The pioneering partnership between the care charity, Community Integrated Care, and the Super League rugby league club, Widnes Vikings, received two top accolades at the 3rd Sector Care Awards yesterday.
The 3rd Sector Care Awards are one of the care sector’s most prestigious and high-profile events. They were hosted in London’s Marriott Grovesnor Square Hotel by Dame Esther Rantzen.
Community Integrated Care is one of Britain’s biggest and most successful social care charities, supporting thousands of people who have learning disabilities, mental health concerns, autism and dementia. It was founded in Widnes in 1988.
The charity and Widnes Vikings have developed possibly the most ambitious partnership between a social care provider and a professional sports club. It sees community coaches from the club deliver a host of weekly activity, sport and social events for people supported by the charity. The club has also supported many people to also enjoy special experiences with past and present players and develop new skills, through activities such as volunteering.
The partnership won the Citizenship Award, recognising its success in enabling people to lead full and active lives in the community. This has included the club offering aspirational voluntary roles to people supported by the charity, promoting better access to health and fitness, and creating a ground-breaking dementia support group to help tackle social isolation.
It also collected the coveted Innovative Quality Outcomes Award, which marks the most creative and impactful programme in social care. Judges praised the partnership for effectively “promoting health, happiness and inclusion” and “creating incredible new opportunities for people supported and members of the wider community”
Widnes Vikings are the first sports club to ever win a 3rd Sector Care Award. These nominations follow the partnership also being named as a finalist for the ‘Best Dementia Innovation Award’ at the recent National Dementia Care Awards.
John Hughes, Head of Communications and Marketing for Community Integrated Care, says: “Our partnership with Widnes Vikings has changed the lives of the people we support and given them incredible experiences. For us to be recognised with two awards at one of the care sector’s most prestigious events for the creativity, ambition and achievements of our work is a tremendous honour. We’d like to thank the players, colleagues and fans of Widnes Vikings for their brilliant support this year.”
Richard Munson, Community Integrated Director of Widnes Vikings, says: “We are delighted that our partnership with Community Integrated Care has been recognised at such a prestigious event. The aim of our Community team is to make a difference to people’s lives, so to receive praise for our impact, innovation and quality of delivery is something we feel very proud about. This success has only been possible because of the hard work of our Community team, the support of our players and fans, and the brilliant passion from Community Integrated Care.”