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Inclusive Volunteering® wins at Sports Business Awards

Community Integrated Care has won the ‘Best Sports Community Scheme’ at the prestigious Sports Business Awards 2023 for our Inclusive Volunteering® Programme, shared with Sport England, Rugby League World Cup 2021, UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, and World Gymnastics Championships 2022.

Accepting award from Sports Business Award ceremony hosts for Inclusive Volunteering ProgrammeTaking place on Friday 10 November 2023 at The Hurlingham Club, London, this award win recognises Community Integrated Care’s ‘Inclusive Volunteering® Model’ as the leading programme in the UK Sports Sector. The programme also achieved bronze in the ‘Sports Equality Diversity & Inclusion’ Award category and placed as a finalist in the ‘Partnership of the Year’ shortlist.

The model sees Community Integrated Care design life-changing personal development opportunities for people who access care and support, inspired by, and was delivered in 2022 with Rugby League World Cup 2021, UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, and World Gymnastics Championships 2022. Offering aspirational vocational placements and innovative programmes that build skills, friendships, and new passions, it provides a uniquely a motivating pathway to greater independence.

With projects as diverse as discovering the world of work through exploring the lives of the Lionesses in accessible education, to enabling people who have complex learning disabilities to make soap for the England Rugby League teams and even helping people to build communications skills by creating tournament anthems with popstars, this is a unique method of enablement.

The Sports Business Awards recognises achievement by the teams behind the scenes that facilitate sporting excellence and endeavours. The ‘Best Sports Community Scheme’ award measured shortlisted nominees against parameters such as high engagement, ongoing legacy and dedication and understanding to local communities. It was presented by former England Netball Team Captain, Ama Agbeze.

Judges from the event commended the programme, saying, “This was a significant attempt to mobilise the power of major events to bolster and nurture volunteering. Programmes that provide genuine supported volunteering opportunities for people with disabilities are very rare and this initiative provides a joined-up approach across major events to deliver this. Great to see collaborative work delivering such a positive result.”

Community Integrated Care Inclusive Volunteer, Matt Price, says: “Being an Inclusive Volunteer and having access to the opportunities I have has genuinely been life changing.

When I take a moment to look back on my journey as a volunteer, I’m shocked. I’ve gained confidence, a new sense of purpose, explored my interests in and even gained full time employment. I’m now doing something I love to do, every day, helping others like me to explore their talents and reach their potential.”

John Hughes, Director of Partnerships and Communities at Community Integrated Care, says: “We are grateful to every volunteer, and their support teams, for their brilliant contributions to these tournaments. I would also like to thank the colleagues at all levels of Community Integrated Care who have worked tirelessly to make this a reality.

These programmes have changed more than 600 lives. None of this could happen without the passion and support of our brilliant partners, Sport England, UEFA Women’s Euro 2022, World Gymnastics Championships 2022, and Rugby League World Cup 2021.”

Community Integrated Care’s Inclusive Volunteering® Model and partnerships with sporting events continue, with the charity aligning with the Manchester 2023 World Para Swimming Championships, World Taekwondo Grand Prix 2023, European Seated Volleyball Championships, and rugby league’s Betfred Super League.

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