The British & Irish Lions Charitable Trust Announces Charity Partnerships

THE British & Irish Lions Charitable Trust has today revealed four new charity partnerships, which all have rugby at the heart of what they do:

  • Wooden Spoon
  • Matt Hampson Foundation
  • My Name’5 Doddie Foundation
  • The Atlas Foundation

The one-year partnerships will allow the charities to use The British & Irish Lions Charitable Trust logo for all promotional activity during that period. In addition, the charities will also have the opportunity to use the Lions’ digital platforms for promotional purposes, as well as access to 2021 Lions Tour memorabilia for fundraising.

“We are delighted to announce our four charity partnerships today,” said Gavin Hastings, Chairman of Trustees for the Lions Charitable Trust.

“We are proud to be partnering with four incredible charities who all have a connection with rugby at their core. We look forward to helping raise as much money as possible by highlighting the vital work they do.

“2021 marks the start of our new charity programme and we look forward to building on this over the coming years.”

The Lions Charitable Trust exists to connect with, nurture and support all Lions players in need, alongside furthering the spirit, values and ethos of the Lions through rugby clubs and communities across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The Trust focuses on providing financial support for the home unions’ funds for injured players and offering assistance to Lions who may have fallen on hard times. Established in 2002, its Board of Trustees includes Gavin Hastings (Chairman of Trustees), Richard Hill (Trustee), Fergus Slattery (Trustee) and Sam Warburton (Trustee).

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Wooden Spoon

Wooden Spoon is the children’s charity of rugby, funding life-changing projects that support children and young people with disabilities or living in disadvantage.

Since 1983 Wooden Spoon has raised over £29m and funded over 1,300 projects across UK and Ireland, including projects such as sensory playrooms, playground and outdoor activities, health and wellbeing and specialist equipment.

Rugby heritage drives the charity’s core values of passion, integrity, teamwork and fun.

“There are so many people today in life who could be forgotten and ignored, and I think that Wooden Spoon is the charity that picks those people up and revitalises their life, gives them a new purpose,” said Lions Legend, Willie John McBride, an ambassador for Wooden Spoon.

“We couldn’t do the projects without the supporters behind them. They’re the people who keep Wooden Spoon strong.

“I am delighted to hear of the new partnership with the Lions Trust and hope it helps spread the word of the vital work the Wooden Spoon does.”

Matt Hampson Foundation

The Matt Hampson Foundation aims to inspire and support anyone in the UK who suffers a life-changing injury through sport with the provision of physical and mental well-being support.

The Foundation is the brainchild of founder and ex-England and Leicester Tigers rugby player Matt Hampson OBE, who himself experienced a life-changing injury in 2005 leaving him paralysed from the neck down, aged just 20.

At the heart of the Foundation is the Get Busy Living Centre in rural Leicestershire. Opened in 2018, the centre provides expert physiotherapy, specialist personal training, support, mentoring and advice to people suffering a life-changing injury.

“We’re honoured to have been chosen as an official charity partner of The British & Irish Lions Charitable Trust and excited to be working with an organisation that so closely shares our values and ethos,” said Matt Hampson.

“Rugby is firmly at the heart of the Matt Hampson Foundation and a number of our ambassadors have represented the Lions, so it’s fantastic to be recognised especially in our tenth anniversary year.

“We believe that this alliance will create a powerful platform to promote the work that we do and ultimately allow us to help more people to get busy living again.”

My Name’5 Doddie Foundation

The Foundation has a clear vision of a world free of motor neuron disease. Established in November 2017, following former Scotland international Doddie Weir’s diagnosis with Motor Neuron Disease (MND), the charity was founded in response to his frustration at the lack of options given to MND patients – no effective treatment, no access to meaningful clinical trials and no hope.

The aims of the Foundation are twofold. To raise funds to aid research into the causes of MND and investigate potential cures; and to make grants to individuals suffering from MND, to enable them to live as fulfilled a life as possible.

It is committed to funding, guiding and enabling the smartest, most efficient research to expedite new treatments for MND. The Foundation also aims to inform and support patients and their families while also raising awareness through promoting disease education and advocacy.

Since it was launched in November 2017, the Foundation has committed almost £6 million to MND research projects and a further £1 million in grants to support people living with MND.

“Being part of the Lions in 1997 was one of the great highlights of my rugby career. The friendships and relationships forged during the Tour have remained with me and I am therefore delighted to see this continue with The British & Irish Lions Trust charity partnership with My Name’5 Doddie Foundation,” said Doddie Weir.

“The support shown to me and the Foundation by the rugby community over the last three and half years has been incredible. It has allowed us to invest in vital and targeted MND research and help a great many people who are living with this devastating disease.

“We look forward to the summer and the opportunities that will follow through this special relationship with the Lions Trust.”

The Atlas Foundation

The Atlas Foundation exists to help deprived children work towards a better future through rugby communities and initiatives.

Founded in 2015 by former England international and British & Irish Lion, Jason Leonard, the Foundation is committed to getting practical help directly to those who need it most, funding and delivering projects that have a tangible impact on the daily lives of more than 50,000 young people in 16 countries across five continents.

In the poorest communities on earth, Atlas improves education, provides safe places to play, diverts children from crime, provides food, water and medical supplies, and builds a supportive and compassionate network of rugby people who ensure children thrive.

“After seeing the outstanding charity work done by rugby players and the rugby family here and overseas, we knew that we wanted to find a way to add our weight to their efforts, to improve the lives of disadvantaged people across the world,” said Jason Leonard.

“Atlas is delighted to have been chosen by The British & Irish Lions Trust, as one of the four charity partnerships for the next year. I’m extremely grateful to The British & Irish Lions who are using their platform to help children thrive.”


If you would like to make a donation to Wooden Spoon, please click here. Alternatively, you can become a member for just £5 per month.