Charity rugby event to support local mental health projects

A rugby festival which saw 450 vets players join together to raise money for a leading children’s charity will be returning in 2022 in Birmingham.

The Wooden Spoon Vets Fest was first held last year – the first national fundraising event organised by the children’s charity of rugby since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year’s event will take place on Saturday 8th October at Birmingham Moseley Rugby Club with women’s teams also being invited to play for the first time.

Almost 30 teams have already signed up to Vets Fest 2022, which will be raising money for local mental health projects that support young people.

Sarah Webb, CEO of Wooden Spoon, said:

“Last year’s Vets Fest was a fantastic event in showcasing the true spirit of our rugby family.

“It was wonderful to see so many rugby teams come together and a fantastic sum of money raised in support of our work.

“We are delighted with the initial interest in Vets Fest 2022 and we would encourage teams and players to sign up and also help us spread the word.”

The inaugural Vets Fest was held in October and hailed a big success after 15 teams from across 13 regions played in 37 matches at Bournville Rugby Club.

It was organised in memory of 13-year-old Olly Stephens, a young person from Reading who lost his life as a result of knife crime last year.

Working with Olly’s family, the funds raised from Vets Fest supported regional programmes for disengaged children and young people across the UK and Ireland to support them to make better life choices, with the aim that more children and young people are not lost to mindless violence.

Olly’s memory was also honoured by presenting the ‘Olly Stephens Trophy’ to the winning team, who both win the most games and raise the most funds.

Stuart Stephens, Olly’s Dad

For almost 40 years, Wooden Spoon has funded life-changing projects that support children and young people with disabilities or living in disadvantage.

The Centre for Mental Health has recently released information that shows that 1.5 million young people will need mental health support as a direct result of the pandemic.

Therefore, this year’s Vets Fest will support local mental health projects that help young people.

Wooden Spoon is looking for clubs or individual players from across the UK to this year’s Vets Fest.


Read all about Vets Fest 2021.