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BT and Premier League partner with Lord’s Taverners and The Shippey Campaign to put sensory rooms in football grounds

Press Release   •   Oct 18, 2016 14:47 BST

From today, Premier League football clubs will have the opportunity to apply for funding to help fans with sensory difficulties.

BT and the Premier League have teamed up with The Shippey Campaign and disability sports charity the Lord’s Taverners, to fund sensory rooms across the twenty Premier League clubs.

Part of the Premier League and BT Disability Programme which launched earlier this month, the new unique spaces will allow adults and children with sensory difficulties to watch live football matches from a room with a window onto the pitch, in a calm environment away from the noise and crowds.

“We’re delighted to be working with the Lord’s Taverners and The Shippey Campaign to build comfortable spaces so fans with sensory difficulties can enjoy live sport,” said Suzy Christopher, Community & Charity Director, BT, “The Premier League and BT Disability Programme is about making sport more inclusive, and providing sensory rooms in football grounds is a practical way to make a real difference.”

The first sensory room at a football club was opened at Sunderland AFC last season in conjunction with Kate and Peter Shippey who were inspired to work with the club so their children and other sports fans on the autism spectrum could enjoy live football at the clubs they support.

“We’re delighted that our work with Sunderland AFC has proved so successful and that BT and the Premier League are generously funding and encouraging other football clubs to make practical steps to make sport more inclusive,” said Kate and Peter Shippey, founders of The Shippey Foundation.

Bill Bush, Executive Director, Premier League said: “This partnership will allow clubs to build on the excellent work they are already doing and enable even more fans to enjoy a live matchday experience. The sensory room at Sunderland AFC is a great example of how a matchday experience can be created for fans with sensory difficulties and this partnership will enable more of our clubs to install these areas.”

Premier League Clubs can apply for funding at any time throughout the 2016/17 season.


About Premier League

The Premier League and BT Disability Programme was launched in September 2016. The three-year programme will create opportunities and inspire disabled people through sport. This partnership will see the organisations work together to provide funding to Premier League clubs to create greater opportunities for disabled people across England and Wales.

Funding will be open to club community organisations in the Premier League during the 2015/16 season and those promoted to the Premier League for the 2016/17 season. It will also be open to any newly promoted club community organisations in 2017/18 and 2018/19. The programme will fund projects on an annual basis and will close to new applications in July 2018.

Through its Club Community Organisations, the Premier League has shown a long-term commitment to delivering disability sport programmes. The PLPFA Community Fund has provided significant investment in this area to enable clubs to deliver wide range of disability sport focused programmes.Clubs regularly access local funding to deliver disability sport provision as well as health, education and employment programmes for disabled people.

About The Shippey Foundation

The Shippey Campaign encourages sporting stadia to provide facilities for those who suffer from sensory difficulties such as noise and crowds. Founded in 2015 by Kate and Peter Shippey, parents to three football loving boys all diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, who worked with Sunderland AFC to install the first sensory room at a Premier League club.

About Lord’s Taverners

The Lord’s Taverners is the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity whose objective is to give disadvantaged and disabled young people a sporting chance. Every year, the Lord’s Taverners donates over £3 million to help young people of all abilities and backgrounds participate in sporting activities. In 2015 alone the Lord’s Taverners provided 9.4 million sporting chances for disadvantaged and disabled young people across all of its charitable programmes.

BT and the Lord’s Taverners

Since 2010, BT has funded the installation of 30 multi-sensory rooms in special education needs schools across the UK in partnership with the Lord’s Taverners. Over the last six years, BT’s partnership with the Lord’s Taverners has benefited tens of thousands of children with a variety of disabilities and communications needs.

About BT

BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services.BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

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