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England Rugby and Comic Relief announce the first set of Try for Change small grant recipients. 

The Sporting Memories Foundation is using Rugby Memories to bring together young people in the rugby community with older isolated people.

Rugby Memories builds on intergenerational work developed with the RFU, bringing together young people from the rugby community with older isolated people in their localities through a number of reminiscence and physical activities to help tackle isolation and improve mental well-being.

Chris Wilkins, Co-Founder of The Sporting Memories Foundation, said "Our work has demonstrated that for both generations, taking part in Sporting Memories activities can have a positive impact on the perceptions of each generation towards each other and promote social cohesion and feelings of being part of a wider, supportive community. Younger people also acquire important life skills through the activities such as increased confidence, better communication skills and learning to work as part of a team. We are delighted to receive this funding from England Rugby and Sport Relief."

Dominic Proctor, RFU Chair for Try for Change and RFU Board Member, said “It’s great to see such deserving projects being awarded grants in our first round of funding. The projects selected each demonstrate how rugby has the ability to improve the lives of millions of people from all walks of life and I’m excited to see how they each of them utilise their grants to make a real difference over the coming months.”

Sue Wicks, Strategic Lead, Sport for Change at Comic Relief, said: “The small grant recipients have each shown their commitment to making positive change through rugby, with many already demonstrating just how important such initiatives are to individuals in need. There’s a great spectrum of projects covering numerous disadvantaged and socially isolated groups across England and I can’t wait to see how they continue to grow their fantastic programmes over the coming year to provide positive change within their communities.”

The Try for Change small grants round is the first initiative in England Rugby’s partnership with Sport Relief.  Aimed at supporting smaller charities, community groups and grassroots rugby clubs in England, the grants offer projects up to £10,000 to support the valuable work they are doing to improve lives through rugby.

Over 40 organisations, including 17 rugby clubs, applied for a small grant, with 11 projects ultimately being awarded funding. The successful projects are located across England and use rugby and its core values as a tool to greatly improve and support the lives of marginalised and disadvantaged people.