Spoonews Autumn/Winter 2018

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England ace Tamara Taylor signs up to tackle world’s tallest mountain


Supporters reveal skills needed to deliver success


How a wheelchair Rugby League club is literally levelling the playing field




E V E R Y T H I N G !





“ FA N TA S T I C ”

“A R E A L T R E AT ”


TELEGRAPH     


D A I LY M A I L     






F EVER I had any doubts as to the high esteem in which Wooden Spoon is held, they were flattened by a single glance at the group which gathered to celebrate the charity’s 35th anniversary this summer (page 7). Being able to count a member of royalty among our birthday guests obviously gives a huge hint as to the children’s charity of rugby’s standing, but more telling is the fact that the Royal in question is a familiar face. Since becoming our Patron 21 years ago, HRH The Princess Royal has been far from just an interested bystander; she has given her time generously and seen first-hand – during visits to projects up and down the country – the positive change Wooden Spoon makes to young lives. Of course, it should come as no surprise that Princess Anne found herself in the company of rugby royalty – as well as many of our regional chairmen – during our reception at London’s majestic Trinity House. From long-standing teammates like David Trick (page 11) to the Sevens sensations who routinely don our distinctive stripes to star for our O’Neills- and Securitas-sponsored invitational sides (pages 27-33), we have always enjoyed outstanding support from the sport that inspired our formation. Among those ambassadors present at our anniversary celebrations in the capital were England and Wasps Ladies back Harriet Millar-Mills, who has twice been named Women’s Premiership Players’ Player of the Year, and former

England greats Andy Gomarsall and Ollie Phillips. And, as evidenced by this issue of Spoonews, these stars’ support of Wooden Spoon goes far beyond raising a glass in our name. Alongside England stalwart Tamara Taylor, Wales’ wing wizard Shane Williams and Bath legend Lee Mears, Ollie is committed to taking our fundraising – and competitive sport – to new heights during an expedition to Mount Everest (pages 20-25) next year. We are incredibly proud to have such peak performers from the world of rugby in our squad, but Wooden Spoon’s ascent from humble beginnings to an organisation capable of making a mountain of difference to millions of young people and children in the UK are Ireland would not have been possible without incredibly firm foundations. Thankfully, we are not short of heroic supporters volunteering to work tirelessly to build on past successes and ensure we remain a landmark for the next 35 years and beyond. Transforming lives is a lofty ambition, but one Wooden Spoon conquers thanks to the enduring endeavours of our trustees, members, regionals chairs, their committees and our supporters. Thank you all.

Sarah Webb Chief Executive Officer Autumn/Winter 2018


“When you see the pictures and see where we’re going and what we’re going to be doing, you’re not going to be in the foothills of Everest, you’re there in the shadow of Everest." – LMAX Exchange Everest Rugby Challenge referee Graham Allen reflects on the prospect of officiating at the highest level (pages 20-25)

In this issue... 18



ROYAL SALUTE VIPs toast Wooden Spoon's 35th anniversary


DIRTY WORK Solicitors brave the elements to raise vital funds


DENTAL DOUBLE ACT Mouthguard specialists sign up as official partners

11 GAME CHANGER David Trick reveals how age has adjusted his outlook

15 REVVING UP INTEREST Motoring-mad supporters drive recruitment


All rights reserved.

Funded projects



Wooden Spoon sets its sights on Mount Everest

Surrey school gains adventure playground



Wales wonder Philippa Tuttiett praises 7s programme

Disabled riding club takes the reins of new pony



Wooden Spoon Marauders make major gains

Interactive addition teaches children rules of the road


Spoonews meets the club providing sport for all

51 COUNTY'S CARING SIDE Staffordshire shows its support of children's centre

54 RAPID RECREATION Devon play area transformed in just 24 hours

Extra time 55 WHERE THERE'S A WILL How leaving a legacy can make a lasting difference


Volunteers share what it means to be part of our squad

PUBLISHED BY TYLERBALE COMMUNICATIONS Email: info@tylerbale.co.uk Tel: 01252 714 870 Write: 10 Borelli Yard, Farnham, Surrey GU9 7NU





Wooden Spoon Wales address school's dire need

50 PATHWAY TO FITNESS All-weather walkway helping to keep schoolchildren trim

ON THE COVER Standing tall: World Cup winner Tamara Taylor will be one of four captains tackling Everest for the children's charity of rugby next year

WOODEN SPOON – THE CHILDREN’S CHARITY OF RUGBY Email: charity@woodenspoon.org.uk Tel: 01252 773 720 Fax: 01252 773 721 Write: Sentinel House, Ancells Business Park, Harvest Crescent, Fleet, Hampshire GU51 2UZ Contact details for our regions can be found online on page 20 and at woodenspoon.org.uk/near-you

Content © Wooden Spoon 2018. Registered address: Sentinel House, Ancells Business Park, Harvest Crescent, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UZ. Charity Registration No 326691 (England & Wales) and SC039247 (Scotland).

Autumn/Winter 2018



THE RUGBY BALL F R I D AY 1 5 F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 After last year’s success and the amazing support shown for Wooden Spoon, the 2019 Rugby Ball promises to be an unforgettable night. The evening will be a great opportunity to meet with colleagues, friends and rugby legends all while enjoying fabulous drink, food and entertainment. Join us as we celebrate the imminent departure of the LMAX Exchange Everest Rugby Challengers Book today and help raise crucial funds to support children and young people with disabilities or facing disadvantage across the UK & Ireland.

Wooden Spoon is a registered charity in England and Wales (Reg No: 326691) and in Scotland (Reg No: SC039247)

To book your table please email or call events@woodenspoon.org.uk or 01252 773720 woodenspoon.org.uk/rugby-ball #wearerugby


In esteemed company (clockwise from bottom right): Wooden Spoon Patron Princess Anne and charity chair Quentin Smith address the assembled guests before meeting former England greats and ambassadors Ollie Phillips and Andy Gomarsall; and founder and life president Peter Scott reflects on his role in Wooden Spoon’s evolution at the anniversary event in London



OYALTY, regional volunteers and rugby greats joined fundraisers and founding members of Wooden Spoon to formally celebrate the charity’s 35th anniversary at Trinity House in London this summer. HRH The Princess Royal was guest-of-honour at the reception, which was held to recognise all those who have played a part in the children’s charity of rugby’s enduring success, and highlighted the positive impact supporters have made to beneficiaries across the UK and Ireland. Since being formed in the wake

of England’s woeful wooden spoon showing at the 1983 Five Nations Championship, the charity has raised and shared more than £26 million with community projects and helped around one million youngsters with disabilities or facing disadvantage. In 2016-17, Wooden Spoon provided funds for 70-plus projects which enhanced the lives of more than 150,000 children and young people. Founder and life president Peter Scott told the assembled crowd the charity had always been focused on putting smiles on both the faces of its beneficiaries and those

committed to supporting them. Reflecting on the charity’s humble beginnings – a golf day in Surrey arranged to determine the winner of the wooden spoon presented to Peter and four friends by jubilant Ireland fans in Dublin – he said: “We did not set out to launch a charity, but decided that while we were having fun we should continue to raise money together. “Here we are 35 years on, having raised more than £26 million and helped thousands of children, and we are still having fun.” Joining Peter, his wife Sheila

and Princess Anne, who became patron of the charity in 1997, at the capital city celebration were a host of famous names from the sport that inspired Wooden Spoon’s creation. Among the assembled stars were international referee Wayne Barnes, French flanker Serge Betsen, World Cup winner Rachel Burford, Paralympian Steve Brown and former Ireland and Lions great Fergus Slattery. ➤ Want to become part of our success story? Find out how at woodenspoon.org.uk/getinvolved

Autumn/Winter 2018


Dirty work: The six-strong team from Feldon Dunsmore Solicitors



TEAM of legal experts swapped a warm office for muddy fields to tackle a daunting outdoors challenge in aid of Wooden Spoon. Six members of staff from Coventry’s Feldon Dunsmore Solicitors laced up their trainers for the Spring Wolf Run, a challenging 10km race held in the Warwickshire countryside. Maya Zaidi-Wood, Bethany Isard, Paul Harrison, Louise Harrison, Sophie

GET INVOLVED Fancy getting your hands dirty for Wooden Spoon but stuck for ideas? Visit woodenspoon. org.uk/challengesevents for some inspiration

Read and Aimee Healy completed the run – named “Wolf” due to the woods, obstacles, lakes and fields participants must brave – and raised more than £1,000 for the children’s charity of rugby in the process. A combination of three types of offroad running – mud, trail and obstacle – the Wolf Run pitted the Feldon Dunsmore entrants against an array of hurdles ranging from climbing walls


SENSORY SOLACE SECURED A CALM and relaxing retreat has been created for children affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence using a four-figure sum from Wooden Spoon Wales. Built at a Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Service (CDAS) refuge, the sensory room is being used as a safe and soothing space for youngsters who may find themselves temporarily housed far from friends and extended family. The new facility, made possible thanks to a children’s charity of rugby


Autumn/Winter 2018

grant of £6,386, was opened earlier this year by former Wales captain and Neath star Paul Thorburn. Accompanied by members of Wooden Spoon’s regional committee, the retired full-back – renowned for being a prolific long-distance goal kicker – met with CDAS trustees, staff and residents, who expressed their delight with the development. ➤ Read more about Wooden Spoon Wales’ work on page 49.

and lakes to a water slide. Plot sales paralegal Maya told Spoonews that the team had bravely tackled all of the event’s obstacles as they ran, jumped, climbed and waded their way to the finishing line in around three hours. She added: “Feldon Dunsmore plans to make this an annual fundraiser for Wooden Spoon and aims to beat its personal best in the summer Wolf Run of 2019!”

WIN DREAM TICKETS IN addition to knowing that you’re helping to change the lives of children and young people with a disability or facing disadvantage across the UK and Ireland, being a Wooden Spoon member brings a host of benefits. As well as receiving two copies of this premier publication each year and as a thank you for your support, our members are entered into a fabulous draw and have the chance of winning hard-to-get rugby tickets. Recent prizes, courtesy of Wooden Spoon sponsor Gullivers Sports Travel, have included seats to see the Calcutta Cup, Autumn internationals action and Scotland’s Captain’s Run. ➤ Sign up and show your support of the children’s charity of rugby at woodenspoon.org.uk/membership






OODEN Spoon’s latest corporate partnership will preserve the smiles of its rugby-playing supporters while helping to put smiles on the faces of children and young people with a disability or facing disadvantage. As part of a three-year deal, OPRO – a leading manufacturer of technicallyadvanced mouthguards – has launched a Wooden Spoon-branded product and will donate £10 from the sale of every striped shield to the children’s charity of rugby. The dentist-friendly double act will also see OPRO named as an official partner of the LMAX Exchange Everest Rugby Challenge (page 20) and the international company supply bespoke mouthguards to all 30 of the mountain-bound fundraisers. David Allen, chief executive officer of OPRO, said: “The work that Wooden Spoon does to change the

STAR SMILE: To join England ace and Everest challenger Tamara Taylor in showing your support of Wooden Spoon by sporting stripes this season, visit opromouthguards. com/power-fitwooden-spoon.html

lives of so many children and young people through the power of rugby is incredible. We’re excited to be a part of that as they take on this incredible feat.” Sarah Webb, Wooden Spoon’s chief executive officer, added: “We

are delighted to team up with an organisation that is dedicated to bringing safety to all levels of sport and in doing so we are in excellent rugby company – OPRO is the mouthguard partner of more than 60 teams, including England and Australia.”


PIRATE APPAREL CORNISH Pirates players donned Wooden Spoon’s distinctive stripes as Cornwall came together to raise money for the children’s charity of rugby. The West Country side’s stars wore our striped socks for their sell-out pre-season derby clash with Exeter Chiefs at the Menaye in Penzance. Supporters of both teams dug deep to donate £880 in a bucket collection at half-time in the match, which ended 29-21 in favour of the hosts. Wooden Spoon Cornwall wishes both sides a successful 2018/19 season. ➤ To find out how your team can pull up its socks and raise money for the children’s charity of rugby, contact Ian Lindsay at ilindsay@ woodenspoon.org.uk or call 01252 773720.

Autumn/Winter 2018


COMING UP From golf days to cycle rides, our regions host a huge range of exciting events each year. Below is a snapshot of dates for your diary – visit woodenspoon.org.uk/events for a full list 21 OCTOBER


Yorkshire Everest Challenge Bike Ride yorkshire@woodenspoon.org.uk

26 APRIL 2019

26 OCTOBER Chilterns An Evening with Sir Michael Parkinson chilterns@woodenspoon.org.uk

1 NOVEMBER Devon Festive Shopping Event devon@woodenspoon.org.uk

8 NOVEMBER Worcestershire Charity Race Night worcestershire@woodenspoon.org.uk Scotland Edinburgh Dinner scotland@woodenspoon.org.uk

9-11 NOVEMBER National Rugby Armistice Tour events@woodenspoon.org.uk

14 NOVEMBER Gloucestershire Annual Dinner gloucestershire@woodenspoon.org.uk

16 NOVEMBER Lancashire Annual Lunch lancashire@woodenspoon.org.uk

23 NOVEMBER Gloucestershire Sportsman’s Lunch gloucestershire@woodenspoon.org.uk Merseyside Annual Sporting Lunch merseyside@woodenspoon.org.uk


Autumn/Winter 2018

Challenge events@woodenspoon.org.uk

15 MAR Surrey Rugby Clubs’ Curry Lunch surrey@woodenspoon.org.uk

5 DECEMBER Sussex Christmas Lunch on Brighton Pier sussex@woodenspoon.org.uk

6 DECEMBER Devon Christmas Lunch devon@woodenspoon.org.uk Scotland Glasgow Wine Tasting scotland@woodenspoon.org.uk

7 DECEMBER Warwickshire Christmas Lunch warwickshire@woodenspoon.org.uk

9 DECEMBER Chilterns Carol Cruise chilterns@woodenspoon.org.uk

14 DECEMBER Yorkshire Christmas Sporting Lunch yorkshire@woodenspoon.org.uk

18 JANUARY 2019 Scotland Burns Supper scotland@woodenspoon.org.uk

25 JANUARY 2019 Kent

Rugby Club Dinner kent@woodenspoon.org.uk Chilterns Annual Lunch chilterns@woodenspoon.org.uk

8 FEBRUARY 2019 Scotland Irish Pre-International Lunch scotland@woodenspoon.org.uk

15 FEBRUARY 2019 National The Rugby Ball events@woodenspoon.org.uk

8 MARCH 2019 Scotland Wales Pre-International Lunch scotland@woodenspoon.org.uk

12 MARCH 2019 Gloucestershire Cheltenham Races gloucestershire@woodenspoon.org.uk

14 MARCH 2019 Scotland Glasgow Dinner scotland@woodenspoon.org.uk

15 MARCH 2019 London Whisky Tasting Dinner london@woodenspoon.org.uk

13 APRIL – 6 MAY 2019 National LMAX Exchange Everest Rugby

Leicestershire St George’s Day leicestershire@woodenspoon.org.uk

28 APRIL 2019 National Virgin Money London Marathon events@woodenspoon.org.uk

MAY 2019 (TBC) Scotland Glasgow Lunch Aberdeen Dinner scotland@woodenspoon.org.uk

6 JUNE 2019 Scotland Edinburgh Golf Day scotland@woodenspoon.org.uk

13 JUNE 2019 Surrey Golf Day surrey@woodenspoon.org.uk

14 JUNE 2019 Kent West Kent Golf Day kent@woodenspoon.org.uk

19 JULY 2019 Kent East Kent Golf Day kent@woodenspoon.org.uk

23 AUGUST 2019 Kent Rugby Club Golf Challenge kent@woodenspoon.org.uk

20 SEPTEMBER 2019 Kent Rugby Club Golf Challenge: Final kent@woodenspoon.org.uk




Former England and Bath ace David Trick divulges how age and experience have softened his sporting stance WHILE I’ve always been quick to quip about my own inadequacies on the rugby pitch in this column and whenever asked to reminisce in the name of Wooden Spoon, the reality is that I could play a bit. As I hope more than just a handful of long-in-the-tooth Bath and England fans will still testify, I was once incredibly light on my feet and more than comfortable out on the wing with ball in hand. Yes, I had my share of off-days and owe a debt of gratitude to many a teammate, but my international caps were not given as an act of charity and amassing just shy of 300 appearances for Bath was no accident. And although my time in the spotlight may have fallen during rugby’s amateur era, I was – whisper it quietly – an elite sportsman with an iron will to win. Pulling on a jersey for a top-flight fixture was a fantastic feeling, but winning is what really mattered to me. Attainment always took priority over enjoyment… or at least until it was time to socialise! Consequently, now that I’m older and greyer, I find myself in a position where I could stand accused of hypocrisy. As a steadfast supporter of Wooden Spoon and a fundraiser at Bath Rugby Foundation, I am an ardent advocate of mixed ability rugby and quick to tell anyone willing to listen that my younger self had it all wrong – it really is the taking part that counts. There is, however, no shortage of evidence in defence of my seismic shift in opinion. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, consider if you will “exhibit A” – the Wooden Spoon-supported HITZ programme. Focused on lifting the skills of teenagers not in education, training or employment rather than silverware,

“Pulling on a jersey for a top-flight fixture was a fantastic feeling, but winning is what really mattered to me. Attainment always took priority over enjoyment.” Rugby Union’s largest social inclusion scheme uses the sport’s ethos and role models to combat the challenges facing Britain’s youth and boasts a win-rate any team would envy. Still in need of persuasion of my innocence? Then I challenge any Spoonews reader to dismiss the smiles of those provided with the opportunity to give wheelchair rugby a spin (see pages 38-41) or the beaming faces of the hundreds of young players who take to the field for Wooden Spoon’s annual Special Educational Needs rugby festival. So many of those supported by the children’s charity of rugby have their lives governed by what they can’t do, so it is a truly wonderful gift to give them the chance to focus and celebrate on what they can do. For me that meant being palmed a ball and flying down a wing in front of thousands of spectators to score a try, for others it may be as simple as catching a pass and running a few steps while being cheered on from the sidelines by loved ones. Such personal highlights are precious, regardless of

the playing field on which they are performed, and that is why Wooden Spoon revels in the sport that inspired its creation. Bath’s mixed ability team, the Walcot Warriors, refer to themselves as being “like a family, a rugby family” and this chimes with my own playing career. My former teammates used to put their bodies on the line to protect me and I still remember Roger Spurrell saving me from a pack of blood-thirsty forwards at Kingsholm by diving on top of me and taking the subsequent kicking. I was only 18 and as I got up he said “I thought you were a bit young to take that” and ran off. That was the moment I subscribed to being part of a sporting family. This shared experience of belonging has helped me to realise that rugby’s greatest rewards are not reserved for the elite few and thanks to your support – be it through volunteering, fundraising or donations – Wooden Spoon is able to share the sport’s spoils with even greater numbers. Thank you for continuing to be part of our family.

SPORT FOR ALL Phil Vickery cheered on Special Educational Needs competitors at Wooden Spoon’s International Tag Festival last year

Autumn/Winter 2018




A speedy selection of news from our regions, partner clubs and beyond 1











Those who prefer to surf for their shopping can now do so while raising cash for the children’s charity of rugby. Wooden Spoon has signed up with Amazon Smile and will receive a donation equivalent to 0.5 per cent of supporters’ purchases from the popular site. Show your support by setting up an account at smile.amazon.co.uk and selecting Wooden Spoon as your chosen beneficiary.

A huge thank you to the 16 challengers who donned Wooden Spoon colours to complete the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 this summer. The striped cyclists raised in excess of £5,500 for the children’s charity of rugby by tackling a route made famous by the world’s best riders at London 2012. The annual event began at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and included a number of leg-testing climbs.

A sell-out crowd at this year’s Let’s Rock the Moor music festival is set to significantly swell the coffers of the children’s charity of rugby. Wooden Spoon was again named as one of the three principal charities for the event, which was held at Crookham in Berkshire, and saw Tony Hadley and Billy Ocean among the star names to take to the stage. Last year’s concert led to an £11,000 donation.

Mark and Katie Loveday were given the opportunity to rub shoulders with royalty in the salubrious surroundings of Buckingham Palace during Volunteers’ Week. The pair were invited to attend a Royal Garden Party and meet with HRH The Princess Royal as a thank you for the part they played in organising Wooden Spoon Eastern Counties’ Club Together ride – an event which raised £136,000.


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Moseley Oak RFC can boast of brains as well as brawn after being crowned winners of Wooden Spoon Worcestershire’s inaugural Big Fat Rugby Quiz. Thirty teams of five competitors tackled topics including the British and Irish Lions, Six Nations and Worcester Warriors at the BRI Wealth Management -sponsored event, which raised £4,000 and welcomed 28 new members.

A four-ball representing Dartfordians RFC demonstrated a flair for the fairways by carding 96 points to secure first place at Wooden Spoon Kent’s annual Rugby Club Golf Challenge. Sheppey FC Vets clinched second spot with 94 points, and Westcombe Park RFC claimed third with 93 points. The event, hosted by Knole Park Golf Club in Sevenoaks, raised around £8,000 for Wooden Spoon Kent.

Beachgoers visiting Budleigh Salterton in Devon are being alerted to the wonders of Wooden Spoon by a colourful addition to the West Country coastline. A beach hut belonging to Wendy – an ardent supporter of the children’s charity of rugby – and James King has sported stripes since June and continues to attract the attention of holidaymakers. An information sheet attached to the rear of the Wooden Spoon-branded beach hut informs admirers of the valuable support the charity affords to children and young people with a disability or facing disadvantage.

GET INVOLVED Do you have a story you would like featured in Super Seven? Email details to charity@woodenspoon.org.uk

Autumn/Winter 2018




Want to join our growing squad? Contact your nearest neighbour below and make a difference to the lives of children in your own community... BEDFORDSHIRE




Chairman: Oliver Richbell bedfordshire@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairwoman: Karen Solway guernsey@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Roger Smith manchester@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Brian Hodges surrey@woodenspoon.org.uk









Chairman: Vacant regions@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Tony Wilkin hampshire@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Stan Bagshaw merseyside@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Bob Rogers sussex@woodenspoon.org.uk









Chairman: Ray Hague chilterns@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: John Batters hertfordshire@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Chris Fountain northampton@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Peter Wood ulster@woodenspoon.org.uk









Chairman: Alan Milliner cornwall@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Allan Thompson isleofman@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Anthony Stoker northumberland@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Huw Thomas wales@woodenspoon.org.uk









Chairman: John Cunningham cumbria@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Roger Trower jersey@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairwoman: Diane Orson nottingham@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Ian Holroyd warwickshire@woodenspoon.org.uk









Chairman: Roger Haywood devon@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Richard Russ kent@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: John Deeley oxfordshire@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Vacant regions@woodenspoon.org.uk









Chairman: David Gullick dorset@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Martin Long lancashire@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Charlie Bryden scotland@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Justin Cliff wiltshire@woodenspoon.org.uk









Chairman: Mike Stephenson durham@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Malcolm Foulkes-Arnold leicester@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Glyn Dobbs shropshire@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: John Gibson worcester@woodenspoon.org.uk









Chairman: Séamus Farrelly eastern@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Fergus Slattery leinster@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: David Reed somerset@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Stuart Watson yorkshire@woodenspoon.org.uk








Chairman: Rob York gloucestershire@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairs: David Eck & Rachel Zaltzman london@woodenspoon.org.uk

Chairman: Trevor Jenkins staffordshire@woodenspoon.org.uk





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Nowhere near you? If you would like to represent the children’s charity of rugby in your area, please contact regions@woodenspoon.org.uk



Super cars: Exclusive vehicles from manufacturers including Bentley, McLaren, Porsche, Mercedes and Alfa Romeo (inset) were wheeled out for the inaugural Cars & Conversation event

REVVING UP INTEREST MOTORING-MAD representatives of Wooden Spoon Yorkshire are using their love of classic cars to put fundraising for the children’s charity of rugby into top gear. Launched in September, the innovative Cars & Conversation networking event brings owners of a range of valuable vehicles together to talk business, tour Yorkshire’s beautiful countryside and benefit Wooden Spoon. The brainchild of committee member Martyn Fryer and regional chairman Stuart Watson, Cars & Conversation’s inaugural outing was the first of what the duo hope to be a regular means

of driving recruitment and fundraising. A glittering line-up of 11 cars – ranging from McLarens and Mercedes to Porsches and Morgans – assembled at Bowcliffe Hall, in Bramham, for the start of the event. The rally was opened up to 11 drivers and 11 guest navigators, who were responsible for directing the vehicle to each of the three stops via whichever route they deemed best. The navigators were swapped between cars at each break, facilitating extensive business networking opportunities.

The route took in a coffee break at the Durham Ox in Crayke, refreshments at Felixkirk’s The Carpenters Arms and a late lunch at Swinton Hall, a country hotel on the outskirts of Masham in North Yorkshire. And with positive feedback received – and a few new Wooden Spoon members recruited – plans are already in place for a follow-up event for 15 cars on 11 September 2019.

For more information, contact Stuart Watson by emailing stuart@classicdays.co.uk

Autumn/Winter 2018




Since 1983, we have committed in excess of £26 million to 700 projects and our drive to support young people has benefited more than one million lives. The following schemes, schools and services – approved for funding during the last six months – are set to further swell these numbers... HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Wooden Spoon Staffordshire

Greystones RFC greystonesrfc.ie Wooden Spoon Leinster

Churchill Park School churchillpark.co.uk Wooden Spoon Eastern Counties

Kent RFU kent-rugby.org Wooden Spoon Kent

Ferring Country Centre ferringcountrycentre.org Wooden Spoon Sussex


Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity glasgowchildrenshospitalcharity.org Wooden Spoon Scotland

Kobi Nazrul Primary School kobinazrul.towerhamlets.sch.uk Wooden Spoon

Jigsaw Family Support jigsawfamilysupport.com Wooden Spoon

Park Primary PRU parkprimarypru.co.uk Wooden Spoon Yorkshire Healthy approach: True to our sporting roots, the children’s charity of rugby is proud to back projects that support the health and wellbeing of young people. The recently opened Wooden Spoon Trim Trail at Baginton Fields School in Coventry demonstrates this commitment (page 50)

Stony Dean School stonydean.bucks.sch.uk Wooden Spoon Chilterns Threshers Nursery threshersdaynursery.co.uk Wooden Spoon Kent Together in Matson togetherinmatson.co.uk Wooden Spoon Gloucestershire

SENSORY ROOMS AND GARDENS Children’s Heart Surgery Fund chsf.org.uk Wooden Spoon Yorkshire Foxgloves Children’s Home bedford.gov.uk/foxgloves Wooden Spoon Bedfordshire St John’s CofE Primary School stjohnsdorking.uk Wooden Spoon Surrey


Autumn/Winter 2018

St Joseph’s Specialist School and College st-josephscranleigh.surrey.sch.uk Wooden Spoon The Wherry Friends Association wherryfriendsassociation.co.uk Wooden Spoon Eastern Counties University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Charity uhcwcharity.org Wooden Spoon Warwickshire


Mill Green School millgreen.st-helens.sch.uk Wooden Spoon Merseyside Morecambe Road School morecambe.lancsngfl.ac.uk Wooden Spoon Lancashire

actionforchildren.org.uk Wooden Spoon Scotland

Perry RDA cavaliercentre.org Wooden Spoon Shropshire

Action for Children Pastens actionforchildren.org.uk Wooden Spoon Surrey

Selworthy School selworthy.somerset.sch.uk Wooden Spoon Somerset

BF Adventure bfadventure.org Wooden Spoon Cornwall

Thames Hospice thameshospice.org.uk Wooden Spoon Chilterns

Bridge The Gap bridgethegap.im Wooden Spoon Isle of Man

Volunteer Development East Lothian strive.me.uk Wooden Spoon Scotland

Chase Aqua Rural Enterprise CIC chaseaquaruralenterprise.com

For more details, visit woodenspoon.org.uk/our-grants






OUNGSTERS in Gloucestershire have been celebrating their new-found love for rugby after successfully completing a 30-week mixed ability course. Some 30 children signed up for the programme, which was started by Gloucester Rugby’s community team and made possible with the support of Wooden Spoon, Longlevens RFC, The Milestone School, Chamwell Centre and Active Gloucestershire. Impressive attendance rates throughout the course highlighted the dedication of the new players, who marked their achievements at an end-of-season ceremony at Longlevens RFC.

RIGHT: Young players get to grips with passing during the mixed ability rugby programme BELOW: A course graduate receives his inflatable wooden spoon and certificate from Richard Steward (left) and Rob York

The players were joined by coaches, teachers, teaching assistants and parents as they were presented with an inflatable wooden spoon and wristband by Rob York, chairman of the children’s charity of rugby’s Gloucestershire region, and Longlevens RFC head coach Richard Stewart. Also in attendance at the special occasion were Gloucestershire vice-chairman Julian Jenkins, Nicky

Harverson of Active Gloucestershire and The Milestone School’s Joe Page. The rugby course graduates took a well-earned break from the sport over the summer before returning for the new season at the beginning of the school year in September – and organisers are hoping to see more and more disabled children from across Gloucestershire taking part in the future.


SUPERHEROES SHOW UP FOR WOODEN SPOON BUDDING superheroes put their special powers to the test to raise money for the children’s charity of rugby. Thirty would-be wonder boys and girls headed to Kingsteignton’s Passage House Hotel to take part in Wooden Spoon Devon’s Superhero Academy under the expert eyes of our own marvellous mascot Spoony – as well as Batman,

Batwoman and PJ Masks. The fun-filled day challenged the youngsters to complete six themed tasks, including making their own superhero Spoony, testing their strength and aim, perfecting a superhero pose, face painting and designing and making a mask. Each participant went home with a certificate confirming their new status as a Wooden Spoon superhero.

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Solent stars: Cox Automotive (top centre) claimed the 2018 Wooden Spoon Regatta first-place trophy (bottom right) in the presence of Pete Cumming and Ollie Phillips (top right)

SUPPORTERS SET SAIL FOR WOODEN SPOON REGATTA RUGBY and sailing united as charitable sailors took to the water for the 2018 Wooden Spoon Regatta. The second annual fundraising event took place on the Solent as four crews climbed aboard identical Beneteau First Match 40s vessels,


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supplied by Sunsail and each complete with an experienced skipper and first mate. After getting to grips with their roles during practice runs in the morning, the teams headed out in fair winds for an exhilarating

afternoon of racing which saw Cox Automotive finish in first place. A Wooden Spoon crew containing children’s charity of rugby ambassador Ollie Phillips sailed into second place, with Royal Harwich Yacht Club third and

Walter Lily receiving the Wooden Spoon Regatta’s wooden spoon. Once back on dry land, competitors enjoyed a BBQ and apres sail party featuring amusing anecdotes from Ollie and sailing pundit and professional sailor

Pete Cumming. Interested in taking to the water for the third Wooden Spoon Regatta, which takes place on Wednesday 25 September 2019? Contact Danni Milwain at events@ woodenspoon.org.uk for more information.





AVING previously proved his captaincy credentials with his club, country and Wooden Spoon, Peter Wheeler has been elected to English rugby’s top seat and is set to become President of the RFU on the eve of next year’s World Cup. The 69-year-old will follow in the footsteps of fellow children’s charity of rugby ambassadors Jason Leonard and Bob Rogers when he takes over the reins at Twickenham in August 2019 and has already earmarked England’s endeavours in Japan as top of his agenda. “If England do well in the World Cup that will feedback into everything to do with the game in England,” said Peter, who is widely considered to be among the greatest hookers of all time and captained Leicester to three consecutive John Player Cups between 1979 and 1981. “When we hosted the World Cup here four years ago it was a well-organised, incredibly popular tournament and the only thing that went wrong was that England failed to get out of our group. “It really was a superb tournament and we are still reaping the benefit from it, but imagine if we had been successful on the field – the rewards would have been ten-fold. For that reason, focusing initially on Japan is very important.” The former Tiger, who made his first-team debut for Leicester in 1969 and amassed 349 appearances for the club, described his appointment as president as a fantastic honour and a continuation of his enduring love affair with rugby. “From first picking up a ball at school to playing for Leicester, England and the British Lions, watching my sons play and being involved in the setting up of the professional game, I’ve been through the whole of the rugby structure over a

“You can’t help but get emotionally involved with Wooden Spoon when you see the disadvantaged young people and parents the charity supports.”

NEAR NEIGHBOUR? Want to know more about Wooden Spoon Leicestershire? Follow the region’s activities on Twitter @spoonleicester

Picture: Getty Images

long period of time,” he added. “I have had a wonderful life in the game and the friendships you make in rugby are very strong and lifelong. “To realise that so many rugby people, those representing the whole of the game, approved my selection is pretty humbling. It is such an important role with a massive organisation and operation that has around 1,700 clubs, 500-600 staff, generates revenues of up to £300 million and invests somewhere in the region of £100 million into the game each year.” Given the scale and scope of his new role, Peter could be forgiven for being tempted to surrender his position as honorary president of Wooden Spoon Leicestershire, but insists he has no intention of cutting his ties with a charity he unwittingly played a part in creating. Like his former international teammate David Trick (page 11), the tough front rower featured in the match that inspired Wooden Spoon’s creation – England’s woeful display against Ireland at the 1983 Five Nations Championship (page 7) – and has spent the past 35 years making amends. “Peter was installed as president of Wooden Spoon Leicestershire at its inception and has been invaluable

in that role,” explained rugby commentator Bleddyn Jones, who joined the Tigers alongside Peter in September 1969. “His wide experience from his life in rugby has been a great assistance to Wooden Spoon. He will attend the committee meetings when available and his wisdom and advice is appreciated. He also enjoys coming to events, such as our St George’s Day lunch and golf day, and will always end them with a few words to the audience; entertaining them with his rugby anecdotes and without fail thanking the committee for their hard work in raising funds.” Modestly playing down his part in Wooden Spoon Leicestershire’s success, Peter was quick to credit the contribution of others – like chairman Malcolm Foulkes-Arnold – as being pivotal to establishing a series of sellout events which have raised more than £300,000 to help improve the lives of children and young people locally. “The events are on the calendars of Leicestershire people,” said the London-born Old Brockleians player who went on to be capped 41 times for his country – five as captain – and toured New Zealand and South Africa with the Lions. “Malcolm does massive amounts of work and has a group of really good people around him. “They’ve got a winning formula – great people, fun events and supporters who know and understand the charity.” Peter concluded: “Wooden Spoon Leicestershire has been very good to me and I want to see how being president of the RFU can help the charity both locally and nationally. You can’t help but get emotionally involved with Wooden Spoon when you see the disadvantaged young people and parents the charity supports and the efforts of those helping to make a difference.”

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Four years after conquering the North Pole, Wooden Spoon has set its sights on Mount Everest and playing the highest games of rugby in history...


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“The first get together was partly to gel the team and for everybody to get to know each other, but for us it was to try and get everyone to realise just how much fitness they are going to need.�


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IANTS of the game of rugby have committed to helping Wooden Spoon conquer its ambitions to take fundraising to unprecedented heights next year by setting two world records on Earth’s highest mountain. Having already tested their talents at the sport’s pinnacle on traditional pitches, Tamara Taylor, Ollie Phillips, Shane Williams and Lee Mears will captain a squad of fundraisers as they scale 6,500 metres up the north side of Mount Everest to contest the highest games of full-contact rugby and mixed gender touch rugby in history. The LMAX Exchange Everest Rugby Challenge, which will take place in Nepal between 13 April and 6 May 2019, will see the adventurers battle rugged terrain and acclimatisation before a ball is even thrown at their final destination beyond the infamous mountain’s Advanced Base Camp. Another top performer – experienced referee Graham Allen – will oversee the high-altitude action, which Wooden Spoon hopes will raise £200,000 in support of children and young people with disabilities or facing disadvantage across the UK and Ireland. Faced with a literal mountain to climb, the group began preparations for their lofty mission in September with a two-day training camp in the high fells of the Lake District. The weekend, led by Wooden Spoon partners and expedition experts Adventure Peaks, included an eight-hour hike of the Fairfield Horseshoe in Ambleside, a steep climb and descent of Stickle Tarn and a presentation outlining Everest’s inhospitable environment.

TAYLOR-MADE CHALLENGE It was an experience Tamara – England’s second most-capped woman – said opened her eyes to the harsh realities of what lies in store on the snow-capped mountain. “I got involved in this challenge because I’ve been part of Wooden Spoon for quite a long time,” added the 2014 World Cup-winning lock, explaining how her charity captaincy came about. “One of the guys [from Wooden Spoon’s national office] rang me and said ‘we’re doing this thing on Everest… a bit of rugby’ and I replied that it sounded pretty cool and to put me up for it – then I found out the details and got a little scared.” Tamara, who is in her 14th year as an England international, played in every match of the Red Roses’ Six Nations Grand Slam win in 2018 and featured in four of the five games at the World Cup later that year, continued: “One of the things we did on day one [of the training weekend] was have a talk from Adventure Peaks which included a slideshow of the conditions up on Everest and the tents where we’ll be sleeping.


“It is a really nice feeling when you know you’ve got to do something really difficult but you’ve got someone on your left and someone on your right who’s going to do it with you.” “That was probably how it’s become real for me – over the last few months I’ve been Googling the odd thing, but to see some of the equipment we are going to need to keep us warm in temperatures of minus 20-30 degrees really brought home how serious it is. I’ve never been anywhere with these kind of extreme conditions before.” While a wake-up call to the risks of tackling a mountain that is estimated to be home to well in excess of 200 dead bodies – all remarkably well-preserved in the sub-zero temperatures – the briefing also served to rally the challengers and bond the Everest-bound team. It was a coming together that Tamara, who was crowned RPA Player of the Year in 2017 and 2015 Premiership Player of the Year, described as being not too dissimilar to the camaraderie she has experienced on the eve of highpressure fixtures. The Darlington Mowden Park Sharks player said: “When we sat in the room with a Powerpoint presentation it reminded me of being in a team meeting before a major competition – this is the game plan, this is what we are going to do and this is how we are going to do it. “It made it real, it made it exciting and the

buzz in the room was a really nice environment to be in – I felt like part of a team. “That is one of the lucky things about playing sport and playing sport internationally; everyone has a common goal, you are all in the room together and you are all going out on the pitch or up the mountain together. “It is a really nice feeling when you know you’ve got to do something really difficult but you’ve got someone on your left and someone on your right who’s going to do it with you.” Accustomed to leading teams on the field, Tamara says she is honoured to have been named as one of the four captains for the expedition and intends to use her sporting experience and competitive streak to deliver victory in the Tibetan trip’s touch fixture and conquer the charity’s fundraising target. The Exeter-born star – an RFU community coach when not contracted to England Rugby – said: “Personally I see my role as, number one, making sure that my team wins one of the games, and looking after everyone – keeping everyone together and moving. “What’s really great about stuff like this is that you get a random bunch of people from all walks of life coming together to try and do the same thing, which is to raise as much money as possible while doing something a little bit crazy. Tamara, whose life in sport was inevitable given her mother captained the Zambian golf team and her brother was a British U16 Real Tennis champion, added: “It was nice to meet everyone in the group, chat about their backgrounds and what their motivations are. “There are some little people, big people, experienced people and inexperienced people, but we are all just going to pull together and the strongest in the pack will pull those who are struggling a little bit along – it will be really good teamwork.”

A TALL ORDER Once in country, Tamara and her fellow challengers will be guided to Advanced Base Camp and beyond by representatives from Adventure Peaks, a doctor and a Nepalese sherpa support team. Everest expert Carrie Gibson, Adventure Peaks’ expedition logistics manager, warned the travelling rugby contingent that match fitness does not equal mountain fitness. “The first get together was partly to gel the team and for everybody to get to know each other, but for us it was to try and get everyone to realise just how much fitness they are going to need,” explained the 46-year-old. “It is physically tough – even for those who are already training and quite fit, mountain fitness is slightly different. “It’s going to be tough. It is very hard to Autumn/Winter 2018


because you’ll run 10 metres then fall down, woke up some of our ex-internationals! “I don’t think there’s going to be too much running at 6,500 metres.” Despite the hardships that await on Everest, Graham is delighted to be taking his support of the children’s charity of rugby to a new level and – in addition to the mountain of money he expects the challenge to raise – is satisfied the risks of such an adventure are worth the reward. The Scotsman joked: “It gives me bragging rights to say I’m going to be refereeing at the highest level in the world.”



“The last World Cup it was all about the Arctic and the North Pole and this time round its Everest.” explain altitude and how it affects you but the pace will be much, much slower than it has been over the training weekend and even that will feel like a challenge.” Carrie, who became the fifth Scotswoman to summit Everest in 2007 and will join the Wooden Spoon team on the mountain next year, continued: “The biggest challenge for people will be to keep going when things are getting tough. “Sometimes if we are at home it is very easy to roll over in bed and not go out in the morning, but we’re not going to have that opportunity. We have to climb before we can play rugby, so they are going to have to be ready to play having spent a couple of gruelling days getting there.”

The Everest escapade will not be the first time the children’s charity of rugby has taken the sport that inspired its creation to the extremes during a World Cup year. In 2015 Wooden Spoon’s Arctic Challenge saw an intrepid group of fundraisers earn an official place in the Guinness Book of World Records for playing the northernmost game of rugby in history at the Magnetic North Pole. The expedition saw two teams – one captained by Leicester Tigers legend Tim Stimpson – trek more than 100 kilometres and face the very real threats of a polar bear attack, white-outs and falling through the ice in temperatures that frequently plunged below minus 35 degrees. Four years on from the frozen fixture and the

TRICKY FIXTURE The physical toll of the trek is not lost on the Challenge’s official Graham, who has overseen fixtures at every level for the Scottish Rugby Union and is currently president of the Edinburgh Rugby Referees’ Society. The former wing forward and long-standing Wooden Spoon Scotland supporter said: “When you see the pictures and see where we’re going and what we’re going to be doing, you’re not going to be in the foothills of Everest, you’re there in the shadow of Everest. “Some of the news about how hard it’s going to be, how cold it’s going to be, the fact that nobody will be doing sprints in the Sevens


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“If we are at home it is very easy to roll over in bed and not go out in the morning, but we’re not going to have that opportunity.” 24-day LMAX Exchange Everest Rugby Challenge is set to significantly raise the stakes, according to Matt Mitchell. Wooden Spoon’s national rugby manager said: “We raised a huge sum of money for the charity – £240,000 – back then and we’re going to go bigger and better this time. “The last World Cup it was all about the Arctic and the North Pole and this time round its Everest. “The challenge is important to the charity, important to me personally and most of all it’s important to all of the children we support. We’re aiming to raise a minimum of £200,000 for children with disabilities or facing disadvantage in the UK and Ireland and each challenger is doing their bit to help meet that target, but we need support and are looking for people to get involved and donate.”


“Setting a Guinness World Record at the North Pole was great and the fact we are aiming to set another two world records is amazing.”

Next year’s mountainous feat will reunite two of Wooden Spoon’s Arctic Challenge record breakers – Lee Mears and Ollie Phillips – as rival captains. Bath stalwart Lee, who amassed 43 international rugby caps for England, featured in two World Cups and toured with the British and Irish Lions, is relishing the opportunity of threading passes on a mountain pass having fulfilled the role of referee four years ago. Former Sevens world player of the year Ollie, whose side narrowly lost 17-14 on the Arctic woodenspoon.org.uk


Getting ready to sample the high life: Among those joining the children’s charity of rugby’s big-name captains on Mount Everest and seeking sponsorship are Robin Callaway, Mark Dean, David Fenton, Elliott Grant, Ben Harvey, Miles Hayward, Jon Ingarfield, Paul Jordan, Adam Libbey, Jude McKelvey, Matt Mitchell, Paul Watkins, Andrew Whitehouse and Simon Wright

ice, is no stranger to extraordinary charity challenges. Since being forced into rugby retirement by a severed calf nerve in 2013, the ex-Newcastle Falcons and Gloucester winger has spent almost a year at sea competing in the Clipper Round the World race, entered the history books with Wooden Spoon, headed a team of six celebrities competing in the Greatest Row, run a marathon in Sierra Leone and would have successfully summited Mont Blanc had bad weather not intervened close to the mountain’s peak. “I am all about big statements and creating amazing memories to associate with Wooden Spoon,” he said. “Setting a Guinness World Record at the North Pole was great and the fact we are aiming to set another two world records is amazing. “I love supporting Wooden Spoon, keeping the legacy going and to open people’s eyes up to the world of adventure.” Shane Williams, another former World Rugby Player of the Year, will attempt to upset the England contingent travelling to Everest. Explaining his motivation for heading for the mountain, Wales’ leading all-time Test try-

scorer and ex-Ospreys winger said “As I’m not someone who will shy away from a challenge I thought let’s really test myself. “[I am] looking forward to this one and also to raising lots of money for a great charity.” Commending the captains and the adventurers who have committed to join them, David Mercer, CEO of the Challenge’s sponsor LMAX Exchange Group, concluded: “A trek up Mount Everest is daunting enough, but these star players have chosen to go one step further to try and break two world records. “This brave team is banding together to take on a mission never attempted before in support of a fantastic cause. “We are proud to support Wooden Spoon and will be enthusiastically cheering the players on as they work to set world records and fund life-changing projects for children and young people.” ➤ To find out more about the LMAX Exchange Everest Rugby Challenge, the team captains, challengers and how to show your support for an extraordinary expedition, visit woodenspoon.org.uk/everest

HIT YOUR OWN PERSONAL HIGH Wooden Spoon wants to hear from those willing to “Climb Your Own Everest” in support of our Nepal-bound squad. Individuals, rugby clubs, schools and businesses can get a feel for the feat by covering 8,848 metres – the equivalent of Everest’s height – while raising money for the children’s charity of rugby. The challenge can be completed in a myriad ways, be it running 89 lengths of a rugby pitch or amassing 58,070 steps. Staff at telephony heavyweights Natterbox, for example, crunched their numbers and worked out that to climb the height of Everest, they had to collectively climb the stairs of their Croydon building 145 times [justgiving.com/fundraising/natterboxclimbs-everest]. Join in the fun by emailing charity@ woodenspoon.org.uk

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The Wooden Spoon Regatta 25 September 2019

sunsail.co.uk woodenspoon.org.uk Sunsail Events, Port Solent Marina, South Lockside, Portsmouth PO6 4TJ Tel: +44 (0)23 92 222 221


SEVENS-SENT OPPORTUNITY Wales wonder Philippa Tuttiett explains how wearing Wooden Spoon stripes helped to cap a stellar rugby career...

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“The Marauders were complete underdogs and the fact that a mish-mash of players pulled it together for a charity comes close to being as memorable as playing for your country.�

For charity and country: Philippa stars in stripes for the Wooden Spoon Marauders (above) and in red (right) for Wales while on international duty at the Hong Kong Sevens ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games


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HEN Philippa Tuttiett decided to call time on her glittering playing career this summer, Wales were not the only team left with incredibly big boots to fill. Previously a regular in striped socks as well as Welsh red, the considerable talents of the 34-year-old are going to be sorely missed by Wooden Spoon’s Sevens side, which is sponsored by – among other firms – O’Neills and Securitas. And despite having starred at elite level and on the international sporting stage, Philippa insists the feeling is mutual. “When people ask about my proudest moments playing rugby they always expect me to say it was representing my country, when actually one of them was representing Wooden Spoon,” explained the former Cardiff Blues skipper, who amassed 26 caps as a centre for Wales women and captained the side during the 2014 Six Nations. “We played against the Irish Lightning, which was basically a team of Ireland internationals, at Kinsale and beat them. “The team were complete underdogs and the fact that a mish-mash of players pulled it together for a charity comes close to being as memorable as playing for your country. “I was part of the first Wooden Spoon squad and we had a boardroom chat the night before we were going to play about who we were representing and all those the charity helps. Knowing you are supporting such a worthwhile cause definitely has an effect on players.” Philippa, who was named WRU Regional

“For your up-and-coming players, those girls on the verge of breaking through, teams like the Wooden Spoon Marauders are brilliant.”

“That is no longer the case for players in their prime as there are a lot of girls who cross over from 15s to Sevens and barely get a month off. They are certainly not going to want to go and play an invitational tournament during that time, but for your up-and-coming players, those girls who at 18, 19 or 20 are on the verge of breaking through, teams like the Wooden Spoon Marauders are brilliant.”

Player of the Year and Home Nations Touch Rugby Player of the Year in 2014, was also quick to stress to Spoonews that putting her body on the line and sacrificing time to help raise the profile of Wooden Spoon around the UK and at overseas tournaments had not been a onesided relationship.

Starring in stripes certainly did Philippa’s form no harm throughout a stellar amateur career that only began when she was introduced to rugby as a Communications student at Cardiff University and went on to include 14 years in the Wales set-up. At her scintillating best playing Sevens, she was the stand-out choice to captain her country at this year’s Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast – an experience which proved to be the ultimate of bittersweet sporting sign-offs. Recalling her delight at being selected to head Down Under, Philippa said: “When I found out I was going to be captain I drove straight home to tell my mum and dad. “My mum told me that one of her earliest memories of me was seeing me watch the Commonwealth Games on television and declaring I wanted to go and be an athlete. “I don’t remember that but I do remember loving sport and so to be able to say 25 years or so later that I was going to a Games, and going as a captain, was amazing,” she added.

PROVIDING A PATHWAY Commending the children’s charity of rugby’s support of the women’s game, the Cardiffborn star said featuring for the Marauders had provided her with a valuable sporting education and was an ideal opportunity for today’s promising prospects. “When I first began playing for Wooden Spoon in 2010 there were no professional women’s sides and only one or two international tournaments a year,” she added. “Back then the WRU didn’t have the funding to take us to warm-up competitions so we were actively encouraged to find invitational teams, to get some experience and playing time under our belts.



“I hold the position of captain in the highest regard and would prefer to be a captain than the top try scorer. Being a good leader, teammate and someone who sets the standard to give their team the best opportunity to succeed is the most honourable position you can be in. “It was an incredibly proud moment and a close second to receiving my very first selection letter for Wales.” Unfortunately for Philippa and Wales, there was to be no fairytale finale to the childhood dream. Any hopes the Marauder harboured of winning gold on the Gold Coast were dashed by a knee ligament injury sustained in the build-up to the Games which ruled her out of the entire tournament. “You think you’ve prepared for everything and then something like that comes along,” Philippa said. “Having to process the reality of not playing was probably one of the most mentally challenging moments of my life. “I’d been building myself up for the challenge for two years – I’d been focused on being the best that I could be to get to the Games and to get there and play well, and suddenly that opportunity was no longer there for me. “It was hard to process initially but I had to think of all the other people involved in the tournament; I was a very small link in a big chain. And so my role switched from what I could do on the field to give us the best chance to what I could do off the field; how I could be a good teammate and captain from the sidelines. “It was obviously not the way I planned things but that is sport for you – when is there ever an outcome that you have actually prepared for? Things always end up looking a little different than you expect.

“I am a big believer in learning and I learnt a lot about myself and about coaching because of my injury. It was my first opportunity to see a bit more about what goes on behind the scenes and if you can learn from something, you can move forward.”


Philippa’s positive philosophy is already paying dividends. Compelled to retire by the knee injury and when a second scan on a shoulder injury she had been nursing revealed a tear requiring surgery, the Sevens supremo has shifted seamlessly into coaching. She was recently appointed assistant coach of Wales’ U18s and senior women’s Sevens squads and is relishing a role that has softened the blow of hanging up her boots. “It literally feels like yesterday that I was chasing my first start and ‘boom’ 15 years have just gone,” she said. “I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to assist with the coaching, which means I am still spending time at the centre of excellence and with other players – it feels a very natural transition. “I think I will always be sentimental about not playing; there will always be part of me that wishes I was involved on the pitch,” Philippa continued. “Being able to play sport, and do so at a high level, doesn’t last forever and that’s why people should make the most of every single chance they get to play. “My love of playing has now just been transferred into wanting to help others to play and play well.” Philippa is hopeful this shift in passion will enable her to continue her association with a charity she has previously served with distinction on the field. She has already

volunteered to help coach the Marauders and believes a relationship with Wooden Spoon would again prove mutually beneficial. “Being part of the Welsh coaching set up is amazing and a progression I had hoped for but didn’t realise would happen so quickly,” she said. “Coaching is incredibly difficult to get right – you have to get a bunch of individuals who learn and prepare in different ways and find a harmony to get the best out of everyone. “In Sevens, where every mistake is punished, you’ve got such a short period of time to get everyone firing and everyone on the same page. Ultimately the dream is being on the sidelines in some capacity for Wales for the World Rugby Sevens series, but let’s not sprint before I can crawl. “I want more elite-level coaching under my belt and I think invitational rugby is one of the best ways to develop, not only as a player but as a coach because the demands are so different.”


Such a message will be music to Wooden Spoon’s ears. The side may have lost a key playmaker over the summer, but, as was the case for Wales, it seems a rapid reunion is inevitable. “During my career as an amateur playing international 15s and Sevens rugby, the opportunities to do good and give back were so few and far between,” Philippa concluded. “At the end of each season I would always have a good sift through my kit and send anything spare to local clubs for their fundraisers, but to actually give time to something was difficult. To now have the chance to have a connection with a charity that is doing so many great things around something I love – rugby – is just brilliant.”

➤ To follow the fortunes of the Wooden Spoon Marauders, visit woodenspoon.org.uk/sevens-rugby


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Rugby World Cup 2019™ TM © Rugby World Cup Limited 2015.

six nations 2019

gulliverstravel.co.uk or call 01684 293175

MARAUDERS GAIN MOMENTUM Keith Boatman, Wooden Spoon’s head of Sevens rugby, reflects on how the charity’s invitational sides have taken giant strides on and off the pitch this season


HEN it comes to defining what constitutes a successful Sevens season, Wooden Spoon Marauders’ head of rugby is a tough taskmaster. Not satisfied with silverware alone, Keith Boatman wants the charity’s invitational sides to win hearts and minds in addition to matches with their creative style of play. But despite such exacting demands, the experienced coach concedes to being delighted with the Marauders’ most recent campaign, which exceeded expectations in every respect. On the field, the men’s team became a familiar fixture in finals, reaching the latter stages of five high-profile tournaments and clinching two titles, and the women’s side were crowned champions at the Winchester 7s and finished runners-up at the Newquay 7s. “It’s been one of our best seasons,” Keith told

“To be beating IRB sides is fantastic – we are competing against heavilysponsored teams and are very much underdogs who consistently overperform.” Spoonews. “We’ve played brilliantly, absolutely brilliantly at times. “Probably one of our best performances was to go a high-profile tournament and beat a Russian IRB side in the semi-final. “We might well have won the final against Johannesburg University if we hadn’t sustained the injuries that we did in the semi-final, but

nevertheless the tournament marked a major step forward. “To be beating IRB sides is fantastic – we are competing against heavily-sponsored teams and are very much underdogs who consistently overperform.” As pleasing as the on-pitch performances were the marketing metrics recorded by the O’Neills- and Securitas-sponsored sides. Over the course of the season the Marauders – sporting Wooden Spoon’s distinctive stripes – brought the children’s charity of rugby’s brand to more than 100,000 spectators. Reflecting on his sides’ efforts to raise the profile of Wooden Spoon around the UK and overseas, Keith added: “Our main role, to be frank, is to raise awareness of the charity during rugby’s close season. “Sevens is a summer activity and our programme typically caters for people under

Above, A family affair: Sevens supremo Keith Boatman is flanked by wife Rhona, son Stephen and daughter Ellie


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the age of 30, which means we are often some people’s first introduction to the charity.” Keith said the importance of this task is not lost on the players and provides the squads with added motivation to progress as far as possible in tournaments. Echoing the thoughts of Philippa Tuttiett (pages 27-30), who hung up her striped jersey this summer, the former player-coach of Camberley RFC continued: “The Marauders partnership with Wooden Spoon gives a reason, beyond just another fun game of rugby, to go out there and train and play hard. “To be able to go to a tournament and donate any winnings to the charity is extremely satisfying and I don’t think you would have seen the players go off to climb the Three Peaks Challenge together if there wasn’t that link.” Keith, who has been an ever-present part of the Marauders set-up since its formation 37 years ago and helped unite the club with Wooden Spoon in 2014, concluded: “When you meet some of the people who have benefited from the money we have raised, you realise how very important the charity is. “Wooden Spoon often supports disabled athletes from a young age. When people see a Paralympian on television, they don’t usually stop to think about how that individual got to be at that level. “Funding is vitally important to emerging

athletes and without charities like Wooden Spoon there isn’t the money for 15-year-olds who want to buy a new sports wheelchair or have a special prosthetic fitted.” ➤ Fancy featuring for the Wooden Spoon Marauders next season? Keith wants to hear from talented Sevens players who are keen to pitch their skills at the top level and benefit

the children’s charity of rugby. The first two tournaments of each season double as trials and those interested are encouraged to get in touch ahead of Easter to guarantee game time. To find out more about Wooden Spoon’s Sevens sides and express an interest in pulling on a Marauders jersey, email rugby@ woodenspoon.org.uk

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Join our club! Become a member of Wooden Spoon for just £5 a month and help us change children’s lives Members can: • Win rugby tickets • Hear from our projects • Get a free gift • Receive our bi-annual magazine And most importantly, you will be helping change the lives of children and young people with disabilities or facing disadvantage across the UK & Ireland.




Project inspector


Social media expert


A winning team From our first golfing fundraiser to the projects featured in this magazine, volunteers sit at the very heart of Wooden Spoon’s life-changing work. We caught up with five of our supporters to find out why they donate their time to the children’s charity of rugby...


ITTINGLY for the charity of a sport where victory relies on 15 players functioning as a well-oiled machine, Wooden Spoon’s lifechanging work requires a true team effort. From the volunteers making up our regional committees to those keeping an eye on the projects we fund and the ambassadors spreading our distinctive stripes far and wide, the children’s charity of rugby’s success is the fruit of many people’s labours. And whatever a person’s age, background or skills, there is a perfect role awaiting anyone wanting to play their part in improving the lives of children with a disability or facing disadvantage across the UK and Ireland.

“Helping to improve the lives of young, disadvantaged children is a cause that it’s very easy to be passionate about.” As with many of our volunteers, Rachel Zaltzman was aware of Wooden Spoon through her involvement in the wider rugby family before deciding to give up some of her time to help the charity. Rachel’s work in funding the London pilot of the HITZ Rugby Programme through her role at the Equality and Human Rights Commission – as well as her brother Dan’s time as a player and in developing the community team at Worcester Warriors – meant she had been

exposed to the charity for almost a decade before joining our London region as social media manager. As the guru for all things Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Rachel has grown the region’s online following through innovative means including live blogging the progress of two committee members running the London Marathon and using Boomerang to capture fun videos of Wooden Spoon mascot Spoony during a Harlequins vs Richmond Women match.

But what qualities does she believe potential social media managers for other regions require? “You need to have good banter and be creative with photos, videos, hashtags and emojis,” Rachel told Spoonews. “I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve typed #WeAreRugby. “You also need to have a strong understanding of the rugby, charity and corporate networks that you need to link into in your area and who your key amplifiers are going to be. “The role is really

fulfilling as it enables you to promote the exciting fundraising events that we run and to raise awareness of the wonderful projects that we invest in to help kids through rugby.”

FAMOUS FACES Wooden Spoon is fortunate to be able to call on the support of a number of big names from the rugby family – and further afield – in its efforts to spread the word about its work. Jason Leonard, Phil Vickery, Rachael Burford, Ollie Phillips, Andy Gomarsall and Shane Williams are just a few of the international stars to have lined up as ambassadors of the children’s charity of rugby. Former Wales and Lions great John Taylor became

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Volunteering in action: Project inspector Bruce Allison is joined by Steve Sheard (left) and Dave Whyman (right) during an assessment visit to Kirkham’s Pear Tree Special School

to the applicants; I always say that the fact I am coming to see them is good news!”


involved with Wooden Spoon in its early days and has gone above and beyond the call of duty to support the cause ever since, including by participating in – and indeed winning – the fun-filled 2017 Scrum Dine With Me event at the Cinnamon Kitchen. John is also due to manage and offer a few coaching tips to a Wooden Spoon over-35s team at the Rugby Armistice Festival in Compiègne, France this November to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. He told Spoonews that while he and his fellow ambassadors don’t necessarily have key responsibilities, they are there to help out in a variety of ways and to raise awareness of the charity. “Sometimes you do feel you are able to make a difference,” he said. “In my case, visiting partner rugby clubs as a speaker to raise funds is an obvious example.”

PERFECTING PROJECTS Arguably the most visible results of Wooden Spoon’s work are the numerous projects – ranging from adventure playgrounds and trim trails to sensory rooms and more – enhancing schools and community centres across the UK and Ireland. But before work commences on these facilities, volunteer project inspectors are called into action at the request of the charity’s trustees to ensure each application is as

successful as possible. Bruce Allison is one of seven inspectors who visit potential beneficiaries after their proposals have been supported by the relevant Wooden Spoon region to go through applications, deal with any issues, check that three quotes have been obtained for supplies needed and to view the site. He is also able to point those involved in potential projects in the direction of previous applicants to get all-important advice. A veteran of the children’s charity of rugby’s Yorkshire committee for more than 20 years before stepping down in 2015, Bruce was “delighted” to begin volunteering as a project inspector just one year later when asked to do so by trustee Richard Smith. “I have always found being involved with Wooden Spoon very fulfilling and this remains true for the project inspector role,” he said, adding that volunteer inspectors need to be familiar with the charity’s policies and procedures and be comfortable dealing with financial and OFSTED reports, site drawings and other technical documents. “Without doubt, the very best aspect is attending opening ceremonies to see happy, smiling faces and gain that certain knowledge that all our efforts are paying dividends. “I hope that my visits are helpful

believe in what you are doing and why you are doing it. “Helping to improve the lives of young, disadvantaged children is a cause that it’s very easy to be passionate about – especially as a mum of two young children who didn’t have the best start in life.”

Aside from deploying Bruce and his fellow project inspectors, Wooden Spoon’s trustees bring a wealth of different skills and background to the heart of the charity’s structure. REGIONAL REACH Jo Coombs is one of the board’s Jo is not alone in appreciating most recent recruits having Wooden Spoon’s structure, which leapt at the opportunity to get sees organisations benefit from involved in 2017 as a means of money raised from events and putting her commercial abilities to campaigns in their local area. philanthropic use. This neighbourly approach is And while she is a passionate managed by the charity’s team of rugby fan and had Wooden Spoon more than 40 regional committees, on her radar for a long time, it each of which is steered by a team wasn’t until CEO Sarah Webb of volunteers. As with the trustees, and then-chairman John Gibson committee members come from explained the charity’s life-changing a diverse range of backgrounds work and unique structure that she such as recent graduate Jacob wanted to do more. Sanders, who joined Wooden “After a few meetings, it seemed Spoon Wales after dad Martin – a that the best way I could help trustee himself – put him in touch Wooden Spoon was by becoming a with the committee’s chairman trustee and bringing my marketing Huw Thomas. and business experience to the Jacob admits it didn’t take long team,” explained Jo, who counts for Huw to convince him to become Wooden Spoon’s 35th anniversary a committee member, a position reception [see page 7] in the which has so far included helping presence of HRH The Princess Royal out at 2016’s Golden Oldies festival as her favourite memory from her in Cardiff – an event that raised time as a trustee. around £30,000 for Wooden Spoon. “Any kind of board needs diversity Encouraging other people – of people, of experience and of to follow in his footsteps and attitude. As a trustee, it’s essential volunteer for their own regional that you provide governance to the committees, Jacob said: “The best executive team and ensure that you quality in a committee member is are a body of impartial advisers.” the desire to further the charity’s Jo believes that the individual vision. If they have this, they will expertise of each board member is be willing to step up and help out, essential in creating a well-rounded, provide ideas at meetings and effective team which is Striped supporters: Volunteers able to view challenges help bring in vital funds at and opportunities from events such as bucket collections different perspectives. But regardless of the skills volunteers are able to bring to the table, Jo believes the most important quality in a trustee is a passion for Wooden Spoon’s work. She explained: “It matters that you all

“The best aspect is seeing the results of the fundraising in the projects. The life-changing impact on the children makes everything worth it.” 36

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FEATURE devote their time to the region. “The best aspect is seeing the results of the fundraising in the projects. The life-changing impact on the children makes everything worth it.”

GET INVOLVED Different levels of experience, age, location and time available may make for a diverse talent pool, but the common factor uniting all of Wooden Spoon’s volunteers is a desire to improve the lives of children and young people with a disability or facing disadvantage. Rachel, who has progressed from social media manager to become the London region’s cochair, encouraged anyone who is interested in signing up to just give it a go. “Volunteering for Wooden Spoon has been incredibly rewarding,” she said. “Whether that’s been making friends or designing and delivering fun events from a street party at a Fuller’s pub to raise money for two rugby wheelchairs to a whisky tasting dinner of the 2019 Six Nations – watch this space!” Bruce added his endorsement for the value of volunteering, explaining that it does not

“Without doubt, the very best aspect is attending opening ceremonies to see happy, smiling faces and gain that certain knowledge that all our efforts are paying dividends.” have to be time-consuming or administratively burdensome. He said: “Without question, witnessing the sheer dedication of people working every day to enhance the lives of disadvantaged children and young people is a great inspiration. “Many do so because a family member has needed help and they then go on to support so many more in similar circumstances.” While Bruce became a project inspector after more than two decades of experience running a corporate golf day and handling project work, newcomers like Jacob are every bit as valuable to Wooden Spoon’s success. He recommends wouldbe volunteers to “start with something small”, adding: “Ask someone on your local committee if there is anything you can do to

help, whether it is assisting at an event, getting a few friends and colleagues together and buying a table [at a function] or just letting more people know about the good work Wooden Spoon does.” The message from trustee Jo to anyone considering coming forward to help Wooden Spoon on a local level is simple – “please get stuck in”. “We appreciate all the help we can get,” she continued. “One of the unique things about the charity is our structure; our regional teams are fantastic and everything they raise in a region they get to use on projects in that region. “As a volunteer – or donor or guest at one of our events – you can see the impact your involvement has had both in your area and nationally as a whole. Every little helps!”

Get involved INSPIRED to play your part in helping Wooden Spoon raise even more money for children and young people with a disability or facing disadvantage? Why not become a volunteer? As this feature has shown, there are a host of different ways you can help the children’s charity of rugby – and no matter your skills, location or availability, there is a role for you. Whether you want to join a regional committee, help out at a specific fundraising event or use your professional talents, to assist the children’s charity of rugby, you’ll receive a warm and grateful welcome! ➤ For more details about volunteering, visit woodenspoon.org.uk/volunteer

Hands-on help: Representatives of Rugbytots and Securitas UK gave up a day of their time to work with Fusion Community Initiatives to build new facilities at a Surrey school (see page 45)

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Team players: The Argonauts Wheelchair Sports Charity’s Demigods squad (from left): Tye Samuel, Ash Richardson, Elle Sharp, Rob Cooper, Peter Johnston, Scott Cooper and Lewis Samuel; Inset: The Argonauts have formed a close bond with Wooden Spoon Kent

LEVELLING THE PLAYING FIELD We meet the Wheelchair Rugby League team literally providing sport for all...


S THIS issue of Spoonews demonstrates, rugby sets the sporting standards when it comes to diversity and inclusivity. Often with the help of Wooden Spoon’s support, clubs catering for both genders, all ages and a wide range of physical abilities bring the game within reach of almost anyone who wants to give it a go. And while examples of these teams abound across the UK and Ireland, there are few greater examples than The Argonauts Wheelchair Sports Charity. The Dartford club, co-founded by Cee Ess Best and Fred Nye, provides training and competition to males and females ranging from 10-yearsold up to over 50 in Wheelchair Rugby League, which places disabled and able-bodied players on the same team. “The beauty of Wheelchair


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Rugby League is that it really is a level playing field,” Argonauts chairman John Davis-Ashdown told Spoonews, adding that the club promotes itself using #WeIncludeYou. “You mix up disabled and able-bodied players and, during a league match, you always have to have three disabled players on the pitch. “Once you are in a wheelchair then everyone is equal. There is no benefit whatsoever from being able-bodied or disabled.” Although little more than two years old, the Argonauts have found the inclusive nature of Wheelchair Rugby League to be a big draw.

Beginning with eight members, the club has grown to around 23 competitors – split 60/40 between the disabled and able-bodied – who show up for weekly training with the first-team Skeleton Army or the development Demi-Gods squad. Regardless of their physical condition, all players have to get to grips with a fast-paced sport filled with what John describes as “brutal” collisions as teams attempt to get the ball beyond their opponent’s try line. While Wheelchair Rugby League provides everyone who gives it a go with the chance to develop a new sporting skill set, the Argonauts’

“I’m happier than I’ve been in years and I finally feel like I belong. From day one, it felt like a family and it has changed my life dramatically.”

chairman said that it also affords invaluable insights for non-disabled players into the realities of life for their less-mobile teammates. He explained: “What we have found is that one of the many benefits is that able-bodied people get to truly appreciate and understand the difficulties that disabled people face. “In society, unless you have a disabled person in your close family or a very close friend, the two communities don’t really mix. Here, able-bodied people get to understand and appreciate what the disabled have to put up with.” In addition to furthering the cause of diversity, the Argonauts – a Wooden Spoon partner club who have raised more than £400 for the Kent region – provides much-needed access to team sports for disabled people who woodenspoon.org.uk


might otherwise have no outlet for physical activity. And while propelling themselves around the pitch carries obvious physical advantages for players, those taking part also benefit from a boost to their mental health. Elle Sharp, for example, suffered from depression and barely left her house before joining the club in early-2018. “Now I’m happier than I’ve been in years and I finally feel like I belong,” she said. “From day one, it felt like a family and it has changed my life dramatically.” Elle is not alone – and John said that any of his players would be quick to praise Wheelchair Rugby League’s positive impact. “Each and every one of them would say that it has completely transformed their lives,” he said. “I’ve even had a couple say to me that it has actually saved their life because before the sport they were stuck indoors and depressed. “Some disabled people might be able to go to a gym, but there isn’t much for them in the way of team sports. That is a real shame because team sports can bring them so much – friendship, new skills,

fitness, access to a social scene. “What The Argonauts has given them is a chance to get out, meet new people, make new friends while getting fit and having fun.” The players may gain a lot from their involvement with The Argonauts, but the club’s progress suggests they more than repay the favour on the pitch. Promoted to the National Premier League for the first time in 2017, the Kent side defied even the most optimistic of expectations by finishing third out of eight teams. Two of its players – James Hazell and Lewis King – have even been called up to represent England ahead of the 2019 European Championships in France. John insists that a lot of the credit

for the rapid development can be placed at the door of Wooden Spoon Kent, whose fundraising efforts provided The Argonauts with ten specialist wheelchairs worth around £11,000. He told us: “Those chairs have made every difference. Before we received them, we were having to beg, steal and borrow wheelchairs from neighbouring clubs and obviously we couldn’t expand the membership until we had our own. “Now that we have them, we can pretty much cater for everyone that turns up to training. Without the Wooden Spoon chairs there would have been no room to grow at all. The chairs we use are a much lower spec than those used in murderball, but they still take a

proper hammering!” With their new chairs being put to good use across both teams, The Argonauts are now considering recruiting talent from local schools which could see the club putting on a second weekly training session. And with Wheelchair Rugby League’s next World Cup in England in 2021 due to be televised, John is hoping that the sport’s inclusive and exciting nature will help to attract more and more new players in the coming years. “It’s very much about getting the word out there to the community around us,” he concluded. “We have had a decent amount of publicity from the local press and we are active on social media, but it’s still important to reach those people who would want to play wheelchair rugby to let them know we are here and that they are welcome to join us.” ➤ Find out more about Wooden Spoon’s support for wheelchair sport at woodenspoon.org.uk/ wheelchair-rugby or, for details about the Argonauts, visit facebook.com/TheArgonautsWCS Autumn/Winter 2018


BIRMINGHAM’S NEW BEGINNING Spoonews hears how Wooden Spoon has joined forces with the wider sporting family to drive efforts to bring wheelchair rugby to England’s second city...


OODEN Spoon West Midlands is leading the charge in the mission to bring the thrills and spills of wheelchair rugby to England’s second city. Spotting that potential wheelchair rugby players from the West Midlands currently have to travel as far as Cheltenham or Leicester to compete, West Midlands acting regional chairman Trevor Jenkins joined forces with Birmingham Moseley RFC player Ciaran Moore to attempt to bring the exhilarating sport closer to home. That drive has resulted in a

“There’s a value in being involved in sport, getting out and exercising and enjoying team spirit in a well-supported environment.” fundraising campaign which has so far brought in £15,000 – an amount which could be match-funded if an application to Sport England is successful, enabling a new club to be set up and specialist wheelchairs to be bought. Trevor explained that Ciaran had been instrumental in getting plans for the new club off the ground, adding: “We started to discuss the

need in more detail and, having met with Ciaran and visited lots of different projects myself, it was apparent that there is sometimes very little out there for people in wheelchairs. “There are wheelchair rugby players in the area, but there is no club for them to use locally. The schools try their best, but they don’t always have the facilities or

equipment needed. “I’ve seen how young people can be left on the sidelines and are unable to engage in certain activities when they want to be involved and that’s why there’s a need for something like this. “Some of these guys have had active lives before becoming wheelchair-bound and they still want to be active and to have a way to vent their aggression. There’s a value in being involved in sport, getting out and

“I’ve seen how young people can be left on the sidelines and are unable to engage in certain activities when they want to be involved and that’s why there’s a need for something like this.” 40

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exercising and enjoying team spirit in a well-supported environment.”

SOLID START The children’s charity of rugby’s efforts to finance a new wheelchair club were spearheaded by a blacktie dinner and dance supported by Thursfields Solicitors, hosted by Birmingham Moseley RFC and featuring guest speakers – and former Welsh and English internationals – Phil Bennett and Tim Stimpson. The evening was also attended by five-time Paralympian Alan Ash, who confirmed the need for a wheelchair rugby club to serve the West Midlands. Although final details about the new team’s set-up are yet to be confirmed, Trevor told Spoonews that the club will almost certainly be hosted by Queen Alexandra College in Harborne. Team GB wheelchair rugby

coaches have also pledged to work with their counterparts from the able-bodied game to increase the expert assistance on offer to aspiring players. And the funds raised through Thursfields Solicitors, Birmingham Moseley RFC and Wooden Spoon’s campaign will ensure that anyone wanting to give wheelchair rugby a spin will be able to do so using specialist chairs able to withstand the crunching collisions associated with the fast-paced game. “The funds would allow us to purchase up to 10 armoured wheelchairs,” explained Trevor. “That is important because if someone is new to the sport they are not going to want to fork out several thousand pounds for their own chair.”

FAMILY AFFAIR No firm timescale has yet been set for the unveiling of Birmingham’s

new wheelchair rugby club, but Trevor hopes that the group will be able to begin training in early 2019. Whatever the future may hold, the progress made possible by sterling supporters such as Ciaran, Thursfields Solicitors, Birmingham Moseley RFC and Moseley Rugby Community Foundation highlights what can be achieved when the rugby family pulls together. “That’s what rugby is about,” added Trevor. “It has always been a friendly sport – at least off the pitch – and people are always fabulous about giving up their time for the community. “That’s certainly what we’ve seen with the people and players who have come to help us.” ➤ Find out more about Wooden Spoon’s support for wheelchair sport at woodenspoon.org.uk/ wheelchair-rugby

Sporting chance: Birmingham’s prospective new wheelchair rugby club could allow more players to push for Paralympic selection – like the Team GB squad for Rio 2016, pictured here with Wooden Spoon ambassador Jason Leonard Autumn/Winter 2018


“[The tag rugby tournament] has become the highlight of the season and we felt that as we take something out of Wooden Spoon, we should put something back.”



HEN it comes to supporting the children’s charity of rugby, Northern Ireland’s Ballymena Bears have literally shown they are not afraid to overcome any obstacles in their path. An 18-strong squad of players, coaches and adults representing the special needs team took on the lofty challenge of climbing a hill in each of their country’s six counties over a three-day period, playing rugby as they traversed each summit and raising £3,700 for Wooden Spoon in the process.


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The FATLAD Hill Challenge was named after the first letter of the county in which each hill is located – Fermanagh, Antrim, Tyrone, Londonderry, Armagh and Down – and was organised as a thank-you to Wooden Spoon for funding the annual international tag rugby tournament in which the Bears are frequent competitors. Club founder, head coach and challenge organiser Gary Donald explained that his side first took part in the tournament in Ulster in 2014 and has since toured to Telford, Limerick, Witney and Greystones.

He added: “We haven’t looked back and we work throughout the season from the end of August with the aim of raising money to go on tour in June. “It has become the highlight of the season for us and we felt that as we take something out of Wooden Spoon, we should put something back into it.” Although the weather forecast predicted wind and rain for the start of the FATLAD Challenge, a four-car convoy of Ballymena Bears set off for the summit of County Londonderry’s Binevenagh on a Friday under clear blue skies. woodenspoon.org.uk

FEATURE A long, steep ascent of Mullaghcarn, in County Tyrone, followed on Saturday morning, with youngster Shane McAndless inspiring his fellow climbers by overcoming an aching hip and leg to make it up and down the hill. The summit of County Fermanagh’s Topped Mountain marked the team’s halfway point, before the climbers embarked on a Sunday-morning ascent of Slieve Gullion in County Armagh, with views out to Dublin and the Irish Sea greeting them at the top. The penultimate test was a long, slow climb of Slieve Croob in County Down, with County Antrim’s Slemish proving to be a challenging final push in their fundraising feat. Gary said: “Although on home turf and known to many, the scramble up Slemish turned out to be one of the most arduous due to the very wet and slippery rocks that formed the at times almost-

“We are very much a cross-community club going beyond boundaries to reach people who perhaps wouldn’t have otherwise got involved.” vertical route to the top. “The efforts of Danny McCormick shone on this hill. Danny was not feeling 100 per cent, but would not let it beat him and both up and down he stuck doggedly to the task. His efforts brought a lump to the throat of his fellow teammates as he was cheered by everyone, including the assembled supporting Bears and families as he stepped over the finishing line at the foot of the hill.” After returning to the bottom of Slemish to the rapturous applause of their fellow Bears and a BBQ supplied by club sponsor Montgomery’s Cafe, the team were able to reflect on completing an event that had truly challenged

them all and, for some, had introduced a new outdoor world. The camaraderie evident throughout the weekend reflects the sense of community that Gary has worked hard to instil in the club, which – like Wooden Spoon – sits at the heart of the wider rugby family. The Bears enjoy a close relationship with their parent club Ballymena RFC, whose players and coaches can often be found at the tag team’s training sessions, while Ireland international Luke Marshall and Ulster under-18 player Neve Jones are both enthusiastic patrons of the club. Gary told Spoonews: “The spirit of rugby is a big cornerstone of

why I formed the Bears and it is in that spirit that we go forward. “We are much more than just tag rugby for an hour every other Sunday. We are part of the rugby family and that extends well beyond the rugby pitch. It’s the values and ethos of team spirit, of playing for and supporting one another that we hold close in all that we do. “We are very much a crosscommunity club going beyond boundaries to reach people who perhaps wouldn’t have otherwise got involved. No matter who you are, you are welcome to be part of the rugby family.” The Ballymena Bears, who presented a cheque for the money raised from the FATLAD Challenge to Wooden Spoon Ulster’s WillieJohn McBride and Tom Lyttle (pictured below), provide tag rugby for people with special needs and currently has 30 players ranging in age from seven to 55.

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VOLUNTEERS’ BRISK BUILD Surrey schoolchildren benefit from Rugbytots and Securitas UK’s 24-hour challenge


WHO Rugbytots, Securitas UK and Fusion Community Initiatives

WHERE St Joseph’s Specialist School and College, Cranleigh

WHAT 24-hour construction of an adventure play area

THEY SAID “The children are going to be absolutely over the moon with the tractor and trailer you’ve created today. We really thank you for your amazing job.”

BARREN patch of grass at a Surrey special school has been transformed into an adventure play area thanks to a one-day build project completed by Wooden Spoon supporters. A team of 30 franchisees, coaches and head office staff from Rugbytots were joined by volunteers from Securitas UK and the children’s charity of rugby to construct the facility at St Joseph’s School and College in Cranleigh. Under the expert guidance of ex-military mentors from Fusion Community Initiatives, the workers picked up power tools to create new equipment for the school’s five-to-19year-old pupils, who all have complex and severe learning difficulties. The volunteers knuckled down to build a play tractor and trailer, an oversized “king” chair, a huge octagonal pagoda with seating and an arbour entrance with raised planters. Rugbytots franchisee Dom Young, who was nominated as the day’s project manager, said: “It’s amazing how everyone came together to do the roles required and create a fantastic facility for the children.”

Rugbytots involvement in the build is the latest chapter in its staunch support of Wooden Spoon, which has seen the organisation raise in excess of £200,000 for the children’s charity of rugby over the last two years. Founder Max Webb said: “One of the reasons we wanted to work with Wooden Spoon in the first place is due to their structure and their regions. “We really get the ability to spend money in the area where we’ve actually raised the funds. Today is a classic example of that.” The new equipment is already proving to be a big hit at St Joseph’s, which has developed a glowing reputation for its provision for pupils with complex special needs. Fundraiser Shirley Illsley said: “The children are going to be absolutely over the moon with the tractor and trailer you’ve created today. “We really thank you for your amazing job.” Shaun Kennedy, Director of

Specialist Protective Services at Securitas UK, said he had enjoyed the “tangible” results of his time working alongside his fellow builders. He continued: “It was a pleasure and a privilege to take part in this project, creating something special for the children of St. Joseph’s to enjoy. “I worked on the play tractor and trailer element of the build and was very proud of the finished result. “The build was also a great opportunity to exercise project management, team building and an array of other practical skills.” Wooden Spoon CEO Sarah Webb added: “What’s really nice now is that rather than just handing over a cheque each year, all of the guys that raise the money can actually go and build something and see the fruits of their labour.” ➤ To find out how to take part in a build with your organisation, contact charity@woodenspoon.org.uk

“It was a pleasure and a privilege to take part in this project, creating something special for the children of St. Joseph’s to enjoy.” Autumn/Winter 2018



Invaluable riding club takes the reins of new pony Jack thanks to Wooden Spoon Ulster


WHO Wooden Spoon Ulster

WHERE Riding for the Disabled Association, Coleraine

WHAT Purchase of a new pony, Jack

HOW MUCH? More than £3,000

THEY SAID “With the commencement of the new term, Jack has been introduced to our riders with a disability, has been settling and behaving very well, and already shows signs of becoming a firm favourite.”


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OUNG horse riders in Northern Ireland have a new mane attraction thanks to a fourfigure donation from Wooden Spoon. Users of the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) Coleraine Club were introduced to new pony Jack in April after the children’s charity of rugby’s Ulster region provided more than £3,000 for his purchase. Jack has already proved to be a big hit at the club, which provides riding opportunities to around 100 young people with a disability each week, with the majority coming from nearby special schools and units. RDA Coleraine director Albert Clyde said: “Upon his arrival, Jack was assessed for temperament, behaviour and his ability to settle in and get along with the herd. “This process was completed by the time of purchase. He was further developed using experienced riders, and taking part in regular disability rides. With the commencement of the new term, Jack has been introduced to our riders with a disability, has been settling and behaving very well, and already shows signs of becoming a firm favourite.”

Wooden Spoon Ulster honorary president Willie John McBride and chairman Peter Wood were on hand at RDA Coleraine to hand over Jack’s reins to members of the club’s Saturday riding group, including parents, volunteers and coaches Christine Hankin and Helen Christie. Lady Julie Frazer, Chair of RDA Northern Ireland, was also present and praised the way that the Riding for the Disabled Association and Wooden Spoon worked together – a relationship she looked forward to seeing continue in the future. Willie John McBride, who combines his Wooden Spoon role with the vice presidency of RDA Northern Ireland,

said he was “delighted” to be involved in supporting the Coleraine club, while Peter Wood expressed his pride in helping raise more than £600,000 during his time as chairman. RDA Coleraine was established in 1975 to provide recreational and therapeutic riding and sporting opportunities for people with a disability living in Coleraine and its surrounding districts. The club aims to improve users’ confidence and life skills and riders are encouraged to push themselves to the extent of their abilities, with some competing at national, international and even Paralympic level. Working with horses is a welldocumented source of physical, mental, social and emotional development and RDA Coleraine’s expert tuition allows riders to experience working with large animals, being part of a team and learning to recognise and take responsibility for the wellbeing of horses and helpers. ➤ Find out more about Wooden Spoon Ulster at woodenspoon.org. uk/ulster woodenspoon.org.uk



Interactive addition teaches Hereford children the rules of the road


WHO Wooden Spoon Worcestershire

WHERE Blackmarston School, Hereford

WHAT Installation of an interactive outdoor roadway

HOW MUCH? £20,000

HILDREN at a Hereford school are mastering the Green Cross Code from the safety of their playground after Wooden Spoon Worcestershire helped fund an interactive outdoor roadway. The new facility at Blackmarston School lets pupils practise safely crossing the road, including learning to wait for the green man and using the correct crossing points. Youngsters can also master riding scooters and bikes on the inclusive roadway, which was opened by England and Worcester Warriors star Chris Pennell during a ceremony attended by the parents of two Blackmarston School pupils who died and in whose memory the facility has been dedicated. Deputy Headteacher Claire Crump said the school was “absolutely delighted” with the new addition and was grateful to Wooden Spoon for its generous donation of £20,000

towards the project’s £59,000 cost. “We are now able to provide our children with a wide range of experiences which will enable them to develop road safety awareness as well as increasing their physical and social skills, all in a wonderful play environment,” she added. The interactive roadway project, which was driven by the Friends of Blackmarston School, has enabled youngsters to enjoy exciting playtimes while developing key life skills. In addition to learning how to safely cross the road, the new addition allows children to practise cooperation, interaction with adults and peers, physical development and control.

Wheelchair and walker users are able to experience the roadway, which includes an accessible bridge complete with sound effects that teach children about cause and effect, taking turns, listening and interacting. The Friends of Blackmarston School is a small group which has raised more than £100,000 over the last four years to fund three sensory and soft play rooms. It has previously helped to provide the school with a new minibus, Riding for the Disabled sessions and a hydrotherapy pool. ➤ Find out more about Wooden Spoon Worcestershire at woodenspoon.org.uk/worcestershire

“We are now able to provide our children with a wide range of experiences which will enable them to develop road safety awareness.” Autumn/Winter 2018


Leave a lasting legacy and change the future for children with disabilities woodenspoon.org.uk/gifts-in-wills

Wooden Spoon is a registered charity in England and Wales (Reg No: 326691) and in Scotland (Reg No: SC039247)



Wooden Spoon Wales helps school address ‘dire need’ for outdoor equipment


WHO Wooden Spoon Wales

WHERE Rhydygors School, Carmarthen

WHAT Installation of an adventure playground

THEY SAID “Due to the complex nature of our pupils, a space [with] a multi-function use will help us enormously.”

ELSH legend Paul Thorburn dusted off his rugby skills as he unveiled a Wooden Spoon Walesfunded adventure play area at a Carmarthen school. The 36-times capped fullback delighted pupils at Rhydygors School by leading an impromptu game during a ceremony to mark the much-needed new addition’s opening. Catering for up to 54 pupils aged between eight-and-16 with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, the school did not previously have any outdoor facility to allow youngsters to let off steam. A school spokesperson explained that the new equipment addressed Rhydygors’ “dire need” for a safe space in which its youngsters can

play, exercise and learn outdoors, adding: “Due to the complex nature of our pupils, a space [with] a multifunction use will help us enormously. “It offers pupils the chance to explore and provides them with a stimulating sensory learning space as well as a space to promote health and well-being through physical exercise and play.” Rhydygors’ pupils, many of whom have additional needs including autism and speech and language difficulties, are referred from mainstream schools encompassing a wide area including Carmarthenshire,

Neath/Port Talbot, Swansea, Cardiff and Bridgend. The school’s specialist staff offer them the best possible care and support in order to help them thrive and leave with an education. The equipment funded by the children’s charity of rugby will help achieve this goal by encouraging pupils to express ideas, feelings and difficulties and developing their sensory awareness and coordination. ➤ Find out more about Wooden Spoon Wales at woodenspoon.org. uk/wales

“It offers pupils the chance to explore and provides them with a stimulating sensory learning space.”

Autumn/Winter 2018


Opening lap: Coventry fly-half Will Maisey joined students at Baginton Fields for a circuit of the school’s Wooden Spoon trim trail

PATHWAY TO FITNESS Warwickshire’s all-weather walkway helping to keep Coventry kids trim


WHO Wooden Spoon Warwickshire

WHERE Baginton Fields School, Coventry

WHAT Installation of an all-weather trim trail

HOW MUCH? £9,000


Autumn/Winter 2018

OODEN Spoon Warwickshire has helped pave the way for students at a special educational needs school in Coventry to enjoy a fitter future. The children’s charity of rugby flexed its fundraising muscles to part-cover the cost of installing a permanent pathway around the perimeter of Baginton Fields’ playing field to enable pupils to access the outdoor area in all weathers. Officially opened by Coventry flyhalf Will Maisey, the Wooden Spoon Trim Trail supports efforts to address obesity and poor health levels among the school’s secondary-age students, who are encouraged to walk or cycle a mile every day. As well as providing the opportunity for regular exercise, the pathway encourages greater social interaction and lowers pupils’ stress levels before entering the classroom. Walks are an essential fixture of

the timetable at the broad spectrum school as they help to regulate sensory input, manage any overload and can calm potentially disruptive behaviours. Prior to the creation of the trim trail, such an activity was impractical during the winter and wetter months, particularly for those students using wheelchairs or walking aids. Members of Wooden Spoon Warwickshire, who contributed £9,000 of the £11,000 installation cost, joined Will and John Blundell, the Lord Mayor of Coventry, for the opening, which saw the whole school

community complete a lap of the trail and decorated with a medal. In addition to the 100 pupils – aged between 11-and-19-years-old – on the Baginton Fields’ register, a further 50-plus students from neighbouring schools are benefiting from the children’s charity of rugby-funded fitness feature. Players and supporters of Wooden Spoon partner club Harbury RFC were among the donors that made the trim trail a reality. More than 200 people attended the club’s end of season ball at Dunchurch Park Hotel in May, which raised £600 for the Warwickshire Air Ambulance and £1,000 for the children’s charity of rugby’s Warwickshire committee. ➤ Find out more about Wooden Spoon Warwickshire at woodenspoon.org.uk/warwickshire woodenspoon.org.uk


COUNTY’S CARING SIDE Staffordshire fundraisers club together to improve outdoor centre’s facilities

U WHO Wooden Spoon Staffordshire

WHERE Chase Aqua Rural Enterprise

WHAT Assistance in providing a new accessible toilet block

THEY SAID “The new toilets have made the situation a lot better. Now, if there’s a deluge of rain over the winter, we don’t have to worry about how we are able to meet everyone’s needs, particularly anyone attending with mobility issues.”

SERS of a much-loved outdoor wellbeing centre have gained a new accessible toilet block thanks to money from a children’s charity of rugby sporting fundraiser. Chase Aqua Rural Enterprise (CARE), which provides vulnerable children, young people and adults with a wide range of nature-based activities and courses, received £2,000 from Staffordshire Rugby Union – a sum raised at Wooden Spoon Staffordshire’s golf day – to purchase a container in which to house the new facility. Local businessman Roger Edwards commissioned his flooring and joinery contractors to help fit out the new toilets, which CARE director Carol Parkes explained were much needed. “The existing toilets were in the middle of the farm, which is a long walk for some people and not really accessible for anyone in a wheelchair – especially in the winter when there has been a lot of rain and the ground is uneven,” she told Spoonews. “The new toilets have made the situation a lot better. Now, if there’s a deluge of rain over the winter, we don’t have to worry about how we are able to meet everyone’s needs,

particularly anyone attending with mobility issues.” CARE, which is run by Carol and son Brad, provides people from diverse backgrounds with positive, rural activities designed to promote wellbeing and learning. Support is provided for vulnerable children and young people aged between eight and 24 with a wide diversity of needs who are able to relax in a calm environment and try new activities ranging from caring for animals to taking part in horticulture, cooking, floristry and angling. Based at Lower Drayton Lane in Penkridge, CARE even provides training for qualifications such as NVQs and BTECs as it helps users develop personal and vocational skills. Wooden Spoon Staffordshire’s involvement in the disabled toilet block project came about after the region’s chairman Trevor Jenkins visited CARE in 2017 and was made aware of the need

for accessible facilities. That visit sparked an ongoing relationship between Trevor and Carol which the CARE director hopes will flourish well into the future. “This project initiated contact, enabled us to have an introduction to Wooden Spoon and see the great work the charity does and to begin to work together,” she said. “Trevor has been working hard to put us in touch with businesses and people in our own community to help us build sustainable partnerships for the future. We are hoping that CARE will be able to reciprocate this by supporting Trevor equally in forthcoming Wooden Spoon initiatives.” ➤ Learn more about our Staffordshire region at woodenspoon.org. uk/staffordshire or, for more information about CARE and the services it provides, visit chaseaquaruralenterprise.com

“This project initiated contact, enabled us to have an introduction to Wooden Spoon and see the great work the charity does and to begin to work together.” Autumn/Winter 2018


WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES Devon schoolchildren revel in results of rapid recreation project


WHO Wooden Spoon Devon, Rugbytots and HITZ (Exeter Chiefs)

WHERE Brixham, Torbay

WHAT Funding and construction of a children’s play area

HOW MUCH? £25,000

THEY SAID “Throughout the day, children from the centre came out to check on progress and were obviously very excited at the prospect of their new playground trail.”


Autumn/Winter 2018

OODEN Spoon supporters in the south west of England rolled up their sleeves to help construct a brand-new play area in just 24 hours. Members of the children’s charity of rugby’s Devon committee teamed up with Rugbytots and volunteers from the HITZ squad at Exeter Chiefs – led by Gareth Williams – to take part in the “one-day big build” of a trim trail and jungle gym at Brixham’s Mayfield Chestnut Centre. A total of 35 workers joined forces to create the exciting facility for the Chestnut’s four-to-11-year-old users, all of whom experience complex social, emotional or mental health difficulties and are helped to move back into mainstream education where possible. The project, which was managed by Fusion Community Initiatives and made possible by combined funding of £25,000 from Wooden Spoon

Devon and Rugbytots, was formally handed over in May by Regional Chairman Roger Haywood. Devon committee representative Doreen Murray explained that the build – which included a section painted in Wooden Spoon’s distinctive colours – went ahead in bright sunshine despite the snow and torrential rain that had greeted the Fusion team’s arrival on site ahead of the big day. She said: “Everyone found it a long and challenging day with lots of hard work and problems to be solved, [but] the sense of achievement felt at the end of the build made it all worthwhile. “Throughout the day, children

from the centre came out to check on progress and were obviously very excited at the prospect of their new playground trail. “It was a great chance to learn new skills, meet new people and be part of a meaningful project.” Wooden Spoon Devon chose to involve HITZ, which uses rugby’s core values to improve education and employability among 14-18-year-olds, as the project offered members of the local squad an invaluable opportunity to develop their initiative and leadership skills. ➤ Find out more about the work of Wooden Spoon in your local area at woodenspoon.org.uk/near-you

“Everyone found it a long and challenging day, [but] the sense of achievement felt at the end of the build made it all worthwhile.” woodenspoon.org.uk


Where there’s a will... Leaving a legacy to charity is a great way to make a profound, lasting difference to a cause you care about. Here, Barrie Mair explains how one man’s estate has made a lasting difference at Berkshire and Buckinghamshire’s first children’s hospice...


OU may be aware of the difference Wooden Spoon’s donors make to today’s children and young people, but did you know that legacies left by our super supporters are ensuring we can improve the lives of future generations? Remembering the children’s charity of rugby by way of a gift in a will provides impactful assistance allowing our regions to fund facilities, services and specialist equipment long into the future. The power of this form of philanthropy was perfectly demonstrated when Wooden Spoon’s Chilterns region was able to use a six-figure sum, left in the will of Maidenhead man David Smith, to fund an extra ten projects. Former Chilterns chairman Barrie Mair, who knew Mr Smith well and assisted him through a long illness, together with fellow Wooden Spoon member Edwin Heath, were named as executors. As provided for in David’s will, they deployed his estate to the great benefit of the children’s charity of rugby. Barrie said: “Edwin and I agreed to funnel the legacy almost exclusively into Wooden Spoon Chilterms projects – thus not depleting their pot for circa three years.” The largest and final grant was for the £100,000 Wooden Spoon bedroom suite at the newly-opened

“The Hospice will help the around 600 children with life-terminating illnesses in the local area as well as their families and those who follow in years to come.” Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice in Maidenhead (pictured below). The room is an invaluable feature at the residential care hospice, which is the only one serving Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. The much-needed facility was made possible by the tireless efforts of Fiona Devine, whose son it is named after, along with the assistance of Barrie and the children’s charity of rugby. He explained: “Wooden Spoon had originally been contacted some ten years previously by Fiona, soon after her son had died from a cancerous tumour of the brain.

“At that stage she and her husband had the vision of a hospice in [Alexander’s] memory, but only the promise of a local farmer’s land should the concept prove to be successful. “The outline costs of £4-5 million clearly meant that Chilterns could only be a part-contributor. As there was only a realistically small chance that such an amount could be raised, I told Fiona that Wooden Spoon would be happy to consider paying for a feature of the hospice when the fundraising had taken off and the project was ‘go’.” Benefactors of the hospice include children’s charity of rugby supporter Sir Michael Parkinson and local MP and Prime Minister Theresa May (pictured above) as well as two philanthropic Wooden Spoon members, who all helped to raise the required funds for the hospice, which opened in early June 2018. The Wooden Spoon bedroom suite, made possible through David Smith’s legacy, was unveiled towards the end of that month by Caroline Brooks, the widow of Maidenhead Rugby Club’s Director of Rugby Tony Brooks, and will now create a legacy of its own. Barrie added: “The Hospice will help the around 600 children with life-limiting illnesses in the local area as well as their families and those who follow in years to come.”

EXPERT ESTATE ASSISTANCE We have partnered with Asset Harbour, an estate planning services specialist, to provide Wooden Spoon supporters with expert advice on wills – and the children’s charity of rugby will benefit if you choose to use the firm’s services. Asset Harbour is a member of the Society of Will Writers and can provide guidance on completing a will, including leaving a gift to charity. You are under no obligation to use the services of Asset Harbour – but if you do and refer to Wooden Spoon when making contact, we will receive a donation. Managing director Mark Wilde said that while many people are aware that they should write a will, it is common for it to remain unticked on the to-do list. He added: “Worryingly, every year the number of people in the UK that do not have a will goes up and up – government figures indicate that almost 30 million adults in the UK have not made a will. “Should you die without a will in place your loved ones may not benefit in the way that you or they would have hoped. Instead, your assets will be divided under the government’s laws of intestacy, meaning that you are not in control of how your estate is divided.” Mark concluded: “By becoming a partner of Wooden Spoon, we can not only ensure the correct will is in place and potentially leave a legacy, but we make a contribution directly back to the charity.” You can contact Mark on wills@assetharbour.com ➤ For more guidance on creating or updating a will which, visit woodenspoon.org. uk/gifts-in-wills Autumn/Winter 2018



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