Footballer Rio Ferdinand has pledged to help volunteer-run charity danceaid this week after a chance encounter with one of its ambassadors on a train journey to Manchester.


Volunteer Michelle Clarke was on the 14:20 train from London when she spotted the England player sat opposite her and sent a text to her friend Laura Wilson, founder and chief executive of danceaid.

A tweet sent to the footballer from the charity’s Twitter account informed him of his close proximity to Michelle encouraging him to talk to her and ask about danceaid’s work, eventually offering to help raise awareness.

To donate now, visit danceaid’s website!

Working both in the UK and internationally danceaid helps orphaned, poor and disabled children by holding fundraisers and partnering with events that use the uplifting positivity of dance to make a difference.

Hoping to collaborate with the footballer danceaid feels that Rio’s mix of high profile and selfless deeds align with the charity’s work. To potentially have an internationally recognised ambassador outside of the dance world would highlight its causes and bring danceaid to a wider audience.

Laura Wilson commented: “This literally means the world to us. Our ambassadors are primarily from the dance world. Rio is a universal star known the world over.”

Since the encounter was announced on Twitter the story was picked up by Eurosport, the Daily Mail, Evening Standard and many more news outlets. @tomEurosport’s original tweets publicising the news and posted by @EPLStuff on Twitpic, below, has received over 14,000 views at time of publishing. Click thumbnail to view in full:

Impressive stuff from Rio Ferdinand (start reading from below... on Twitpic

Laura continues: “Some of the children we support on the rural Mozambican border of South Africa are already celebrating the news in the hope their hero might visit them one day!”

Internationally danceaid’s work has helped children as far afield as the Philippines and Africa with the help of its hard working volunteers, loyal ambassadors and committed patrons.

danceaid’s patrons include some of the UK’s leading dancers and choreographers including Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity, TV presenter and Team GB Paralympian basketball player Ade Adepitan MBE and street dance champions Flawless.

To kick off the New Year danceaid looks forward to adding another star to its extensive list of patrons prepared to turn suffering into smiles and give poverty the boot.