss. The Rangers Charity Foundation will fund a new social area within the building as well as purchasing specialist furniture and equipment.
Karen Wilson, Fundraising Manager at Scottish Autism, said: “We are delighted to form this partnership with the Rangers Charity Foundation, which will significantly bolster our fundraising efforts for our Advice Line and Founders House in the year ahead.
“The Advice Line helps hundreds of families and individuals across Scotland every year, providing essential information and advice. This support is especially important in helping address the many questions and concerns that often arise when someone first receives a diagnosis.
“We are hugely grateful for this support and the platform it affords us to raise awareness and understanding of autism amongst the general public. We also applaud the wider progress made within the Rangers organisation to make football more inclusive to autistic people through initiatives such as Broxi’s Den.”
Rangers Charity Foundation Director Connal Cochrane commented: “We are proud to launch this new partnership with Scottish Autism and as we raise funds for this cause throughout the season we will also be sharing important messages about autism.
“We aim to help Scottish Autism enable people living with autism in Scotland to lead full and enriched lives and become valuable members of the community. Our supporters, through the Rangers Disability Matters Group, have 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, so I am sure they will join us in celebrating Scottish Autism as the Foundation’s new National Charity Partner.