British tennis star Andy Murray has announced that he has raised an incredible total of more than £83,000 for UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation, through his Andy’s Aces initiative.

In September 2015 Andy, who was crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year in December, announced that for every ace he hit until the end of the year, he would donate £50 to Unicef to support their work to help children whose worlds have been turned upside down by the conflict in Syria.

As well as asking his fans to donate to support the initiative, Andy’s sponsors Standard Life and Under Armour, along with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) vowed to match each donation Andy made, meaning every ace raised £250 for children in danger. Standard Life’s employees also got involved with the fundraising for Syria and the money raised was matched by Standard Life, adding £20,000 to the total. Additional funds were also raised through the Tie Break Tens tournament and the ATP ACES for Charity programme who donated £10,120 ($15,000). From 29th October 2015, all UK public donations were aid matched by the UK Government.

The total of over £83,000 could provide over 16,000 children with blankets to help keep them safe and warm.

UNICEF UK supporter Murray explained: “I remember watching the news last summer and deciding I wanted to do something to help some of the millions of children whose lives have turned upside down by the situation in Syria. It’s amazing that we’ve been able to raise so much, and I’m very grateful to my sponsors and fans for their help in this – I couldn’t have done it without them. I know how hard UNICEF are working to support these children, and millions of others around the world and I’m proud to have been able to help.”

Unicef UK Executive Director, David Bull, said: “All of us here at Unicef UK are incredibly grateful to Andy for his continued support. Almost five years into the conflict, Syria remains one of the most dangerous places to be a child and millions of children have lost loved ones, homes and schools. Their world has been turned upside down by the conflict and humanitarian needs are becoming ever more urgent. The support of Andy, his fans and the wider tennis community will help us provide support for children who have lost so much.”

If you’d like to support Andy’s Aces, and UNICEF’s work for the children of Syria, it’s not too late. Text ACE to 70800 to donate £5 or click here.

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