30 community Rugby League clubs will become ‘Community Wellbeing Hubs’ by 2030 as part of the Rugby Football League’s social impact strategy.
Community Wellbeing Hubs will be more than simply a Rugby League club – they will use their facilities to deliver positive social impact in their local areas alongside their traditional activities.
There are currently five community clubs taking part in a pilot phase of the project – and the RFL is now inviting more clubs to join the programme.
Pilot project clubs include St Helens-based Portico Vine, who have worked with the local community police to address anti–social behaviour and are using their clubhouse for education and rehabilitation sessions.
"The launch of our Community Wellbeing Hub has really brought local residents together again after Covid-19” says Portico Vine’s Tracey Leung-Fullerton, “and we have re-formed friendships that had previously been dissolved."
“We recognised the needs of our local community by listening to them and then delivering impactful projects that they could get involved in. We've managed to bring a wide range of age groups together, for example our wildflower planting project which saw children from three years of age working alongside our elderly community. Who would have thought that our club could do that?"
Following the success of pilot schemes such as Portico Vine’s, the RFL is encouraging clubs interested in becoming a Community Wellbeing Hub to submit an expression of interest by 30 June with the aim of adding five more participant clubs to the programme by the end of 2023.
Successful applicants will be supported by the RFL’s Social Impact team, who will share valuable knowledge and experience through an established community of best practice network, identify funding opportunities and help with identifying volunteer support.
RFL Director of Participation and Development, Marc Lovering, says: “Our work on Community Wellbeing Hubs is a vital part of our Social Impact Strategy and I am really pleased that we will be able to help five more clubs in their transformation this year.
“This project will help us continue to change the perception of Rugby League by making Community Clubs more diverse and therefore, developing their appeal to people within their local areas. This evolution and diversification from a traditional ‘club’ into multi-purpose sport and community centre should also, in turn, provide better revenue opportunities to those taking part helping us make the sport more sustainable.
“By 2030, we want to have a Community Wellbeing Hubs in every region, so I would really encourage anyone interested to complete their expression of interest by 30 June.”
Interested community clubs can find more information about the wellbeing hub project on Our Learning Zone. Once applicants have completed expressions of interest, they will be contacted by a member of the RFL’s Social Impact Team for an initial discussion and further details about the invitational, induction and development phases of the programme.
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