Blackburn Rovers and Blackburn Rovers Community Trust have teamed up with local charity Secret Santa to fund the new ‘Rovers Golden Awards’.
Both the club and the Community Trust have donated £1,000 to enable the charity to expand the scheme, which hopes to help 1,000 disadvantaged children this Christmas.
The generous festive gesture will see two school or college students from underprivileged backgrounds receive £250 each to help them as they enter the world of adulthood.
A not-for-profit organisation, Secret Santa was set up in 2017 by husband and wife team Phil and Karen Boulding.
In its first year, it smashed its target of providing Christmas sacks for 700 children across Blackburn with Darwen.
This year, the appeal has gone one step further by introducing the Golden Awards for young people aged 15 to 17.
Gary Robinson, Chief Executive of Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, said: “The Trust is fully committed to helping all members of the local community regardless of gender, ethnicity or background.
"We want to make a positive difference to improve life chances for our underprivileged young people and the Secret Santa Golden Awards is the perfect platform for us to deliver this commitment.
"We are delighted to be part of the initiative.”
Echoing Gary's comments, Steve Waggott, Chief Executive of Blackburn Rovers, added: “We feel privileged to be asked to be part of Secret Santa.
"At Blackburn Rovers, we believe that all school leavers - whether going on to further education, entering the world of training or the workplace - deserve a good start in their new walk of life.
"Hopefully, those who are less well-off will achieve this through the Rovers Golden Awards.”
Phil Boulding, Chief Executive of Secret Santa, added: “We are over the moon to welcome Blackburn Rovers and Blackburn Rovers Community Trust to Secret Santa and look forward to working with both organisations on this very important feature of our charity.
"The aim of the Golden Awards is to help our young people rise from their current position and build a brighter future for themselves.
"The grants will be known as the Rovers Golden Awards and will be given this Christmas to boys and girls.
"All money remaining from the donations will allow Secret Santa to continue to help 1,000 people across Blackburn with Darwen.
“Parents, grandparents and carers will be invited to nominate their child or children for one of the awards and a panel of experts will select the winning youngsters.”
For further information about the awards or the Secret Santa appeal, or if you would like to help by sponsoring your own Golden Award(s), please email firstname.lastname@example.org.