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Gavin to make dream DJ debut

Gavin Walton, a person we support in Middlesbrough, will achieve his lifetime dream of becoming a successful DJ, when he makes his live debut at St James’ Park – the home of Newcastle United, this Saturday.

Gavin Walton practising his DJ set.

Gavin will be taking to the stage at the Dacia Magic Weekend, the flagship summer event for the Betfred Super League – rugby league’s topflight competition, on Saturday 4th September. Playing a set at the fanzone, he will achieve his goal of performing as a DJ to a crowd of people, in the most spectacular way.

The opportunity came about for Gavin as a result of our world-first dedicated volunteering and personal development programme at a major event, for people who have care and support needs, in partnership with the Rugby League World Cup 2021. Through this programme, participants like Gavin are given specialist mentoring and development opportunities, designed to fulfil their potential, promote independence, and make dreams come true.

In his application for our Inclusive Volunteering programme with the Rugby League World Cup 2021, Gavin expressed a passion for music and a dream to DJ to a crowd. We partnered with Super League to make this a reality on one of the sport’s most famous stages.

Gavin is just one of more than thirty people who will be enjoying an aspirational volunteering opportunity at the event, with others taking part in exciting opportunities such as matchday photography, taking on media roles to interview legends of the game, assisting with matchday hospitality, and even sharing their culinary skills to provide catering for members of the Sky Sports broadcast team and Super League colleagues.

We have also worked with Super League to showcase the artwork of people we support in the Dacia Magic Weekend official matchday programme. More than sixty people have created illustrations of players, coaches, and crests, which will be featured in the matchday magazine and in a special digital publication. Their artwork will also be shared widely across Super League digital channels.

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

“We are delighted to kick off our first volunteering placements at a major event at the Dacia Magic Weekend. Through our specialist support and the incredible platform that our charity has as the Official Social Care Partner of Super League, the Rugby Football League, and the Rugby League World Cup 2021, we are able to offer once-in-a-lifetime volunteering and personal development opportunities.

Gavin has dreamt of being a DJ, and through this project this will become a reality. We are excited for him and everyone who will be achieving amazing things at the event. Our thanks go to our partners at Super League, who have been so committed to changing lives through this opportunity, as well as our partners at Sport England and RLWC2021.”

Gavin Walton said:

“I can’t believe that I am having the chance to DJ at such a huge event and famous stadium. With the support of Community Integrated Care and the volunteering programme, I’ve enjoyed lots of special opportunities that have built my confidence to take on something big like this. I’ll be working hard to pick my five best songs to get the party started for all of the fans.”

Katy Graham, Marketing Manager at Super League, said:

“We are incredibly proud of our partnership with Community Integrated Care and the impact that it has on so many lives. It was important for us to help deliver these life-changing opportunities. We are excited to welcome the talents of their DJ’s, photographers, artists, cooks, and event assistants, who will really help us to deliver another spectacular Dacia Magic Weekend event at the iconic St James’ Park.”

“It’s been extraordinary watching this partnership grow and develop. From seeing the Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League teams run out at Anfield during the 2019 Dacia Magic Weekend, to seeing some of their participants now returning in 2021 as accredited photographers and journalists, it’s a testament to the impact of the charity.”

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