There’s never an easy time to launch a charity, especially in the middle of a nationwide lockdown, but Blues Foundation’s creation in April has certainly already made a positive impact within the Bedfordshire community as it approaches the six-month mark since the official inauguration.
Blues Foundation is the charitable arm of Bedford Blues, created with the main ambition to become one of the region’s leading sporting charities. This will be achieved through a vision to inspire the local community using the values of rugby for the advancement and promotion of positive and informed lifestyle choices.
Bedford Blues have long been Bedford’s premier sporting club, at the heart of the community, impacting on numerous lives through professional sport. Blues Foundation plans to take this impact one step further by using rugby, sport and education to directly influence lives across different communities.
Inside the opening six months, Blues Foundation has impacted on the mental and physical health of more than 500 people from a variety of demographics and backgrounds. The organisers are now looking at innovative ways to extend the reach in the community by implementing further projects alongside partners including MK SNAP, Autism Bedfordshire, Bedford Borough Council, England Rugby, Team BEDS&LUTON and Sport England.
Reflecting on the growth of the charity, Blues Foundation Manager, Tom Harwood said: “It’s incredibly rewarding to see the impact our charity has had so far. Being physically active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle has never been more important, and we are determined to extend our reach to support more people as time goes on.”
The flagship launch campaign, Run, Row, Ride, was designed specifically to help those who needed support during the COVID-19 crisis. Through donations acquired when people attempted the challenge, over 2,000 meals were delivered to Bedford’s most vulnerable through a variety of methods including YMCA Bedfordshire and social housing groups.
One resident at Holman House, a support service located in the heart of Bedford, commented in May: “It makes me happy that people are thinking of us and helping us. I struggle to cook sometimes because of my mental health and having a meal ready to eat makes things easier and I feel better when I eat.”
It’s been a fantastic start since launch, but Blues Foundation now need vital support to continue their outreach into the community and overcome some challenging hurdles presented in these unprecedented times. Individuals and businesses can have a direct say on the programmes and schemes the charity develops.
There are numerous ways in which local businesses can support Blues Foundation, including partnership packages beginning at £500. Several rewards are available at every level of support, including Official Partner Status and invitations to exclusive events.
At a more individual level, Blues Foundation have created a CHAMPIONS initiative from as little as £5 per month and can achieve some incredible outcomes from just the fundraising outlined here:
- £10 could pay for… refreshments during the ABILITY Blues disability rugby programme.
- £20 could pay for… equipment for the TRY for Change programme.
- £50 could pay for… an hour’s sports hall hire for the ABILITY Blues programme.
- £100 could pay for… travel support for the Skills and Education programme.
- £250 could pay for… delivery of outreach programmes for the most vulnerable young people in Bedfordshire.
There are also opportunities to have a one-off impact for Blues Foundation. When safe to do so, some may like to run the Bedford Half Marathon and nominate Blues Foundation as their chosen charity; name the Foundation as their Charity of the Year, or simply make a standalone donation.
Anyone interested in having a discussion about the impact of Blues Foundation in the local community and how they could increase their reach across Bedfordshire, should contact Foundation Manager, Tom Harwood on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07596 237315.
To stay up to date with Blues Foundation’s latest schemes and initiatives, visit the website www.bluesfoundation.org.uk or check out social media on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.