The ground-breaking partnership between the national social care charity Community Integrated Care and the Rugby Football League, Super League and Rugby League World Cup 2021 has been recognised with top care sector honours.
The charity and its partners collected the Care Innovator honour at both the Northwest and Yorkshire heats of the Great British Care Awards. With players from the Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League and participants from the charity’s Inclusive Volunteering Programme with the Rugby League World Cup 2021 taking to the stage to collect the coveted trophies, these honours represent the success of the charity and sport in championing inclusion and providing opportunities.
Community Integrated Care is proudly the Official Social Care Partner of Super League, the RFL and Rugby League World Cup 2021. Now celebrating its fifth year of working with Rugby League, it has developed a range of unique programmes with partners across the sport – from forming its first dementia café to developing a host of innovative employability, social and sporting projects.
At the heart of these partnerships is the Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League, which gives people who have learning disabilities and autism the chance to live their dreams as rugby league stars, playing a specially adapted version of the sport for the clubs that they love. This is furthered with the creation of a world first Inclusive Volunteering Programme at a major sporting event with the Rugby League World Cup 2021. The programme is giving more than 300 people unique vocational experiences and life-changing opportunities through the tournament.
Supported by the Department of Health and Social Care and many leading sector bodies, The Great British Care Awards represent excellence in social care.
John Hughes, Director of Partnerships and Communities at Community Integrated Care says: “The partnership between our charity and Rugby League is unique in its impact and ambition. It not only gives hundreds of people the chance to play the sport, but to also discover and fulfil their potential through it too.”
“Our congratulations go to the RFL, Super League and RLWC2021, as well as the participants, family members, clubs, and foundations, who all share this honour. We know that this only represents the start of our work together. We are excited by what we can achieve together in the years ahead.”
RLWC2021 Social Impact Director, Tracy Power, 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.”
“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.”