Young people, schools and corporate supporters were recognised at Northampton Saints Foundations annual awards last month, for their achievements over the 2022/2023 academic year.
Held at Cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, the event, sponsored by Always a Chance, was attended by young people from the Foundation’s Education and Social Inclusion programmes plus schools, fundraisers, supporters, volunteers and partners.
Hosted by BBC Radio Northampton’s sports editor and Saints’ historian, Graham Mckechnie and Northampton Saints prop Ethan Waller, the event shared latest foundation news, statistics and success stories from each programme.
With over 6,000 young people supported across 12 programmes during this academic year, Catherine Deans, Managing Director at Northampton Saints Foundation, shared her gratitude and well wishes, saying: “Today is about our young people and celebrating their successes this year. It is a delight to see and hear their achievements, and whilst some are receiving awards today there are many, many more who have made incredible progress, developing essential skills to make a positive change who are not here today. My congratulations to each and every one of them.”
Catherine kicked off the evening with a new Employee of the Year award, recognising Shirley Lynch, the foundation’s HITZ Officer, for being the epitome of going above and beyond for the young people and always looking for ways to develop the programme she works on to ensure the young people have the very best experiences to shape their future journey.
One of the young people to win an award was Mason, who picked up Student of the Year. Liam Welch, the foundation’s Education Lead said: “Mason is the first to recall the five values of rugby, as well as our additional value of ‘understanding’ that we instil within the foundation. He regularly demonstrates each value and showcases his awareness and ability to include these as part of his everyday life.”
Foundation ambassadors James Grayson and Tom Wood praised the foundation for its hard work with Tom saying: “It didn’t even cross my mind to disengage with the foundation (since retiring from rugby), I feel incredibly privileged to be involved. They do amazing work”.
WHP Creative, based in Milton Keynes and a long-term partner of the foundation, scooped the contribution award for giving their time, skills and knowledge to help grow and evolve the foundation’s brand with film and marketing materials.
A big thank you also went to Always a Chance for sponsoring the awards. Supporting the foundation since it started in 2015, the charity has donated funds, allowing the foundation to develop and enhance its delivery programmes.
The foundation also thanked Video Inn Productions who provided sound and staging for the event.
For ways to support or to find out how the Northampton Saints Foundation can support a young person out of education, training or employment visit the website.