Charity aims for big league with Norwich City v Chelsea sponsorship

A Norwich-based charity is getting tactical to raise its profile when Norwich City face Chelsea this Saturday.

Care for Children is sponsoring the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road and aims to reach the big league in telling people about its work rehoming orphans throughout Asia.

With matchday programme advertising and stadium announcements, the charity also hopes to tap into a global audience expected to top 800 million – the majority in Asia.

The sponsorship package was donated by a group of US-based entrepreneurs for use as a global platform after they were inspired by Care for Children's work.

Former Canary Darren Huckerby is backing the project, as is adventurer Bear Grylls, who has recorded a message for the Care for Children website.

Thomas Abbott, the charity's assistant director, said major companies had been asked to donate a slot on the LED pitchside hoardings to raise awareness of the charity among the hundreds of millions of Asian viewers.

He said: 'We are a young and pioneering charity, and are always looking at alternative ways of doing things.

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'This is about getting exposure, and the Premier League is a quite incredible brand. This is a way of engaging people with the work we are doing, and bridging between Norwich, Norfolk and Asia.'

Founded in 1998 by Norwich City fan Robert Glover, Care for Children has offices in Beijing and St George's Street, Norwich, and delivers training and support to families. It has already helped place 250,000 orphaned Chinese children back into Chinese families.

'Football is a global language, but this is not something out of the blue,' said Mr Abbott. 'We have already worked with Liverpool and Manchester United Soccer Schools in China, and Norwich City have donated kits to our projects.

'Awareness and fundraising go hand in hand. The majority of the television audience is likely to be Asia, so this is an opportunity to promote our work.

'As a charity we are proud of our heritage, but we also have an impact on a global scale.'

To donate �5 to Care for Children, text 'CFCA05 �5' to 70070.