The Football Writers’ Association is delighted to announce the National Literacy Association as its first charitable partner.

The FWA plans to work closely with the NLA on several projects over the next 12 months and will help to raise funds for the charity from events such as the Footballer of the Year Dinner in May and the successful Barclays FWA Live.

Andy Dunn, FWA chairman, said: “We’ve been in discussions with the NLA for a few months and it seems like a perfect fit for both associations.

“The NLA are at the forefront of tackling the problems of literacy amongst youngsters and we believe our members can act as an inspiration to those children who might find reading and writing problematic.

“We want to be heavily involved in any NLA scheme where we think our members might be able to help promote literacy and the work of the NLA.”

Ray Barker, chairman of the NLA, added: ‘ We are very happy and honoured at this link with the FWA. Football is important to so many young people and particularly to many of the young people we are concerned about. NLA is a small but influential organisation that has run a number of pioneering projects with children who are struggling with reading and writing for whatever reason. The FWA support will enable us to do more practical work which will make a real and demonstrable difference to their lives.’

The NLA was founded in 1992 and has a Board of Trustees that includes representatives from all the main teaching unions. One of the main aims of the NLA has always been to provide support for the 20% of young people who, for a variety of reasons, have difficulty in becoming literate. During the last two years, the NLA has set up and maintained the online Guide to Literacy Resources ( ­which aims to be an easy-to-use, time saving, independent, free source of information for teachers, parents and others looking for great materials to help support the literacy skills of the children in their care and encourage a love of reading.

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