Wooden Spoon Society
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Wooden Spoon (Spoon) is a children's charity founded in 1983, when the England rugby team received the Wooden Spoon in the 5 Nations. Spoon is dedicated to helping children and young people who are disadvantaged physically, mentally or socially by using sport as a method of improving lives while harnessing the spirit and values of rugby. Wooden Spoon encompasses more than 10,000 members across the UK and Ireland with over 40 regional volunteer committees, who organise fundraising events and challenges:
To date, Spoon has helped over 500,000 children and donated over £15 million to a variety of causes.
Spoon has funded many projects over the years. Some notable recent projects include:
- A £200,000 Wooden Spoon Disabled Sports Centre at the Percy Hedley Foundation.
- A £250,000 project to enhance the Children and Baby unit at the RNOH Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, Middlesex.
- Commitment to the UK DfES "Playing for Success" programme within the Tackle Learning project. This has seen ITC equipment installed in 6 rugby clubs to date – two rugby union, (Gloucester and Worcester ) and three rugby league (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Hull Kingston Rovers and Featherstone Rovers)
Wooden Spoon is supported by numerous sportspeople who contribute their time and energy to raise awareness for Spoon. In addition, Spoon has strong relationships with a variety of clubs, league associations, governing bodies and corporate supporters.
- Shane Williams – Wales' Grand Slam Hero
- Ben Kay – 2003 Rugby World Cup Winner
- Elspeth Hanson – Musician
- Samantha Cameron – wife of David Cameron and Creative Director of Smythsons
- Jonny Saunders – BBC Radio 2 voice of sport
- Mark Sharman – ITV's Head of News and Sport
- John Kane – the Founder of World Rugby Classic in Bermuda
- Chef Vivek Singh - Executive Chef and CEO at Cinnamon Kitchen, The Cinnamon Club & Cinnamon Soho Indian restaurants in London
The 12 premiership clubs that make up Premier Rugby, have launched Try Rugby, an initiative designed to help tackle the growing issue of childhood obesity. The programme has been developed and funded through a partnership between Spoon, Premier Rugby and Sport England.
Try Rugby gives local schools a course in tag rugby that will benefit children and teachers and will enable rugby to still be played long after completing the coaching series.
Spoon has its own invitational rugby team, the SpoonAAs – formerly the Anti-Assassins – who play matches and tournaments around the country and abroad in Spoon colours. In December 2006, the SpoonAAs were losing finalists in the Dubai International Veterans Tens Tournament, played alongside the IRB Dubai Sevens.
Spoon was founded in 1983 when England's Five Nations season ended in defeat by Ireland. A group of English supporters were presented with a Wooden Spoon by their Irish opponents to mark the historic occasion. On returning home, the proposal to play golf for the Spoon attracted the interest of fellow English supporters. Over 100 people attended that golf day at Farnham and by the end of the evening £8,450 had been raised. The funds were cashed in for a minibus purchased for the Park School, a special needs school in Aylesbury.
Over time the number and variety of events increased as have the number of supporters and participants. Spoon now has patronage from the four rugby home unions and royal patronage from HRH The Princess Royal.
Many former and current professional rugby players and management are Wooden Spoon members. Several are Regional Honorary Presidents including:
- Rob Andrew, MBE
- Martin Bayfield
- John Bentley
- Bill Beaumont, OBE
- Kyran Bracken, MBE
- Gareth Chilcott
- Fran Cotton
- Lawrence Dallaglio, OBE
- Matt Dawson, MBE
- David Duckham, MBE
- Danny Grewcock, MBE
- Dusty Hare
- Gavin Hastings, OBE
- Richard Hill, MBE
- John Inverdale
- Alex King
- Dr Jack Kyle, OBE
- Jason Leonard, OBE
- Willie John McBride, MBE
- Jeff Probyn
- Scott Quinnell
- Andy Robinson, OBE
- Graham Rowntree
- Pat Sanderson
- Matt Stevens
- Rory Underwood, MBE
- Peter Wheeler, OBE JP
- Sir Clive Woodward
- Joe Worsley, MBE
- Jason Robinson, OBE
The Trustees are volunteers responsible under the charity's governing document for controlling the management and administration of the charity.
The Life President, Peter Scott MBE, is one of the founders. He was awarded the MBE for services to charity in 2002.
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