Leinster Rugby are calling on all their supporters to support the Christmas Collection on behalf of their official Charity Partners – Action Breast Cancer, Age Action, Welcome Home and St. Michael’s House – at Leinster’s match against Clermont Auvergne at the Aviva Stadium this Saturday…

The collection will take place before the match on all the main routes into the stadium and in the concourse areas.

Leinster Chief Executive Mick Dawson explained that while the four charities provide very different services they are each feeling the pinch of the economic downturn.

Mick Dawson said: “We are hoping that the collection will give their funds a much-needed boost particularly at this time of year. If everyone attending the match on Saturday were to give at least One Euro (€;1) we would raise over €;40,000.

“All money collected will be divided equally between the four charities and I would ask all supporters to dig deep and give whatever they can. Please have your money ready to support Leinster Rugby’s four Official Charities and make the collection a great success for these very worthwhile services.”

The Charities would like to thank Aviva Stadium for allowing the collection take place at the ground and to wish Leinster the very best of luck in this important game.

Action Breast Cancer: Action Breast Cancer, a programme of the Irish Cancer Society, is Ireland’s leading provider of breast cancer information and support. Each year we reach over 25,000 women who are concerned about breast cancer and breast health. We strive to ensure that everyone affected by breast cancer receives the highest standards of treatment, support and care, and to improve the quality of life of people living with breast cancer.

Age Action: Age Action is a charity, which promotes positive ageing and better policies and services for older people. Working with, and on behalf of, older people we aim to make Ireland the best place in the world in which to grow older. Our mission is: “To achieve fundamental change in the lives of all older people by empowering them to live full lives as actively engaged citizens and to secure their rights to comprehensive high quality services according to their changing needs.” All our activities are geared to supporting older people to speak and act for themselves in bringing about the fundamental changes they want to live full lives.

St. Michael’s House: Unable to secure schooling for her son, Patricia Farrell, the mother of a young boy with Down Syndrome placed an ad in the Irish Times in 1955: “Association for Parents of Mentally Backward Children. Lady wishing to form above would like to contact anyone interested. Box Z 5061 Children.” From this grew St. Michael’s House, an organisation which set out to develop new community services and bring about a change in how people with an intellectual disability were viewed. Today we provide services for 1,585 people with an intellectual disability and their families in the Greater Dublin Area.

Welcome Home: Welcome Home is a registered charity set up in 1990 to raise funds to support the work of Fr. Peter McVerry with young homeless people in Dublin. Money raised is used to provide accommodation and services for these young homeless people.