People We Support and Staff Showcased in ‘One Club, My Vikings’ Campaign
Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club, in association with Club partner Rinnai UK, have launched ‘One Club, My Vikings’, a unique initiative that showcases the stories of participants whose lives have been changed through accessing some the Club’s award-winning community projects.
Our charity’s very own Will Parlane, Activity Coordinator at Glenwood Care Home, and our biggest Vikings’ fan, Fred, who lives at St Luke’s dementia specialist care home, are two of the 11 lucky participants invited to take part in the initiative.
Widnes Vikings deliver one of the most ambitious community programmes in UK sport. Last year, our charity formed a pioneering partnership with the Club, seeing our care homes enjoy weekly visits from community coaches and legendary players, the adults we support with learning disabilities attending weekly fitness sessions, and the development of a fantastic Vikings-themed dementia café. These exciting programmes have been honoured at the 3rd Sector Care Awards and the National Dementia Care Awards, two of the highest profile social care accolades.
‘One Club, My Vikings’ will showcase the stories of 11 participants throughout 2017, delivering one each month across the Club’s website, social media, and match day programmes. From Will’s story about getting his dream job as a Volunteer Coach, through to Fred, who lives with dementia, reconnecting with his favourite Vikings memories and meeting his heros at the Chemics Cafe, the programme celebrates the impact the Vikings have on local people.
To celebrate the launch of the project, the first 7 participants of the campaign, Lola, Elizabeth, Joe, Nick, Margaret, Denis and our very own Will, were invited to take their places in the club’s official team photograph, lining up amongst the club’s first team stars.
Richard Munson, Community Director of Widnes Vikings, says: “Putting our local people and community programme at the heart of the Club’s official photograph makes a clear statement about the vision and values of Widnes Vikings. We are proud to deliver over 40 projects in Halton and the surrounding area which make a real difference to local people. We wanted to celebrate our recent achievements, and importantly the people who have been part of them, in this unique campaign. I am grateful for the support of Rinnai UK in helping us to bring this initiative from concept to reality.’
Chris Goggin, Associate Director of Rinnai UK, says: “Rinnai is a global organisation that embraces community initiatives in all our international regions, promoting inclusiveness and acting with humility towards all stakeholders. Widnes Vikings and the One Club My Vikings initiative clearly encapsulates and enhances our own values. A further indication of the excellent partnership potential that exists between our historic yet future focussed organisations. It gives us great pleasure to support this initiative and help an award winning team with their relentless remit towards the betterment of our local community”
Widnes Vikings community programme is underpinned by a number of innovative collaborations with partners who share its vision for the role a professional club can have in society. This includes a groundbreaking health partnership with NHS Halton CCG and the Improving ME Vanguard, who commission the Vikings to deliver a host of innovative health and community projects. The Club also has developed Britain’s most far-reaching sports and social care partnership with the national social care charity Community Integrated Care. The Vikings have a belief that the power of sport can change lives for the better.