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Airdrie announce Charity Partners

August 2, 2018

Airdrie have once again entered into a unique sponsorship with three key charity partners and local businessman Eddie Gouther.


Fans will remember that thanks to the generosity of Holemasters, cancer care charity Maggie's featured on the back of the home strips last season, with various elements of the traditional sponsorship package being split between them and St Andrews Hospice. Both charities also benefitted the previous season when the Supporters' Trust sponsored the strips adorned with the face of Mark Allison. 


Eddie has taken up the mantle of this unique type of sponsorship for the season ahead, with his three chosen charities all benefitting - namely St Andrews Hospice, The Moira Anderson Foundation, and the Back Onside Mental Health charity. 


All three will receive trackside boards and regular programme adverts to increase awareness of events, fundraisers and help for those who may need it. They will also receive hospitality packages to auction off for funds, and each have two information and fundraising days at home games throughout the season. The aim of the deal is to raise awareness and funds for each in equal amount. 


Eddie is Managing Director of BEC Plastics in Cumbernauld (who recently won the away strip raffle and will feature on the second kit this season) and moved to Airdrie in December last year. For the past few years Eddie has been involved with local drama clubs AAGDG and ACAOS, performing in numerous shows in The Town Hall, and as a new resident was keen to increase his function in local activities. Although by his own admission not an Airdrie fan (how could he not be?!) he has been very impressed with what he describes as our 'community commitment'. 


Eddie said: “I really liked what I saw when I visited the club; the atmosphere was fantastic; a real sense of enthusiasm from the Chairman down to the people selling 50/50 tickets. I love what the guys are trying to do with the Sensory Room and KitAid etc which is very much about the community as well as the club, that was a real draw for me - as a new grandparent I look forward to bringing my wee grandson Jackson to watch the Diamonds”.


As well as being a supporter of all three charities, Eddie is actually a trustee of Back Onside, and Libby Emmerson, founder and trustee of the charity added: 


“This is a fantastic new partnership for Back Onside and Airdrieonians FC. We hope that the partnership will help us reach more people who need our support the most. It is an honour and a privilege to be involved and we look forward to a great partnership with the club.


Here in the UK, one in four people will experience a mental health illness each year. Mental health includes a person’s emotional, psychological and social well-being. It is a widespread problem, yet it is estimated that only a quarter of sufferers receive on-going treatment, leaving the majority of the UK population tackling these debilitating issues on their own.


"Here at Back Onside we have recognised this on-going dilemma and are determined to rebuild a society where no young person or adult is left tackling mental health problems alone.

"Back Onside is committed to helping young people and adults who face mental health challenges due to social exclusion, disability or challenging life circumstances. We have one aim: to promote self-confidence, raise self-esteem and unlock the potential confined within each participant.

"By delivering programmes and workshops; focused around sport, music, drama and art, Back Onside supports and relieves mental health obstacles through peer-support and participation in activities that encourage good health and well-being. 

"Sport and exercise is proven to improve your mood, increase self-esteem, reduce life stress and ease mental health difficulties. Here at Back Onside, we put this situation into practice. We provide #SupportThroughSport.


"Along with our programmes and workshops, Back Onside work with the wider community to raise awareness of social issues, mental health and disabilities to help reduce the stigma and discrimination which often surrounds these areas. 


"We feel certain that our collaboration with Airdrieonians will continue to raise our profile, encouraging people to use our new Drop In service being held the first Monday of every month at Airdrieonians FC from 7pm – 8pm.   This is open to ANYONE who is struggling with their Mental Health or life challenging circumstances”. 


Paul Di Mascio, trustee of Moira Anderson Foundation (MAF) said,


“This is a significant new partnership for Moira Anderson Foundation with our local football club, Airdrieonians FC. It is an honour and a privilege to be involved and we look forward to a fruitful partnership with the club.


"This comes at a point when charities are experiencing challenging times in terms of fundraising in general, added to the fact that demand for our services in recent years has increased dramatically. 


"Moira Anderson Foundation (MAF), based in Airdrie, is a national charity which focuses on supporting children and adults affected by Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA) in any way possible.


“The increase in demand for our services is partially down to high profile historical CSA cases being reported nationally and people speaking publicly about the trauma that they have faced in recent years.


"Since its inception in 2000, our charity has supported over 3000 individuals and their families, helping them overcome the trauma of their abuse and assisting them rebuild their lives. 


"We currently discreetly see new cases at a rate of more than one a day, 365 days per year, thus amounting to approximately 400 survivors and their families per annum. 


"We provide a full range of services, therapies, group work, peer support, workshops, training courses, support with CICA applications and much, much more.


"Although we wish for the day when we are no longer required, as things stand, survivors also need organisations such as MAF to represent them and their views.


"We feel certain that our collaboration with Airdrieonians will continue to raise our profile, encouraging survivors to use our discreet services and help in securing much needed funds to assist survivors. 


"We would also hope to inspire people to support MAF in both the short and long term, helping us deliver lasting change in people’s lives.”


Lorna McCafferty, Trust Fundraising Officer at St Andrew’s Hospice, said:


“On behalf of our patients and staff, I would like to thank the sponsor Eddie Gouther for helping to raise awareness of St Andrew’s Hospice by placing our logo on the new shirts. We are also extremely grateful for the ongoing support of Airdrieonians Football Club, which will enable us to continue to care for the people of Lanarkshire.


"We provide specialist palliative care to people living with life-limiting illnesses.


"Central to our ethos and mission is to provide support not only for our patients, but also for their loved ones and carers too.

"St Andrew’s Hospice is an registered charity and our services are provided free of charge to the adult population of Lanarkshire, without distinction of race, gender or creed”


Airdrieonians Commercial Manager Douglas Allsop and Eddie and came up with the partnership after meeting earlier in the year.


He added: "We get requests from so many worthy causes, that we try as hard to help everyone in some way, but sometimes it’s just impossible.


"We have a long standing relationship with the Hospice, and are proud to be an ambassador club with KitAid. Our Sensory Room sees us working closely with Hope for Autism, and we are now into our second year with Suicide Prevention. And now thanks to Eddie, we can not only continue our relationship with the Hospice, but welcome two new charities to the fold in MAF and Back Onside – two which are perhaps less well known, but critical in our community.


"I think for a provincial club we punch above our weight in terms of what we do in the community, as should be the case. Eddie is a fantastic man and has helped us do that even further, and I hope this is the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial relationship."


Vice-chairman Martin Ferguson met Eddie and the representatives from all three charities last week, and was hugely impressed with the work they carry out.


He said: "Airdrieonians are striving to be the best we can on the park, but we must continue to lead the way off the park and help the local community. I was in awe of some of the work that these charities do and some of the stories that they had to tell me -they are the real superstars here - and it’s vital that we do what we can for the community of Airdrie."


Contact Details for each of the charities are below:

Back Onside

Tel: 07528243100



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Moira Anderson Foundation

Tel: 01236 602 890



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St Andrews Hospice

Tel: 01236 766951

Email: Click here


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