One of the UK’s leading family support charities, HOME-START, has been confirmed as the official charity partner of the Scottish League Cup, presented by Utilita Energy, for the remainder of the 2015/16 season.
The Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) and Utilita Energy announced the new partnership at the draw for the semi-final of the competition at Hampden Park on Monday November 9.
Utilita Energy has worked closely with the charity in recent years on a number of fund-raising initiatives and this new tie-up further strengthens their relationship.
Rob Parkinson, chief executive of Home-Start UK, said: "Home-Start volunteers are changing the lives of families across Scotland, and we are delighted that our work is being supported by the SPFL and Utilita.
“Home-Start depends on the support of local communities to help families and fund their work. I am sure this new partnership will help to raise awareness and support for them. I also hope that it will mean more families who need our support know that we are there to help them.”
SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster said: “Anything that can support and improve the lives of vulnerable families in Scotland is a very positive thing.
“The SPFL - partnering with Utilita for this season’s Scottish League Cup – and working closely with Home-Start, is further evidence of the positive and powerful force that football can be in society.”
Utilita Energy CEO Bill Bullen added: “The work Home-Start does for some of our most vulnerable families is both vital and humbling. We have seen this first-hand.
“Charities like Home-Start need all the help they can get and we are only too delighted to bring them on board to help raise their profile in Scotland. We hope – and believe – Scottish football fans will respond to Home-Start’s magnificent work.”
Home-Start launched in Scotland in 1984 and there are now 32 local Home-Starts working in communities across the country. Last year they supported almost 2,500 families and nearly 5,000 children in Scotland.
Recently the charity announced it is expanding its work in Renfrewshire to help more families throughout Inverclyde. The charity has also just appointed a new director for Scotland, Shelagh Young, who will start work on 23 November.
The SPFL, Utilita Energy and Home-Start are planning a series of activities up to and including the showpiece Hampden final on March 13, 2016.