Rugby League World Cup 2021 and Community Integrated Care award-winning programme

29 Jul 2022

Rugby League World Cup 2021 and Community Integrated Care award-winning programme

Rugby League World Cup 2021 and Community Integrated Care were delighted to receive the ‘Making a Difference Award’ for the development of their Inclusive Volunteering Programme at this year’s National Learning Disabilities & Autism Awards.  

Hosted by leading social care publication, Care Talk, the awards celebrate individuals, teams and organisations who have gone above and beyond over the past 12 months and have provided outstanding care and support to people with learning disabilities and autism. 

One of Britain’s largest social care charities, Community Integrated Care partnered with RLWC2021 and Sport England to create the first ever volunteering and personal development programme for people who have care and support needs at a major event. 

The programme, which is being delivered across the North West, North East and Yorkshire, aims to support people with a diverse range of disabilities (including learning disabilities, autism, mental health issues, acquired brain injuries, physical disabilities, and dementia) at all stages of life, from children to individuals in the final stages of their life.  

350 sessions were delivered across 52 projects between September 2020 and April 2022. Projects were delivered by Community Integrated Care staff or expert partners and have included arts and crafts, photography, music, knitting (baby bonnets), gardening, creative writing, developing a cookbook and media training. Participants have also volunteered at Super League and Championship games, the men’s and women’s Grand Final events and Super League’s Magic Weekend. 

Tracy Power, Social Impact Director of Rugby League World Cup 2021, said: 

Our tournament is one with a purpose and our partnership with Community Integrated Care has been a huge part of our Social Impact programme over the last couple of years. We are very proud of the opportunities that the partnership has created for our Inclusive Volunteers which we hope has helped develop their skills, confidence and social connection.  
We are delighted that many of our Inclusive Volunteers will have a key role to play with us during tournament time and we are looking forward to having them on board.” 

John Hughes, Community Integrated Care’s Director of Partnerships and Communities, said: 

“I’m delighted to see our partnership with the Rugby League World Cup 2021 and our Inclusive Volunteering Programme take home the gold for the Making a Difference Award. Championing inclusion, tackling discrimination, and securing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for people with learning disabilities and autism are at the heart of this programme. 
“It’s fantastic to see the judges recognise this and for it to be highlighted as a leading project within the sector, at a national event. I’m really proud of everyone that has contributed to the programme so far and would like to extend my gratitude to the Rugby League World Cup 2021 for helping make dreams a reality and supporting us to promote inclusion on a global scale.” 

James Brook, one of Community Intregated Care’s Inclusive Volunteers, said: 

“I felt so proud to collect the Making A Difference Award for our team. I love being an Inclusive Volunteer and taking part in exciting experiences and learning new things – it’s such a great programme to be part of. I’m over the moon that we won!” 

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