FUNDRAISING NEWS: Why I Give

John Barnes the former Liverpool and England footballer turned TV pundit, is a keen supporter of Save the Children.

How did you get involved with the charity?

I used to work with Christian Aid, then Save the Children got in touch and I did one event, then another and it grew from there. I've been to Ethiopia and Kenya with the charity and try to attend most of its functions in England. I have four children myself and I'm very close to them. All problems are caused by children who grow up, so their development is vitally important.

Do you support any other causes?

I am patron of the Moordale Children's Trust in Liverpool and the Jamaica Basic School Foundation. I also support the Afro-Caribbean Leukaemia Trust. I wouldn't say I was actively involved with other specific charities, but I attend lots of small events, such as a function down the pub for a family whose parent has died. If someone is selling the Big Issue, I always give to them.

Are there any causes you wouldn't support?

You have to feel for the people you're working with. There are unscrupulous charities out there, so I tend to stick to reputable ones.

Do many footballers support charity?

Yes. A lot of charities want to get involved with football right now. They see the sport as a way to raise their profile. You can't support them all, but if lending my name helps raise their profile, I'm happy to do it.

What's the best way to approach footballers?

High-profile people aren't clones, so you won't get the same response from different people. There's no tried-and-tested formula.

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