Family taking on sixth Great North Run to keep Foundation's cerebral palsy sessions running for Matthew

A family who hold Newcastle United Foundation close to their hearts are taking on the Great North Run for the sixth consecutive year to continue supporting disability football sessions for their son.

Matthew first attended the Foundation's Cerebral Palsy Football Club as a child and immediately found his passion for sport. The sessions quickly became the highlight of his week and now, aged 17, he still loves each session just as much as his first.

For Matthew's parents, the support, social opportunities, and a chance to play sport in a safe and welcoming environment has been invaluable.

Nicola, Matthew's mum, said: "Most people have a charity that they hold close to them and for our family, that has been Newcastle United Foundation.

"When Matthew was younger, all his friends attended local football clubs and they just weren't accessible for children with disabilities so he was missing out on that.

"One day, I saw a poster advertising free disability sessions for children and adults operated by Newcastle United Foundation and after attending our first session, we haven't looked back.

"Matthew has attended the cerebral palsy football session every single week and the growth in his confidence and ability has been incredible. We wouldn't be without the Foundation and the staff - they're all amazing and constantly go above and beyond for everyone they meet."

To show their support for Newcastle United Foundation, the Spoors family, from Whickham, Gateshead, have completed six back-to-back Great North Run events, fundraising thousands of pounds over the years for the official charity arm of Newcastle United.

And this year is no different, with Steven Spoors, Matthew's dad, taking on the 13.1 mile course at the 40th anniversary of the Great North Run on Sunday, September 12.

He'll be joining a team of 44 runners completing the world's biggest and best half-marathon in support of Newcastle United Foundation. These generous fundraisers will be donning eye-catching black and white striped running vests for the occasion, which are sponsored by long-standing Foundation partners, Ryder Architecture.

Dozens of Ryder colleagues have committed to raise money for the Foundation and collectively, the team expects to pull in close to a staggering £15,000 for the Foundation.

Nicola said: "We know how important fundraising is - a few years ago, a lack of funding for the cerebral palsy sessions meant the programme was in jeopardy and we couldn't lose that.

"We raised as much money as we could, committed to Great North Runs in the past, did the St. James' Park zip slide, held a beach party at our local pub - we'll do anything to ensure these lifeline sessions won't end.

"Steven is still carrying on with this year's run, despite him likely needing new hips from years of five-aside! He'll do it however he can - if he has to walk, crawl or run, he'll do it for the Foundation, and we'll be there to cheer him on."

Newcastle United Foundation offer a limited number of charity places for the Great North Run each year, with fundraisers directly supporting meaningful community work reaching 66,000 people across the North East.

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