This month, Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club and social care charity, Community Integrated Care, celebrate the one year anniversary of their award-winning partnership.
To mark the momentous occasion, a special anniversary edition of the Chemics Café took place in Halton on Wednesday 3rd May. This free monthly event supports people affected by dementia to socialise, have fun and reminisce about special Widnes Vikings moments.
The popular event was one of the first of many programmes that Widnes Vikings and the charity developed as part of their ground-breaking partnership which launched in May 2016. The union has gone from strength to strength, receiving national acclaim by winning a prestigious award at the 3rd Sector Care Awards in London last year.
Last week, over 40 guests were joined by former Widnes stars Joe Argent, Ray Dutton and Tommy Rimmer, who invited everyone up to play rugby ball games and New Age Bowls – a fun, accessible version of traditional lawn bowls. Precious memorabilia was on display and a ‘Famous Faces’ quiz tested their Vikings knowledge and provided lots of laughter!
At the end of the session, Widnes Vikings’ first team stars, Jack Buchanan and Eamon O’Carroll, took time out of their busy training schedule to visit the café and present a special anniversary cake.
Leanne Dillon, Regional Manager for Community Integrated Care in the North West, said: “Everyone had a brilliant time at the Chemics Café celebrating our anniversary. Especially Fred, a resident at St Luke’s Care Home in Runcorn and life-long Vikings fan, who had the honour of cutting the cake!
Leanne continues: “Our charity is extremely proud of this partnership. The Club has done so much to enhance the lives of the people we support. From delivering health and wellbeing activity sessions, inviting us to match day experiences to visiting us at our care homes – their hard work, commitment and dedication is phenomenal.”
Dan Scott, Education Partnerships Manager for Widnes Vikings, said: “The Chemics Café is one of the biggest successes to come out of our partnership with Community Integrated Care. We’re seeing more people from across the community attending or volunteering their time to help run the event.
Dan continues: “I’d like to thank Community Integrated Care for all their support over the past year. To receive a national care sector award was fantastic and it’s great to see other sports clubs starting up similar initiatives, having been inspired by our success. We’re really looking forward to what the next year will bring.”
The Chemics Café takes place on the first Wednesday of the month from 11am – 12.30pm at The Select Security Stadium Halton, Cheshire. Find out more at www.c-i-c.co.uk/chemicscafe.