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Shortlisted for the Leaders Sports Awards!

The ground-breaking partnership between Community Integrated Care, the Rugby League World Cup 2021, and Sport England has been named as one of the best community projects in global sport.

Shortlisted for a Leaders Sports award!

Community Integrated Care is currently leading a world first Inclusive Volunteering Programme with the Rugby League World Cup 2021, thanks to funding and support from Sport England. The programme is giving more than 300 people life-changing opportunities to discover and fulfil their potential, through providing aspirational experiences, volunteering placements and support.

In recognition of its impact and innovation, the programme has been shortlisted for the Community Award at the prestigious Leaders Sports Awards. The honour, which is delivered in partnership with Facebook, recognises the very best of social impact through sport on a global scale.

A Unique Impact

People who access social care face significant exclusion – from hate crime and a lack of quality opportunities, to a shocking reality that only 6% of people who have learning disabilities have paid employment. Our charity’s specialist RLWC2021 Inclusive Volunteering Team seek to challenge these barriers through enabling people to find and fulfil their potential and helping to champion a more inclusive society.

The initiative sees us offer personal development projects inspired by the World Cup that are specifically designed to meet the needs, goals and dreams of each individual. Participants have the chance to test and develop their skills through volunteering at the RLWC2021 and other exciting rugby league events, whilst also receiving ongoing mentoring and support from the charity.

This programme uniquely engages people from across the social care sector – including people who have learning disabilities, autism, mental health concerns, acquired brain injuries and dementia – at all stages of life, from children to older adults.

The volunteers have led a breath-taking range of programmes. With more than forty projects being delivered, including the media and performance clubs, the creation of community gardens, partnering with police forces to challenge prejudice and discrimination, and forming significant arts and reminiscence projects, this is unlocking people’s potential and supporting people to achieve their dreams at scale.

From enabling a 10-year-old aspiring rapper to create a World Cup inspired song with a hitmaker producer, to people with a passion for communications hosting the Betfred Women’s Challenge Cup Final press conference, and even engaging the creative talents of people living with dementia, it is doing volunteering differently.

With participants already achieving a range of successes, including securing paid work, finding new friendships and discovering new interests, it is proving to be a life-changing partnership.

It is hoped that this project will inform the design and delivery of future major events, and inspire new routes for inclusion through sport.

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

“We are incredibly proud of the impact that this programme is making on people’s lives and our communities. Our volunteers have been part of the most remarkable projects and achieved incredible things.

We are only able to deliver brilliant projects because of the support of brilliant people. We would like to thank Sport England and RLWC2021 for backing this vision. We are grateful to every volunteer, and their support teams and families, for their passion, ideas, and hard work. I would also like to thank the colleagues at all levels of Community Integrated Care who have worked tirelessly to make this project possible. We hope that they feel proud seeing their hard work represented on an international stage.”

Tracy Power, RLWC2021 Social Impact Director, said:

“Our ambition has always been that RLWC2021 will not only be a global spectacle but would, more importantly, have a significant social benefit on local communities across England. To see this commitment recognised on an international stage with this nomination is an honour.

“The work Community Integrated Care are doing to enhance people’s lives is fantastic and we’re proud to be a part of it. We are already seeing the impact our inclusive volunteering programme is having, helping people to learn new skills and build experience and confidence, ahead of volunteering at RLWC2021 next year.

“Inclusivity is at the heart of everything we do, and we look forward to continuing our work with Community Integrated Care to provide more opportunities and engage more people in the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup ever.”

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