In the UK, one child in every hundred suffers from a lifelong
disability that will profoundly affect his or her ability to lead a full and happy life.
More than 3.5 million young people grow up in low income households or
live in an environment where they are subjected to poverty of aspiration.At Wooden Spoon, we believe all that all children and young people deserve the chance to live happy fulfilled lives regardless of the challenges they may face. Spoon harnesses the spirit and values of rugby to give disadvantaged children and young people in the UK and Ireland a chance to achieve their full potential in life.
We partner with the UK rugby community, receiving invaluable support for our activities and the opportunity to raise awareness of the work we do. In doing so, we involve some of the UK’s top sporting role models in a making difference in the lives of young people in need.
Who we are:
Wooden Spoon is a children’s charity founded in 1983 that is dedicated to helping underprivileged children and young people all over the UK and Ireland to live happier, richer lives.
We comprise over 40 regional volunteer committees as well as a central national team and we boast more than 10,000 members across the UK and Ireland. The regional committees undertake local fundraising activities and ensure that the money is spent on projects in their community so that the benefit of our work is always immediate, visible and lasting.
During our first 25 years, over half a million young people benefitted from more than £15 million pounds of charitable support thanks to the efforts of our staff and volunteers. We are proud of our legacy, the work we do, and our ambitious plans for the future.
Our Mission & Values:
Wooden Spoon exists to improve the quality and prospect of life for children and young people who are disadvantaged physically, mentally or socially.
What we do:
We organise our own fundraising initiatives, raise the money and spend it where it is most needed. Over the years, our donations have diversified from purely capital projects such as medical treatment and recovery centres, sports and activity areas, sensory rooms and gardens, playgrounds and hydrotherapy pools to include outreach programmes for kids in their communities.
What events do we run?
Spoon’s volunteer committees organise hundreds of events every year including fundraising dinners, golf events, rugby matches, balls and other assorted events that allow us to raise money and attract the attention of potential supporters. These events also offer Spoon members the chance to contribute directly and network. Much of our impressive growth of members and sponsors is directly related to our event activity.
A series of physical challenges that occur across the UK where people can get involved and raise money for Spoon. Events include:
Great Lakeland Challenge – the longest, highest and steepest Challenge. Participants kayak England’s longest lake, cycle England’s steepest passes and conquer England’s highest peak – all in less than 12 hours
Four Peaks Challenge – Our most successful and well-known Challenge. Participants climb four of the highest mountains in Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland, a total of 14,000 feet and drive the 1,900 miles between them – all within 48 hours.
Summer Solstice Bike Ride – Participants cycle from start points at Rugby Clubs as far afield as London and Cardiff to converge on our very own ‘Henge’ to watch the sun come up on the longest day.
Spoon Community Rugby:
Spoon Community Rugby is series of charitable projects designed to give disadvantaged children around the UK a better chance in life by playing rugby. Rugby gives kids of all shapes and sizes a valuable role in the team, enhancing their health and self-confi dence. It is particularly important for some of the most disenfranchised young people in our society who are in desperate need of guidance and physical release. By playing a sport that channels their energy into healthy activity while fostering teamwork, discipline and respect, these young people can change their lives for the better.
“ We take tremendous pride in the professionalism, efficiency
and the ‘can-do’ attitude of our volunteers
who make so much of our work possible.”
Jason Leonard OBE,
Lead Ambassador of Wooden Spoon
Our Lead Ambassador is Jason Leonard OBE, England’s most capped player and World Cup winner. Jason is not only a testament to the sporting values of rugby, but he credits is involvement with rugby at a young age with transforming his life for the better. Having gained so much from playing a sport he loves, Jason can use his voice and infl uence to develop Wooden Spoon’s work and help the less fortunate.
Wooden Spoon enjoys the support of numerous rugby legends who contribute their time and energy to raise awareness of Spoon’s activities and help us to generate funds. Our ambassadors include:
Bill Beaumont CBE, former England and British and Irish Lions player
Gavin Hastings OBE, former Scottish and Lions full back
Tom Aggar, Gold medal winning paralympian rower
Rachael Burford, England Women’s rugby player
Ryan Jones, Wales Captain
Paul Wallace, former Ireland and Lions player .
Wooden Spoon enjoys strong relationships with a variety of clubs, league associations and governing bodies to achieve our common goal of giving back to the community while using sport as a way to improve the quality of life for young people.
Our Rugby Patrons:
The RFU, WRU, SRU, IRFU, RFL all support us in our charitable work. Our Royal Patron is HRH The Princess Royal who gives generously of her time
Wooden Spoon has the generous support of a number of companies whose contributions enable us to change the lives of more young people in a variety of ways. QBE, Brixton PLC, The Crown Estate, Ford, FutureBrand, Microsoft, Talbot, TNT
Why Wooden Spoon?
The origin of Wooden Spoon was a happy accident in the wake of a humiliating England rugby defeat in 1983. A group of friends who travelled to the Five Nations match against Ireland were awarded the wooden spoon by rival supporters to commemorate England’s dismal performance in the tournament. Accepting the prize with as much good humour and grace as could be mustered under the circumstances, the friends resolved to have a charity golf match to see who would have the honour of keeping the spoon. The money raised bought a minibus for a local school and the idea for a charity was born.