The Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust was established in 1972 by former President of the Welsh Rugby Union Sir Tasker Watkins VC to help players who have been severely injured while playing rugby.
In the years since it was created, hundreds of male and female players - from grassroots rugby to the elite game - have been supported by the Trust. Some receive help on a short-term basis where fortunately they have gone on to make good recoveries. But sadly, many have suffered life-changing injuries which have had a devastating impact not only on their lives but on their families.
The Trust is currently supporting a number of men and women, on a long-term basis who have been severely injured playing rugby. All have suffered catastrophic injuries, many so severe that they will never walk again, are paraplegic or tetraplegic, with some having undergone amputations as a direct result of their injuries.
The Trust’s principal aim is to enhance the quality of life of players who have suffered terrible injuries. It strives to offer practical, educational and social support. In the early days of an injury this may include covering the costs of families visiting their loved one in hospital.
When an injured player returns home, help provided can include funding significant house adaptations like wet-rooms and ramps, hoists, wheelchairs and specially adapted cars to restore mobility and independence.
The Trust has also offered financial support towards rehabilitation, counselling, career advice, educational opportunities and retraining.
It provides Christmas and summer holiday grants to the severely injured players and hosts a number of social events for players and their families. This network creates the Trust’s unique sense of family.
The help the Trust provides can cost significant sums of money – a single car adapted to restore an injured player’s mobility, for example, can cost £50,000. So as an independent charity we are immensely grateful for the generous financial support we receive annually from the Welsh Rugby Union and the donations given by individuals, clubs and organisations.
Legacies in favour of the Trust are also hugely appreciated. The Michael Jefferies Memorial Fund has enabled the Trust to support players who wish to embark on or continue their academic study, funding tuition fees and maintenance grants. Examples of the value of this support include the ex-player who has trained and qualified as a solicitor and another who has completed an MBA.
Although the Trust receives generous support from these sources, fundraising remains an important part of our work. Income from Trust-organised events like the annual golf day, sponsored bike rides and sales of The Dragon’s Kitchen, the Trust’s rugby-themed cookbook, all make significant contributions.
We also welcome any individual or group fundraising offers and love to hear about your events and challenges. You can donate directly through our website.
The affairs of the Trust are managed by 14 Trustees who meet at least six times a year. Drawn from a variety of backgrounds, including medicine, law, the media and rugby itself, the Trustees give their time on a voluntary basis.
In addition to the work undertaken by the Trustees the Trust is indebted to the work of volunteers whose immense contribution is invaluable. In particular, Ann Hawkins has been a constant and caring support for the Trust and the Trust’s beneficiaries.
Take a look at the latest events from the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust.
Take a look at the latest news from the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust.