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England’s World Cup players visit children’s hospice

6th of November 2013

England’s Rugby League World Cup stars paid a special visit to Loughborough’s Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People today.

Tom Burgess, Sean O’Loughlin, Lee Mossop and Liam Farrell, who have all featured in England’s World Cup campaign, spent an hour with the children, parents and members of staff signing autographs and posing for photographs.

The hospice is a beneficiary of Wooden Spoon – the Official Charity Partner to Rugby League World Cup 2013 (RLWC2013) – and the players got a chance to see first-hand the impact a £40,000 donation towards the construction of a soft play room has made.

All of the players were clearly moved and humbled by the experience.

“It’s great that Wooden Spoon have come on board during the World Cup,” said Burgess.

“They do some amazing things and invest money into some fantastic projects so when we heard there was a beneficiary near to our training base we wanted to come down and show our support for the money they have invested.”

O’Loughlin wholeheartedly agreed with his team mate adding: “It’s been such a moving experience. To be able to come here and meet some of these amazing children is very humbling. If we can put a smile on their faces even for a second and that makes a small difference then it’s worthwhile.

“Not only that, but visiting the hospice and seeing close up the difference the funding from Wooden Spoon has made is brilliant.”

Simon Whitaker from Wooden Spoon was delighted to have the support of some of England’s top players. He said: “It’s great to know they are supportive of the work we do and for them to take time out of their busy World Cup schedule to come and see the investment we have made into the hospice is fantastic.”

It wasn’t just the children who were excited to meet the England quartet, Philip Yorkstone from the hospice admitted the staff were thrilled by their visit, too.

“We see the positive impact the £40,000 Wooden Spoon investment has made on the children’s lives every day so it’s great to celebrate that by having some of the England team visit the hospice.

“Everyone was extremely excited before they arrived and we all thoroughly enjoyed meeting them, they were lovely guys.”

As part of the RLWC2013 official charity partnership, Wooden Spoon have provided a grant of £80,000 to the £1million RLWC2013 Dance Programme which involved hundreds of disadvantaged and disabled young people performing at the opening and closing ceremonies as well as throughout the tournament.

Wooden Spoon was founded in 1983 and inspired by its rugby heritage, its core values of passion, integrity, teamwork and fun, have so far benefited over one million young people.

Wooden Spoon’s over 40 regional committees and 10,000 members undertake local fundraising activities and only spend the money raised on projects in their local community which has so far amounted to around £20million.

In 2009 the RFL became a patron and have worked alongside Wooden Spoon on community programmes aimed at significantly improving the lives of 16-19 year olds who are currently not in education, employment or training.

In 2011, Wooden Spoon received the International Rugby Board’s Spirit of Rugby Award for its services in the charity sector. Wooden Spoon is the only charity to have received this prestigious award.

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