A Perfect Union
Wooden Spoon – the children’s charity of rugby – is running a unique programme aimed to raise funds for both community rugby clubs children and young people with disabilities or facing disadvantage across the UK and Ireland.
Wooden Spoon’s Partner Club Programme is a recent initiative which offers rugby clubs at every level, and both codes, support to raise funds both for their club and for charity projects in their local area supporting vulnerable children and young people.
Who is Wooden Spoon?
Since its founding in 1983, Wooden Spoon has distributed in excess of £24 million to more than 650 projects, helping over 1 million disabled and disadvantaged children.
The charity’s rugby heritage gives it core values of passion, integrity, teamwork and fun, and working closely with the wider rugby community their values drive the ethos and spirit in everything we do.
With over 400 committed volunteers who are raising funds in local communities up and down the country, the charity is unique in the money they raise locally funds projects in their local areas.
Wooden Spoon funds a range of projects, which are not just rugby focused, supporting approximately 70 projects a year including respite and medical treatment centres, sensory rooms, specialist playgrounds and community based programmes.
What is the Partner Club Programme?
The Wooden Spoon Partner Club Programme offers its charity expertise to rugby clubs along with tools to raise more funds. In return, the club shares some of the monies raised with the charity. Wooden Spoon then ensures these additional funds are used to fund local charity projects.
Since its launch in April the Wooden Spoon Partner Club Programme has 49 community rugby clubs signed up across the country and this number is rapidly growing.
Wooden Spoon’s lead Rugby Ambassador, Phil Vickery MBE said: “Wooden Spoon’s Partner Club Programme ensures that by working together, Wooden Spoon and rugby clubs across the country can change the lives of children and young people with disabilities and facing disadvantage through the power of rugby.
“This programme supports rugby clubs at every level in their fundraising so that they can reach their individual rugby club fundraising goals and in turn, support more children living in their local area. So scrum on, give it a try and let’s make a difference.”
Wooden Spoon Ulster, Chairman, Peter Wood said: “Ulster Committee are delighted to be associated with Ballyclare RFC who are the first club in Ulster to be entering into Partnership with Wooden Spoon. Some members of Ballyclare have been strong supporters of the Charity for years and have attended many of our fundraising events. It is also very appropriate as Ballyclare is also the home town of the Ulster Region President. Willie-John McBride. Both Wooden and Ballyclare are looking forward to a long and happy relationship!”
Ballyclare has recently joined the Programme and is welcoming Ulster Club Presidents to a benefiting event in January.
Ripon RUFC has recently joined the programme and reports that it is already having a positive impact on their fundraising.
Andy Proud at Ripon RUFC said: “Our aim at Ripon RUFC is to be a community rugby club. A great way to demonstrate this is to adopt a charity that is making a difference in our local community.
“It is early days but the partnership is starting to work. Being in partnership with a well-known charity enables us to talk to people who might not have wanted to get involved before. The affiliation with Wooden Spoon is certainly opening new doors and attracting funds to us. People want to see that they are making a difference locally.
Matt Mitchell, Rugby Manager at Wooden Spoon said: “If every rugby club across the country did just a few things like us and donated to Wooden Spoon collectively, then it would make a great difference to disadvantaged and disabled children across the UK and Ireland.”
Get involved today
The Wooden Spoon Partner Club Programme is open to all rugby clubs in the UK and Ireland. It provides an opportunity to work with Wooden Spoon to change children’s lives and secure mutual long-term gains through joint fundraising initiatives.
Partner clubs will benefit from the charity’s PR profile, merchandise, cost-saving initiatives, celebrity contacts and strong links with the international rugby community.
To find out more visit woodenspoon.org.uk/rugby-clubs