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England Rugby and Comic Relief announce the first Try for Change grants

England Rugby and Comic Relief today announce the first set of Try for Change small grant recipients.

The Try for Change small grants round is the first initiative in England Rugby’s partnership with Sport Relief. Aimed at supporting smaller charities, community groups and grassroots rugby clubs in England, the grants offer projects up to £10,000 to support the valuable work they are doing to improve lives through rugby.

Over 40 organisations, including 17 rugby clubs, applied for a small grant, with 11 projects ultimately being awarded funding. The successful projects are located across England and use rugby and its core values as a tool to greatly improve and support the lives of marginalised and disadvantaged people.

Projects include: · The Northumbria Sport Foundation which is working with refugees and asylum seekers providing them with opportunities through rugby to integrate with the wider community · Roots Project CIC which is helping young unemployed people by providing rugby courses combining sport with employability training. · 3 Pillars Project working with young people in prisons to reduce violence and reoffending through structured rugby sessions. · Sporting Memories Foundation which is bringing together young people in the rugby community with older isolated people to improve mental wellbeing and social integration.

Dominic Proctor, RFU Chair for Try for Change and RFU Board Member said “It’s great to see such deserving projects being awarded grants in our first round of funding. The projects selected each demonstrate how rugby has the ability to improve the lives of millions of people from all walks of life and I’m excited to see how they each of them utilise their grants to make a real difference over the coming months.”

Sue Wicks, Strategic Lead, Sport for Change at Comic Relief said: “The small grant recipients have each shown their commitment to making positive change through rugby, with many already demonstrating just how important such initiatives are to individuals in need. There’s a great spectrum of projects covering numerous disadvantaged and socially isolated groups across England and I can’t wait to see how they continue to grow their fantastic programmes over the coming year to provide positive change within their communities.”

3 Pillars Project CIC is one of the first eleven projects to benefit from Try for Change. The project is focused on unlocking the potential of young people in prisons, using rugby’s core values to reduce violence and reoffending. 

Mike Crofts, CEO of 3 Pillars Project, said, “We have already successfully piloted our rugby academy course with young men in HMP Wormwood Scrubs in North West London and the Try for Change grant will enable us to deliver new courses in further prisons. Our project emphasises the value of teamwork and sportsmanship through rugby, helping people achieve their full potential.“One prison officer remarked that she had seen a young man's behaviour become unrecognisable over the course, while a prisoner remarked that learning to play rugby for him 'allowed him to feel part of a team and be more positive in prison’.”

Following the successful Try for Change small grants round, Comic Relief and England Rugby have launched a large grants round which is open for submissions from Monday 4 September. Proposals to the Try for Change large grants round will need to demonstrate wider social outcomes and not just focus on increasing participation in rugby. It is open to charities, not-for-profit organisations and rugby clubs across England with organisations able to apply for a grant of up to £100,000 for work delivered over 2-3 years.

For more details, and to apply for funding, please visit the Comic Relief Grants section HERE.

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