Friday, March 16th, 2018.

Ally Ali, Together We Are Stronger' Local Hero

Ally Ali, one of Newcastle’s official ‘Local Heroes’

Excelsior College student Ally Ali is one of the faces of a new national campaign promoting the diversity that makes Newcastle the great city it is.

His life story of triumph overcoming adversity features alongside eight other ‘Local Heroes’ in Newcastle’s ‘Together We Are Stronger’ campaign.

The campaign – a collaboration between Safe Newcastle and the UK Government’s Building a Stronger Britain Together programme – aims to “stand against extremism in all its forms”.

Ally’s image features on billboards and posters in Northumberland Street and across the city which direct people to a page on Newcastle City Council’s website where they can watch videos of Ally and all the local heroes talking about their pride in living in Newcastle and all it means to them.

Each story brings to life the warm and welcoming spirit of Newcastle and its strong sense of community.

In his campaign video, Ally explains how moving to Newcastle and joining in a football game in his neighbourhood changed his life.

Ally, 19, who was honoured last year with the Newcastle United Foundation Young Leader Award for his coaching work with youngsters at the club, arrived in Newcastle from Somalia speaking little English five years ago.

Since then his determination has secured him a place in Excelsior College studying BTEC Travel and Tourism and gained him a Level One Coaching qualification with the Newcastle United Foundation, the registered charity supported by Newcastle United Football Club.

Ally is a talented player, bagging goals as a striker for North East side Benfield as well as Excelsior College, with hopes of making it as a professional player. He is also a flag bearer at St James’ Park on match days and a keen Magpies fan.