Learning Disability Week is an annual week of awareness, organised by Mencap, and is one that has always been important to us here at the Foundation.
This year, Learning Disability Week will take place from the 19th to the 25th of June and aims to make the world aware of what life is like for those living with a learning disability, by busting myths and shining a light on the stigma that many still face every day.
Here at the Foundation, we want to show people the incredible things that people with a learning disability can achieve, through our range of projects, opportunities and support that we continue to provide, to accomplish our mission of Changing Lives Through Sport.
Community Integrated Care Learning Disability Super League
Our LDSL team was launched back in 2019 with the aim of giving those living with learning disabilities the opportunity to come and live out some of their dreams and play rugby league. Learning Disability Rugby League is a specially adapted non-competitive game, which focuses on encouraging participation and skills development. Since its establishment, the team continues to grow, with a record number of players taking part in festivals with other clubs from around the country and in life-changing events like Magic Weekend. Not only does the LDSL develop the confidence of those involved, but our team members are also making lifelong memories and friendships.
This month saw the launch of our Junior LDSL training sessions, open to those aged 8-16. As a result of this, the Foundation became the first organisation to offer bespoke training sessions for both senior and junior groups across the disability game. Our junior sessions take place every Friday from 5:30-6:30pm at the Bartercard Training Complex in Kirkstall.
If you are interested in the above sessions or would like more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASPIRE CBS work with over 1,000 people with learning disabilities across Leeds, supporting them with provision of high-quality, person centred care and support services. The Leeds Rhinos Foundation have worked with ASPIRE for many years to deliver a tailored programme of sports coaching throughout the city, helping participants stay active and engaged whilst providing them with opportunities to make memories.
One of these recent opportunities was the ASPIRE tag festival which saw over 150 players taking part at Headingley Stadium.
Specialist Inclusive Learning Centres (SILC)
Each week, the charity delivers physical activity sessions to hundreds of school children across Leeds. This including the delivery of tag rugby in both Windmill Primary and Green Meadows.
Recently, staff from the Foundation took part in the Access the Dales campaign which exists to break down the barriers that prevent people living with disabilities, enjoying the great outdoors, either independently or with friends and family. As part of the fundraising event, the team took on the challenge of completing three peaks in three days. Our team took to Pen-y-ghent to support pupils from West SILC to reach the summit, using Paratreker all-terrain wheelchairs and Terrainhoppers. To celebrate their achievements, the children, volunteers and staff who took part were then invited to our Keith Howard Community Hub to watch a Leeds Rhinos home match.
Inclusive Volunteering & Mentoring
Building upon the success of Community Integrated Care’s ground-breaking inclusive volunteering project at the Rugby League World Cup 2021, our partnership has enabled us to extend our support and mentorship to individuals on the project, helping them turn their dreams into reality. We offer a wide range of volunteering opportunities, conduct workshops to enhance workplace skills, assist individuals in securing long-term volunteering positions and paid employment, and guide them towards engaging in new social and recreational activities.
Our dedicated volunteers have been actively involved in numerous Leeds Rhinos Foundation events. They have contributed their time and energy to support events such as Leeds Rhinos home matches, LDSL and PDRL festivals, Magic Weekend, and the Run For All Leeds 10K, just to name a few.
One of our outstanding volunteers, Michael Duffy, who is also a player for our LDSL team, has been an invaluable asset. Michael has eagerly volunteered in various events, assuming the role of our official volunteer photographer at the ASPIRE Tag Rugby Festival and the Run with the Rhinos Leeds 10K. His exceptional photographs have enabled us to showcase our activities on social media. Additionally, Michael has also joined us as a regular volunteer at our In Touch Dementia Support Group, where he extends his warm hospitality to guests and ensures their comfort by providing refreshments.
Jenny Robinson, Volunteer LDSL Media Assistant, has also done some great work for the Foundation, joining us at Magic Weekend at the beginning of the month and taking part in other events across the LDSL calendar.
You can read about her journey and how this experience has changed her life HERE.
Support Our Work
You can support the work we continue to do in our community by donating to our Run with the Rhinos team that took part in the Run For All Leeds 10K on Sunday 18th June.
This annual run is a flagship fundraising event for the Foundation in raising vital funds for our charity, which enables us to continue Changing Lives Through Sport.
If you are able to donate to the team, please CLICK HERE.
A full photo album from the day can also be found HERE.