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Catch up with the latest press releases from LV=

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Matt Perry & Mike Gatting launch groundbreaking new partnership to provide over 10,000 children with sports equipment

Press release: 05/04/2011

More children from across the UK and overseas than ever before are set to have access to sport thanks to a groundbreaking new kit recycling initiative which was unveiled today by former England rugby star Matt Perry and cricket legend Mike Gatting OBE at The Stewart Hedlam School in Bethnal Green, East London.

For the first time, families, schools and clubs will be able to give their unwanted rugby and cricket kit which will be donated to disadvantaged young people in the UK and overseas. With lack of access to equipment cited as one of the greatest barriers to children participating in sport, LV= SOS Kit Aid has set an ambitious goal of providing young people of all abilities and backgrounds with over 20,000kgs of rugby and cricket kit before the end of the year.

To mark the new partnership, Matt Perry and Mike Gatting OBE were joined by former England cricket captain Allan Lamb and Welsh rugby legend Graham Price MBE to hold a series of rugby and cricket training sessions with children from The Stewart Hedlam School and then handed over sports kit donated to LV= SOS Kit Aid for the school.

LV= SOS Kit Aid will be hosting a series of regional Kit Aid days in 2011, the first will be staged in Bristol on the 11th May at the Gloucestershire v Northamptonshire cricket match and the second will be on the 19th June at Lord’s for the Middlesex v Kent cricket match. The regional days will be the precursor to a major national Kit Aid day later this year. Incorporating its sponsorships of the LV= County Cricket Championship and Anglo Welsh Rugby Cup, LV= will involve its staff in the donation, collection and sorting of all unwanted and unused rugby and cricket kit.

Former Bath and England rugby star, Matt Perry said, “I have been involved with sport pretty much all my life and seen first-hand just what a massive and positive impact it can have on youngsters lives. Sport can be so important in helping children develop strong values such as discipline and teamwork.

“It’s shocking to think that so many children don’t have access to sport which makes the work of LV= SOS Kit Aid so important. You can’t put a value on putting a smile on a kid’s face and in my experience sport is one of the best ways of doing that.”

David Smith, LV= HR and Communications Director: “Tonnes of sports kit is thrown out every year in the UK as children outgrow it or sponsors change, with large amounts ending up in landfill. Yet, there are thousands of children from disadvantaged backgrounds who are unable to try the sport as they simply have no kit. The work of the LV= SOS Kit Aid programme is vital in opening up sport to children from all backgrounds while also saving tonnes of unwanted sportswear from going to waste. We are a proud supporter of rugby and cricket in the UK and hope that this programme will encourage the next generation of talent into the sport.”

Matthew Patten, Chief Executive of The Lord’s Taverners, added, “The Lord’s Taverners is always looking at ways in which it can help to break down barriers preventing young people from participating in sport. What could be better as we look forward to welcoming the world to London 2012 than for British sports fans to give the world back its much-loved sports kit.”

John Broadfoot, Chairman of SOS Kit Aid, commented: "We are delighted to be now joining forces with The Lord’s Taverners to provide both rugby and cricket kit to an even bigger audience. The Lord’s Taverners have a wonderful record in the world of cricket, but unknown to many, they have also helped many rugby players too. Similarly LV= too have a great track record in both rugby and cricket and we all embrace the power of sport to improve children’s lives. We are very excited that such a team, along with the continued support of the IRB, will be able to reach even more children in the future."

SOS Kit Aid, previously known as SOS IRB Kit Aid, has distributed over £2m worth of rugby kit overseas, with the support of the International Rugby Board, since 2001. Today’s announcement included the news that LV= has signed up as the official sponsor and the initiative will be extended to cricket kit with the support of recreational cricket’s official charity, The Lord’s Taverners and endorsement by the England and Wales Cricket Board. For the first time, the two sports will work together to deliver the scheme which also promotes the importance of driving a sustainable environment.

Notes to Editors

What is SOS Kit Aid?

SOS Kit Aid, previously known as SOS IRB Kit Aid, was a rugby only organisation started in 2001 by John Broadfoot an ex-rugby player, junior rugby coach and sales manager of Shell UK who took early retirement at 53 and wanted to put something back into the game. With the support and financial backing of the International Rugby Board in Dublin, he started by supplying secondhand kit to Romania to assist youth rugby.

Nine years later, over 100 volunteers work for SOS Kit Aid producing over £2million worth of donated rugby kit which has been sent to 19 disadvantaged rugby countries – making a real difference. In addition there is a great "green" benefit to SOS Kit Aid because over 300+ tonnes of CO2 emissions are saved by not having to manufacture new kit that recycled kit replaces. In addition, over 75 tonnes of perfectly good rugby kit would now be lying in environmentally damaging UK landfill sites if SOS Kit Aid had not intercepted it and put it to such good use.

What is LV= SOS Kit Aid?

LV= SOS Kit Aid provides both second hand and new rugby/cricket kit to less advantaged children in the UK and abroad. The programme aims to make a positive and tangible impact on young people’s lives by giving children of all abilities and backgrounds the chance to participate in sporting activities. It will also try to promote social inclusion by bringing kit donors and kit recipients together.

LV= SOS Kit Aid is a corporate joint venture between The Lord’s Taverners and SOS Kit Aid Ltd. The new venture has charitable status and LV= is supporting this joint venture as lead sponsor.

The Lord’s Taverners is the official Charity for recreational cricket and the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports Charity whose objective is to give young people, particularly those with special needs, a sporting chance. This year The Lord’s Taverners will donate nearly £3 million to help young people of all abilities and backgrounds participate in sporting activities by channelling funding into specific schemes:

  • Encouraging participation in youth cricket, particularly in disadvantaged areas – providing grants towards Non-Turf pitches, funding for youth cricket competitions and donating hundreds of cricket bags to clubs and school teams across the UK.

  • Supporting recreational and sporting activities for youngsters with special needs – donating specially adapted minibuses and sports wheelchairs giving young people vital transportation and access to sport, and providing grants for play and sports equipment.

Fifty per cent of the funds awarded go to cricket projects - equipment and competitions for those young people playing the game at grass roots level in schools and clubs. The other half is awarded to special needs schools or organisations, supporting their work to encourage youngsters to participate in recreational activities and a wide range of disabled sports. The Lord’s Taverners is passionate about providing mobility and supplies specially adapted minibuses at a rate of almost one every week. It is also one of the leading funders of sports wheelchairs.

The Lord’s Taverners benefits hugely from the support its highly regarded members, many of them drawn from the world of sport and entertainment. The list includes Mike Gatting, Alastair Cook, Chris Tarrant, Andrew Flintoff, Bill Tidy, Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, Rachael Heyhoe Flint, James Haskell and Colin Salmon.

The Lord’s Taverners was founded in 1950 and has raised and distributed over £30m to schools, clubs and special needs organisations in the UK in the last decade.

You can find out more about The Lord’s Taverners and future fundraising events at

The Lord’s Taverners – Registered Charity No. 306054

About LV=

LV= is a registered trademark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies.

LV= employs around 4,500 people, serves over four million customers and members, and manages around £8.0bn (as at 31 December 2010) on their behalf, via LV= Asset Management (LVAM). We are also the UK’s largest friendly society and a leading mutual financial services provider.

LVFS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, register number 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.