A very good evening to you,

There doesn’t need to be a reminder of how 2020 has affected our personal, professional and recreational lives.  As the year comes to an end, below I will inform you of what has been happening at your club despite the obvious lack of training, matches and uncertainty over the last few months.  

Operation – New Clubhouse

Having been successful at the Stage 1 application early in the year, we were provided with over 30 actions as part of the final Stage 2 process.  We have been supported throughout the process by the RLWC2021 legacy project lead, St Helens council and our project management team.  Some of the actions included producing a five year business plan, a programme of use, project development costs, risk registers, proposed layouts, community based assessments and a raft of other measures and submissions.  

We are in a fantastic position with one a handful of small actions left to complete and this is largely in part to David Hobin, an experienced project manager who has offered his services free of charge.  His eye for detail and professional submissions have impressed our partners and I am delighted to reveal that we are on schedule for our proposed project being supported for board approval within the RLWC2021 committee.  

We have been approached by several community groups including the emergency services who are interested in using any facility as a lay up point for their crews.

We have a pre-planning meeting set for January and final approval in February.  From there we will be in a position to finalise official consultation and officially submit planning permission.  

This, as you can imagine, is the largest project in the clubs history and with a potential to invest in our members for generations to come, we will be working all the way through the Christmas period to ensure all our actions are complete before the pre-planning meeting in January.  The timeframes we are working towards if all goes to plan will be to start the build in the second quarter of 2021.  Once we have received direction from the pre-planning meeting, I will provide members with a full update, likely a presentation via Zoom.  

VIY project

I trust you will have kept up to date with the regular updates on our website and Facebook page which has captured the complete transformation of the existing clubhouse.  Whilst regularly highlighting those volunteers who have made this happen, on Saturday 12th December, we were able to facilitate the accreditation of 10 young members from the U14s, U16s and U18s.  The children displayed their competence under theory and practical based assessments resulting in a City and Guilds Award that is externally recognised. A huge achievement and following the 6 week project, delivered in a Covid compliant environment, we have received the following from Volunteer It Yourself manager Ben Fisher - addressed to vice chairman and project lead, Billy Vaughan,

“Hi Billy,

As we draw to the end of the year and the final works on our project together, I wanted to take a moment to say a huge thank you to you, the committee and all of your volunteers on behalf of VIY. Your effort, enthusiasm and partnership helped us create a fantastic month (and more) of activity that is a real testament to the team spirit at Portico Vine.

Through difficult circumstances, not least the every changing guidance around covid, the entire VIY team has been impressed by the number of volunteers who consistently showed up and got stuck in. Equally impressive was the number of hours collectively put into the project - which must be one of the best efforts we've seen!

The welcome you gave our mentors was unrivalled, and made a particular impression on Paul Surridge for his very first VIY project (and thanks to you definitely not his last). The young people who volunteered their time are a real credit to their families and the club, and were an absolute pleasure to work with. And thank you to all the adult volunteers and family members who supported and made the whole thing possible.

Everyone at VIY wishes you the best start to the new year as you enjoy the fruits of your labour in the clubhouse and changing rooms, and we look forward to seeing what you have planned next!


Your lead coaches at each age group have been sent details of a planned open day which will be hosted in the New Year so you can see the transformation and upgrade for yourselves (subject to change in line with Covid regulations).

Annual Awards

In the absence of presentation nights this year, the club purchased each registered child a small trophy to recognise their contribution at the start of the season and their involvement in the staged return of training over the summer/autumn period. Lead coaches were provided with the relevant number of trophies so if you are yet to receive one, please make contact with the coaches.

Unfortunately we also had to cancel a planned community and volunteer night in November.  However, on Wednesday 23rd December, I will be announcing via our various platforms the winners of our lifetime award, volunteer of the year, members who have become club ambassadors and a couple of other surprises too.

Return to Play Strategy

We have been following the national direction provided by the RFL throughout and the most recent instruction is that a staged return to action will be permitted from week commencing January 4th 2021.  The first two weeks will be limited contact and full contact re-introduced from week commencing 18th January.