Fans Players

Rivals unite so youngsters can climb the Ladder

To coincide with Homelessness Week, AFL players have handed over their annual AFL Players Care donation of more than $200,000 to help official charity Ladder reduce youth homelessness in Australia.

Rivals in last weekend’s Showdown, players from Adelaide and Port Adelaide, came together to present a cheque for $217,800 to Ladder’s Acting CEO Stephanie De Campo on behalf of the entire AFL male playing group.

Adelaide’s Richard Douglas, Jake Kelly and Reilly O’Brien and Port Adelaide’s Jack Hombsch, Robbie Gray and Matthew Broadbent presented the cheque at Ladder’s Port Adelaide Foyer, which provides accommodation and development services to young people who have experienced or been at risk of homelessness.

Former Port Adelaide player Paul Stewart has been working with Ladder as a Regional Coordinator and has seen firsthand the positive impact the Ladder program can have on a young person’s life.

“During my time here, I’ve seen young people come into the program with complex needs and also come out the other side ready for independence. It’s such an important program and it’s fantastic to have the support of the entire AFL playing group but also the Port and Crows players on a local level,” Stewart said.

“Whether it’s a mentoring session or just coming along to help cook dinner for the Foyer, the hands-on support and engagement of the players from both Adelaide-based clubs goes a long way.”

Ladder was founded by AFL players with players across the league continuing to support the organisation through volunteering, advocacy and youth mentoring.

Ladder Acting CEO Stephanie De Campo said the annual donation goes a long way in helping Ladder roll out their programs and services across Australia.

“This contribution accounts for 11.5 per cent of Ladder’s revenue and provides a solid financial foundation for Ladder to provide vital development and mentoring programs to young people who have experienced or been at risk of homelessness,” she said.

“Each night, more than 116,000 Australian people are homeless – that’s alarmingly more people than the capacity of the MCG – with young people making up 24 per cent of the entire homeless population. We are working tirelessly, with the support of AFL players, to change this number.”

Every AFL player gives $25 from every match fee to Ladder as part of the AFL Players Care program, which involves players donating more than $430,000 of their match payments to charities all across Australia.

You can join your favourite player on Team Ladder by making a $25.00 donation today at Donations will directly fund Ladder’s youth development programs.

Ladder was founded by three AFL players in 2007 to help young people aged 16 to 25 break the cycle of homelessness. Ladder delivers programs and provides opportunities to young people to help them build a future free of homelessness and full of possibilities. The Ladder program covers four key areas: health and wellbeing; personal development; mentoring; and work and study. It is designed to be delivered holistically, providing wraparound support to young people, as they work towards independent living.