Police and Fire Games announce charities

The 2013 World Police and Fire Games has announced the three official charity partners that will work alongside the company over the next 10 months.

Following a comprehensive selection process the charities are Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children (NICFC), Special Educational Needs Advice Service (SENAC) and SOS Bus NI.

John Tully, Chief Executive 2013 WPFG explains, “Whilst the main focus of the World Police and Fire Games is obviously on the sports and camaraderie amongst the global family of services personnel, there are also several other important community benefits that will be enjoyed as a result of Belfast hosting this international event.”

“It is a tradition that the WPFG host city partners with a charity or charities endorsing them to undertake a range of fundraising activities and raise awareness of the important charitable work they do. We decided to broaden this opportunity in Northern Ireland by seeking three charity partners; large, medium and small. As part of our selection process the charities partners had to demonstrate that any monies raised would be utilised in Northern Ireland and would benefit all communities. We received a large number of very worthy applications which were then assessed by a panel including the three services and an independent external representative.”

Mr Tully added, “With up to 10,000 athletes expected to register and a further 15,000 friends and family expected to travel with these competitors, not to mention the huge number of local people taking part as volunteers and spectators, the opportunities for the charities are significant. We will also be featuring the charities on the WPFG website and helping to promote their work in any way we can. This is a very exciting milestone for 2013 WPFG and we are looking forward to working closely with NICFC, SENAC and SOS Bus NI.”

Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children (NICFC) Chief Executive, Gillian Creevy, said, “The partnership with 2013 WPFG will be vital to NICFC as it embarks on an exciting period, as building work commences on our state-of-the-art therapeutic and respite centre for local children with cancer and their families. This purpose built facility at Shimna Valley, the first of its kind in Europe, will be part of the legacy left by the Games and help NICFC put Northern Ireland on the world map as the foremost provider of respite care for young people with cancer.”

Paul Mullan, Chair of SENAC, said, “SENAC is delighted to be part of this exciting global event because it will mean so much to the children and families we support. We help children with learning difficulties from autism and dyslexia through to Downs syndrome and hearing loss to get the educational support they need. We hope that by getting the right resources in their school years these children will go forward to become the best young adults they can be and that they will be released from years of underachievement and dependency in their later lives. Monies raised from the Games partnership will go towards the development of a new volunteer representation service as well as the development of education and information packs for parents.”

Chief Executive, SOS BUS NI, Joe Hyland said, “Our trained volunteers and medical staff are extremely proud to work alongside the Emergency Services and other Voluntary organisations on the streets of Northern Ireland. We have been working in the local community since 2007 and almost all of the 170,000 that have benefited from our special support have been emotionally and physically vulnerable young people. What a legacy to leave as the money raised from our partnership with ‘World Police and Fire Games’ will be a huge boost to the SOS team and enable us to further extend and improve our service.”