The British & Irish Lions Charitable Trust has renewed four existing charity partnerships, helping rugby-based charities to raise much-needed funds and awareness over the coming 12 months.
The decision was taken to extend the partnerships in acknowledgement of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on their fundraising activities. The following charities will work in partnership with the Trust over the coming year:
- Matt Hampson Foundation
- My Name’5 Doddie Foundation
- The Atlas Foundation
- Wooden Spoon
The Trust wishes to give each charity the opportunity to utilise the full benefits of the partnerships, which was not entirely possible in 2021 due to COVID-19 lockdowns.
The charities will benefit from promotional support during the partnership including using the Lions digital platforms to generate awareness, as well as access to Lions Tour memorabilia for fundraising.
“It’s with great privilege I can announce we are renewing our four charity partnerships for a second year,” said Gavin Hastings, Chairman of Trustees for The British & Irish Lions Charitable Trust.
“Each charity partner has rugby at the core of what it does, and so we wanted the four charities to reap the full benefits of the partnership. We look forward to working closely with each charity again this year and supporting them in their mission to raise much-needed funds for their charitable causes.”
The Matt Hampson Foundation aims to inspire and support anyone in the UK who suffers a life-changing injury through sport with the provision of physical and mental well-being support.
The Foundation is the brainchild of founder and ex-England and Leicester Tigers rugby player Matt Hampson OBE, who himself experienced a life-changing injury in 2005 leaving him paralysed from the neck down, aged just 20.
“We’re thrilled to have been chosen as an official charity partner of The British & Irish Lions Trust for another year,” said Tommy Cawston, CEO of The Matt Hampson Foundation.
“The opportunities that the partnership has brought the Foundation so far have been fantastic and helped us to raise both our profile and some much-needed funds for our beneficiaries. We receive lots of support from both current and former Lions players and we can’t wait to get started on our plans for 2022 to promote the partnership.”
The My Name’5 Doddie Foundation has a clear vision of a world free of motor neuron disease. Established in November 2017, following former Scotland international and Lions legend Doddie Weir’s diagnosis with Motor Neuron Disease (MND), the charity was founded in response to his frustration at the lack of options given to MND patients – no effective treatment, no access to meaningful clinical trials and no hope.
Jill Douglas, CEO of My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, said: “We’re delighted that our charitable partnership with The British & Irish Lions Trust has been renewed and we have a busy calendar of activities planned accordingly.
“My Name’5 Doddie Foundation has benefitted significantly from this relationship, allowing us to invest more funds into targeted research to help to find a cure for Motor Neuron Disease (MND) and support patients living with the disease. The relationship has meant a huge amount to Doddie too, who holds his time with The British & Irish Lions as one of the highlights of his career.”
The Atlas Foundation exists to help deprived children work towards a better future through rugby communities and initiatives. Founded in 2015 by former England international and British & Irish Lion, Jason Leonard, the Foundation is committed to getting practical help directly to those who need it most, funding and delivering projects that have a tangible impact on the daily lives of more than 50,000 young people in 16 countries across five continents.
In the poorest communities on earth, Atlas improves education, provides safe places to play, diverts children from crime, provides food, water and medical supplies, and builds a supportive and compassionate network of rugby people who ensure children thrive.
CEO of The Atlas Foundation, Boris Pomroy, said: “We’re delighted our partnership with The British & Irish Lions has been extended. It’s already given Atlas the chance to deepen our ties with the global rugby family, and we look forward to continuing this over the next year. The support of The Lions is greatly felt by Atlas and our partners working in some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.”
Wooden Spoon is the children’s charity of rugby, funding life-changing projects that support children and young people with disabilities or living in disadvantage.
Since 1983 Wooden Spoon has raised over £29m and funded over 1,300 projects across UK and Ireland, including projects such as sensory playrooms, playground and outdoor activities, health and wellbeing and specialist equipment.
Sarah Webb, CEO at Wooden Spoon said: “The Lions partnership has been a privilege to be part of. Wooden Spoon embodies what The British & Irish Lions partnership is about, four nations working together to do great things.
“The partnership has been a rubber stamp coming out of COVID in a time where people need reassurance and confidence in who they are supporting and donating to. We look forward to continuing to work together with the Trust to highlight the great work that is going on through the rugby community and family.”
The Lions Charitable Trust exists to connect with, nurture and support all Lions players in need, alongside furthering the spirit, values and ethos of the Lions through rugby clubs and communities across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
For more information visit lionsrugby.com/lions-trust