Police in the North East will don their boots and kick-off a football tournament to score money for a leading charity that helps poorly children.
Officers and teams are hoping to net cash to support Newcastle’s Bubble Foundation, which raises funds for babies and children born without any immune system.
The Bubble Foundation funds medical equipment, toys, educations aids and research to ensure the welfare of the children and their families.
It is the second time Newcastle Central Neighbourhood Sgt Michelle Jahangiri has organised the five-a-side tournament.
Sgt Jahangiri was so impressed with the Bubble Foundation’s work to support the region’s Bubble Unit, at the Great North Children’s Hospital, that she was inspired to set up the events to raise much needed funds.
She said: “Last year’s tournament was a great success and we’re hoping for the same this year. There’s teams from emergency services and the community and it’s a great example of how everyone works together to raise money for a good cause.
“We’ve built up some great community links with young people and police officers during the organisation of these events, which is extremely positive.
“I’ve worked closely with staff at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and the Bubble Foundation and during my duties have met many incredibly brave young people and their families who rely on the services the Foundation provides.
“The event takes place next month and I’d urge anyone who wants to play to contact me as soon as possible, and I’d urge as many people as possible to attend on the day or to make a donation to support a great cause.”
Schoolboy James Turnbull was diagnosed with chronic granulomatous disease, a genetic condition affecting the immune system, and needed a bone marrow transplant two years ago to cure him of the illness.
To mark the launch of the football event, the 11-year-old was given a guided tour around Pilgrim Street police station in Newcastle city centre, where he got to have a look in a police car, try on an officer’s hat and jacket, and see inside the force’s CCTV room.
He said: “It was great. It really liked the CCTV room as we could see what was going on in the city centre. I feel good and can do everything that my friends can do.”
James, who has a twin sister, Emily, would not be here today if it was not for the outstanding work of experts at the Bubble Unit.
His mum Tracy said: “James is doing really well and it is so important that people support the Bubble Foundation as much as they can as it does an amazing job.”
Last year, The Journal launched a campaign to generate desperately-needed funds for the Bubble Foundation and a host of celebrities, including Irish singer Brian McFadden, have backed the scheme.
This year’s football tournament will takes place in at the Walker Activity Dome in Wharrier Street, Walker, Newcastle.
Teams taking part include Northumbria Police, from neighbourhood and response teams to a team of chief inspectors, and teams from the College of Policing, the Police Federation, North East Ambulance Service and Asian All Stars, who won last year’s tournament.
Trophies for the event have been donated by the Northumbria Police Benevolent Fund.
Sgt Jahangiri said: “Last year’s tournament was a great success and we’re hoping for the same this year.”
To donate money to the Bubble Foundation visit www.bubblefoundation.org.uk