Super League team, Widnes Vikings, and Community Integrated Care, are proud to announce one of Britain’s most ambitious partnerships between a professional sports team and a care provider. Jack-All Productions were delighted to capture the launch of this unique partnership as well as the amazing events that followed.
The launch saw staff and people supported by Community Integrated Care come together at the Select Security Stadium to find out about what the partnership will entail and were even greeted by some of the Widnes Vikings Star players, Patrick Ah Van and Lloyd White.
To celebrate the launch of this long term partnership Widnes Vikings invited some staff and people who are supported for a special match day experience. This included an accessible sports session on the pitch before kickoff, forming the guard of honor that welcomed the players onto the pitch. They also received a very warm welcome of applauding fans when they were invited onto the pitch side at half time. They later enjoyed a backstage tour of the Select Security Stadium where they met coaches and star players.
Also on this day, Windes Vikings became the eighth organisation to receive 'Friends of Community Integrated Care' status awarded by the Deputy Chief Executive, Cath Murray-Howard.
Cath Murray-Howard stated “We believe that we have formed the most ambitious partnership between a care provider and a professional sports club, and will change lives together. We wanted to formally recognise the incredible support that we have received from Widnes Vikings by awarding them Friends of Community Integrated Care status. This honour is only awarded to our most dedicated partners and recognises outstanding support. Widnes Vikings truly deserve this status - they are a credit to their sport and their community.”
Both organisations aim to make a difference to the wider community and the Chemic Cafe was one of the first events to kick start things in motion. The Chemics Cafe is held monthly at the Select Security Stadium and provides essential support to those affected by dementia. It offers the opportunities for the people being supported to socialise and reminisce about the game with legendary players such as Eddie Cunningham. The Chemic's Cafe takes place on the first Wednesday of every month from 11.00am - 12.30pm and is free and open to anyone who is affected by dementia.
Community Integrated Care was then proud to announce their sponsor of Widnes Vikings star Gil Dudson. They were then invited down for a special meet and greet.
Find out more about Gil Dudson with our 90 seconds with the Widnes Vikings star.
Widnes Vikings teamed up with Community Integrated Care Vocational Support to increase disability awareness in work places and help the supported gain more independence. People supported at Community Integrated Care such as Jay Hitchmough and Kate Sayer were offered work placements with the Widnes Vikings. If you or your organisation would like to offer work placements via our vocational support team, get in touch at www.c-i-c.co.uk
To mark Learning Disabilities week, the Widnes Vikings visited Glenwood Care Home in Widnes. Star player Alex Gerrard opened a special Vikings themed room in Glenwood that supports and stimulates people with complex learning disabilities.
Alex Gerrard also surprised Community Integrated Care supported during their weekly accessible training session with the Widnes Vikings with the Super League Trophy.
Alex Gerrard said: “To see the smiles on everyone’s faces today was a joy to behold. It was a great event and an honour for myself to come here with the trophy. The partnership between the Widnes Vikings and Community Integrated Care really is special, and I think I speak on behalf of the players in saying that we love to meet our fans at events like these.”