James Kenealey 50 weeks of giving
Morson have commenced our ’50 Weeks of Giving’ campaign by donating to a specialist school for cognition and learning in Liverpool attended by the sister of Morson-sponsored world super-middleweight champion boxer Callum Smith.
The £1,000 donation was made to Redbridge High School at an intimate public Q&A with Callum and fellow boxing brothers Stephen and Paul at Shooter’s Bar in Liverpool. Their young sister Hollie Smith lives with autism and has been attending the community, co-educational secondary school for children with severe learning difficulties for over six years.
The school relies on charitable donations to fund new projects to aid in the experience of its students, with the construction of a sensory play area a current major project. Headteacher Paul Cronin received the donation and spoke to about the school ahead of the Q&A.
“We’re incredibly grateful to be receiving this donation from Morson and we thank the Smith brothers for everything they do to raise awareness for autism. This cheque will be going towards building a covered access path between buildings for the students” – Paul Cronin, headteacher
Our ’50 Weeks of Giving’ programme will see us provide an individual donation each week to help worthy causes in the region. Coupled with our core annual charity activity, we aim to raise and donate £500,000 in total as we celebrate our 50th year in business.
The Smith brothers are boxing's most successful family, scooping British, WBO and WBC titles between them. In 2013, the family made history when three of the brothers claimed the British light-middleweight (Liam), super-featherweight (Stephen), and super-middleweight (Paul) belts at the same time. In September 2018, youngest brother Callum added a WBSS win to the collection along with the WBA and Ring magazine super-middleweight world titles.
All four brothers have worn the word ‘autism’ on their shorts throughout their careers in a bid to raise awareness.
“Our Hollie is 18 now but she still can’t talk. She was only 18 months old and our mum came and sat us down and said Hollie is autistic. We looked at each other and we said ‘what’s that?’ We didn’t know. Just to stop other families going through the same thing we started wearing the word on our shorts, so they might have a little head-start as to what it was. When we looked into it we realised how broad the spectrum was. It’s that broad, you’re doing yourself a favour by looking into it.” – Stephen Smith
Our 50 Weeks of Giving program will be in addition to the work to raise money for the employee-chosen charities in 2019, Motor Neurone Disease Association and ABF The Soldier’s Charity. In the last 10 years, we've raised over £2million for worthy causes throughout the UK such as the Seashell Trust, Destination Florida, Salford University, Alzheimer's Society and MIND.
Our work with autism ties in with our 'Equal Opportinities' campaign, which solidifies our commitment to improving accessibility for people who engage with our business, ensuring there are no barriers in place to hold talented people back. A suite of accessibility tools, including solutions for visitors with dyslexia, visual impairment and learning difficulties, embedded into our website will enable 27% more of the UK population to access our online content than could previously.
Further celebratory plans throughout the year will bring together Morson’s sporting ambassadors; from the horse racing world, ex-Manchester United players, to former world champion boxers Ricky Hatton and Anthony Crolla and Sale Sharks rugby club.