As it concludes its fifth anniversary of working in rugby league, Community Integrated Care has announced a long-term extension to its role as official social partner of the Rugby Football League.
A revolutionary partnership
Community Integrated Care is one of Britain’s largest and most successful social care charities, supporting over 3,000 people with learning disabilities, autism, mental health issues, dementia and complex care needs to lead the best possible life.
Since 2016, the charity has launched many innovative programs with the sport of Rugby League locally and nationally that promote the health, happiness and inclusion of people who have access to support and help to have a impact on paid and family carers.
This work reached new heights in 2018 when Rugby Football League and Super League joined forces with the charity to become the first governing body and the first top-flight league with a dedicated social partner. With a shared vision to use the power of Rugby League to change lives, this collaboration has formed many innovative programs and helped bring in significant investment, resources and skills to support disability inclusion efforts. in this sport.
Changing the lives of tens of thousands of people, creating unprecedented opportunities in communities and helping to promote a more inclusive society is a truly revolutionary partnership.
This success has notably included the creation of the world’s first Super League for Learning Disabilities in Community Integrated Care and the Rugby World Cup 2021 Inclusive Volunteering schemes.
The Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League has given over 300 people with learning disabilities or autism the opportunity to play for the clubs they love, enjoying a specially accessible and tailored form of Rugby League . This program was named “Best Integrated Care Model” by Skills for Care, the national social care training and innovation organization.
The Inclusive Volunteering program has helped over 350 people access life-changing mentorship, support and opportunities, through Rugby League and RLWC2021-inspired projects and major games volunteering opportunities. The project has already provided more than 4,500 hours of support to participants, enabling people to realize their biggest dreams and grow in autonomy. The program was named “Best Community Program” at the 2021 Sports Business Awards and won the Sporting Chance Award at the National Learning Disability and Autism Awards.
Other innovations created by the partnership have included the creation of www.What-To-Do.co.uk, a website that offers free activities that can be accessed live every day for people who have access to care and support. , and a major campaign to help develop the skills of caregivers during lockdown.
At the local level, Community Integrated Care works directly with many Rugby League charities and clubs. With programs including accessible sports classes for people with profound learning disabilities, education and job training programs, social clubs, campaigns to promote inclusion, dementia cafes and programs of caregiver well-being, this represents a unique and diverse commitment to social impact through sport.
Future plans include a major education project to promote inclusive attitudes among young people, new community projects to support people with dementia, and the development of new sporting and social opportunities for people with learning and learning disabilities. ‘autism.
John Hughes, Director of Partnerships and Communities at Community Integrated Care, said:
“Our relationship with the RFL has changed countless lives and transformed the opportunities that exist for many people with disabilities in our communities. This long-term extension of our partnership demonstrates the joint commitment of our charity and the sport to extend this impact even further in the years to come.
“The RFL and our club, foundation and Super League partners have been incredible partners who deserve huge credit for their vision and belief. Together, we have had a very unique impact on the sports world. We are very excited about the difference we will make together in the years to come. »
Rugby Football League CEO Ralph Rimmer said:
“We have been proud to develop such a close partnership with Community Integrated Care over the past few years, which has led to the development of the Learning Disability Super League and several other innovative programs. We are therefore absolutely delighted to have extended this long-term partnership. .
“There could be no better example of the positive impact of sport in general and Rugby League in particular. This extension of the partnership is impacting hundreds more people, in parts of the country where life can be particularly difficult.
“Rugby League Sport will be delighted to welcome Community Integrated Care and LDSL players to our Mid-Season Internationals this month, Super League Magic Weekend in Newcastle in July and of course the Rugby League Cup. world of rugby this fall.”
Clare Balding CBE, the President of the RFL, added:
“This partnership is Rugby League at its best. That’s why I was so delighted when Community Integrated Care’s Mark Adams received an RFL Chairman’s Award at the end of 2020 to reflect the importance of the work that had been done in the development of the Learning Disability Super League, and in particular through the Covid-19 pandemic – and I am also pleased that the partnership will continue.