Northampton Saints have created a new Benevolent Fund which aims to provide direct support to past and current players and staff members – as well as their immediate dependents – during times of need.
The Fund is designed to help individuals faced with challenges including (but not limited to) injury, illness, disability, and bereavement by providing financial support or signposting other organisations which may also be able to help.
Sitting as part of the Northampton Saints Foundation (registered charity 1176345), the Benevolent Fund will be managed by a dedicated committee which has been appointed by the Club and chaired by Paul Shields, Saints’ Head of Recruitment and Retention.
Other committee members include Catherine Deans (Managing Director of Northampton Saints Foundation), Mark Darbon (Saints’ Chief Executive), Andy Tresias (Operations Manager) and former players Paul Grayson, Phil Pask and Harvey Thorneycroft.
The Fund will be underpinned in future by dedicated fundraising activity – but, to begin, the Club and the Foundation have both committed to initial five-figure contributions to ensure the scheme is initiated with a healthy balance.
“Re-engaging with our former players has been a real priority for the Club in recent seasons, and we’re delighted to take this important step to support our Saints alumni in times of need,” said Darbon.
“We have seen a number of former Saints and staff members tackling life-changing illnesses or injuries, so this idea was born out of a desire to be able to do more for them.”Mark Darbon, Northampton Saints Chief Executive
“Past and current players (of which there are now well over 2000) as well as any member of staff who worked for the Club for at least a year, are eligible for grants and we hope that we can start to make a real impact immediately for anyone who needs help.”
Catherine Deans, Managing Director of Northampton Saints Foundation, added: “While both the Club and Foundation have committed to making a contribution to help launch the Benevolent Fund, the scheme will be largely underpinned by donations and other fundraising activities.
“I would urge anyone who knows of any former Saints player or employee who might be in need of help to contact the Club, or if you would be interested in helping to fundraise for the Benevolent Fund, please contact Paul Shields at [email protected].”
All donations to the Benevolent Fund will be restricted solely for use of the Benevolent Fund. No donation (or part of any donation) will transfer to Northampton Saints or to Northampton Saints Foundation.
“I am delighted to be involved for the launch of this new Benevolent Fund for former players and staff members of Northampton Saints,” said Paul Grayson. “We’re looking forward to helping as many people as we can through this important initiative, and excited to kick off our fundraising efforts over the months ahead.”
To find out about volunteering/fundraising opportunities, please contact Paul Shields at the email address above. Donations can also be made directly to the Benevolent Fund HERE.