North East managed print services specialist United Carlton is teaming up with Newcastle’s championship-winning basketball team Esh Group Eagles Newcastle to raise funds for two North East charities this week.

7The Gateshead-based firm, who sponsor Eagles Captain and leading scorer Charles Smith, will be raising money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Percy Hedley Foundation at the British Basketball League Playoffs quarter-final game on Friday (24 April).

To promote the fundraising activity for the two charities, the Eagles visited the Percy Hedley Sports Academy today (21 April), along with Lady Elsie Robson and representatives from United Carlton.

In addition to meeting Percy Hedley students and staff, the Eagles showcased some of their skills and played a lively game of wheelchair basketball.

Friday’s match, at Sport Central, is the culmination of a very successful season for the Eagles and is sure to be a great game – with the Eagles already confirmed as BBL Cup and BBL Trophy winners, and having confirmed their position as League Champions with a win over Manchester Giants, they’ll also be looking to add the BBL Playoffs to complete a stunning clean sweep of 2015 silverware.

5Lady Elsie, from the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, said: “It’s been a very special afternoon meeting some very special people. The facilities provided by the Percy Hedley Foundation are marvellous.

“The Eagles are having an incredible season and they’re all so focussed. It was extremely good of the team to take the time out to help us promote the charity side of Friday’s game.

“We’re very proud to be involved with this fundraising activity alongside the Percy Hedley Foundation and grateful to everyone involved.”

United Carlton’s managing director, John Watson, said of the visit: “My colleagues and I met some truly inspirational young people and dedicated staff and found it a very humbling experience.

“We are also delighted to be supportive of Lady Elsie and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation too, and were impressed by the dedication of Charles Smith and his team from the Esh Group Eagles Newcastle.

“Friday evening will give fans the opportunity to enjoy a great game, have a good night out and help two of the region’s leading charities at the same time and, having seen the Eagles in action, we’re confident it’ll be a big success.”

1Newcastle Eagles Captain, Charles Smith, said: “It was a real honour for me and the players to meet Lady Elsie this afternoon and to participate in the Wheelchair Basketball and to also demonstrate what we do in training.

“We hope to see a big crowd at Sport Central on Friday and please support these two fantastic charities. Special thanks to my sponsor United Carlton for organising this fundraising event.”

There’ll be multiple competitions and opportunities to win fantastic prizes including a signed Eagles basketball, signed Eagles vest and a superb HP tablet PC, as well as many other smaller prizes. All proceeds from the various raffles, tombola and competitions, including the Eagles famed ‘Chuck A Duck’ game, will be shared equally between the two charities.

Adam Parry, sports development manager at Percy Hedley Foundation, said: “We are very grateful for the opportunity to show what our Foundation does to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and United Carlton.

“Many thanks to United Carlton for organising this and presenting us with this opportunity and thanks also to the Eagles players who took time out of a very busy schedule to come and see us and also meet our students. It was a real team effort to bring this together and looking forward to seeing the same on Friday night.”

For further information and tickets telephone 0191 245 3880.

Those wishing to donate can visit

United Carlton also has a limited number of tickets for sale at a discounted rate in advance of the game, the proceeds of which will be shared between the two charities. For more information and to book please contact Steven Mole on 0845 456 0022 or at