Charity profile boost after Alan Shearer event

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A charity for children with Down’s syndrome has been inundated with donations since a high-profile football pundits’ fundraiser.

East Northamptonshire-based Ups’n’Downs has benefitted from the increased profile after hosting a pundits evening featuring ex-England captain Alan Shearer and former Crystal Palace manger Iain Dowie.

The event helped raise thousands for the charity, and since then businesses and organisations have clamoured to help, with £4,500 already donated.

Chairman Tom Rees said: “We’ve been inundated with donations since the event.

“We’ve always had support but I think the event really helped raise our profile and as a result, we’ve had a lot of people come to us with donations.

“It was the first of its scale for us and was a massive success, so we’re hoping to repeat that next year.”

The likes of Kettering’s Starlight Dance raised £1,800 as well as Shelmerick Dance Academy, which handed over more than £1,300 to the charity.

The Red Lion pub in Cranford also pledged £500, while Midshires Electric raised £600.

Melanie Coleman, principal of Shelmerick, in Rushden, donated after a July show, and said: “We were thrilled.

“It was the idea of one of our pupils, who has a family member with Down’s syndrome.

“I’ve also worked with adults with learning disabilities and it is quite dear to me.”

The charity was set up six years ago as a support network for parents whose children had Down’s syndrome.

The charity is also looking to build on its success with a golf day in November.

It will be held at Collingtree Park Golf Club in Northampton, which has hosted the British Masters twice. For more information, visit