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In 2005, in response to a suggestion from an exiled fan in Canada, Dundee United FC offered a facility which allowed supporters to sponsor season tickets for disadvantaged children. The Club pledged to match any funds raised from fans in this way to ensure that the number of season tickets available under this scheme was doubled. For season 2013-14, over 270 season tickets were allocated to children and young people from across Dundee, together with a provision for their adult supervisors and carers.
Over the nine year life of this project, around £350,000 worth of season tickets have been made available through donations and fund raising from individual local and exiled fans, supporters’ organisations, fans’ messageboards and from the Club itself which has matched £1 for £1 the generosity of the fans.
The tickets are circulated through Dundee's Integrated Children and Young Person's Services, both within the city council and the voluntary sector to ensure that the most disadvantaged children in the community benefit, giving many of these young people an opportunity they might not have, to see their local football heroes in action. Those benefiting include children who are living away from home in residential or foster care, those who have previously been ‘looked after’, those who are young carers themselves and generally, children and carers who would not otherwise be able to attend matches.
The feedback from this scheme has been extremely positive, with workers and carers reporting that children and young people were getting a great deal from the scheme. Indeed in 2013, the scheme received a letter of commendation from the Lord Provost.
It is also important to point out that, in total, Dundee United FC issue over 20,000 free tickets to local school children over the course of each season and operates many other not for profit community initiatives including community and schools coaching schemes, healthy life style projects and adult learning and job training courses to name but a few. The Club is also actively involved in anti racism and anti sectarianism seminars. United For All was formed to successfully expand the Club’s involvement in these areas.
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