Ospreys Team Up With Charities To Help

The Ospreys today launched a groundbreaking new community initiative that will see them teaming up with BusinessDynamics, a business education and enterprise charity that works with youngsters to bring business to life.


The Ospreys today launched a groundbreaking new community initiative that will see them teaming up with businessdynamics, a business education and enterprise charity that works with youngsters to bring business to life.

The two organisations have received funding from Wooden Spoon, a charity that harnesses the spirit and values of rugby to give disadvantaged children and young people in Britain and Ireland a chance to achieve their full potential. The funding is being used to launch a pilot project that will see them going into a local Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) in Bryncoch to work with vulnerable teenagers over a period of 12 weeks.

During this time, they will deliver a lifestyle skills and management course, highlighting how the skills and disciplines employed in the sporting and business worlds can benefit them in their day-to-day life. It is hoped that the success of this pilot will enable the partners to secure additional funding, allowing the Ospreys and businessdynamics to roll out the initiative into additional PRU's and also, it is hoped, Youth Offending Units.

This initiative forms part of the Ospreys ongoing commitment to working in the community, and is seen as a natural progression from the Community Engagement Project, an ongoing scheme that has so far seen than 100 PCSO's, prison officers and youth workers qualify as rugby coaches with the assistance of the Ospreys Community Rugby Team, in a bid to tackle issues of social inclusion in the area.

PRU's are operated by local authorities to cater for children who cannot attend school for a variety of reasons, to provide them with a place to continue their studies with a view to them returning to mainstream education.

Paul Thorburn, Strategic Development Manager at the Ospreys, commented:

"We are delighted to be able to confirm the launch of this exciting new joint initiative with BusinessDynamics, and are extremely grateful to Wooden Spoon for their financial support that has made this pilot possible. Here at the Ospreys we take our commitment to the community very seriously and are proud of our record of delivering ambitious, forward thinking projects that really do make a difference to the people who live in Ospreylia. This new initiative is another project that I believe will make a huge difference.

"By taking the Ospreys into the classroom and working with businessdynamics, we can show these youngsters that the disciplines of sport and the business world are one and the same, they are interchangeable and are the disciplines that are required to be a success in any walk of life. Hopefully, we will be able to encourage and motivate these teenagers, and help them to achieve all their goals."

Graham Gunstone, Regional Manager, businessdynamics, said:

"We are delighted that, with the support of The Wooden Spoon Society and the Ospreys we are able to launch this exciting, much-needed pilot project. Having worked with young prisoners and in Special Needs Schools, as well as across mainstream education, we have the experience to tailor our programmes to ensure the greatest benefit for young people. The chance to support these youngsters and to try and make a difference to their lives will be highly rewarding and gratifying for all involved."

During the pilot, the Ospreys and businessdynamics will deliver a series of sessions, both at the PRU and at the Ospreys Llandarcy training base, that will allow pupils to discover an understanding of the workplace, to develop good communication skills and to understand how important the need to adapt to new environments and change is in the working environment, and learning skills in working with others.

There will be a mix of formal seminars, rugby coaching sessions, question and answers, and discussion groups, all of which will help to develop the youngsters on the course individually and better prepare them for life in the workplace. The sessions will be led by Ioan Cunningham, who has been specifically recruited by the Ospreys as Community Initiatives Offer to manage this exciting new project and Graham Gunstone, Senior Programme Manager at businessdynamics.

Ospreys sessions will focus on the importance of team work, life skills, fitness, healthy lifestyle and coaching, and these will be complemented by BusinessDynamics focus on personal skills, key skills for the workplace, careers, enterprise and money " aimed at educating youngsters in careful financial management.

Bob Harris of Wooden Spoon added:

"At Wooden Spoon we believe that all children and young people deserve to live happy fulfilled lives regardless of the challenges they may face. This project with the Ospreys and businessdynamicsis a wonderful example of how the dedication, spirit and skills of the rugby community can help young people get a better start in life. "Notes to editors:

About businessdynamics

businessdynamics aims to bring business to life for young people. Volunteers from companies introduce students, aged 11-19 years, to the opportunities and challenges of business as well as improving their key skills in preparation for the world of work.

businessdynamics is part of the Enterprise Education Trust, one of the UK's leading business and enterprise education charities (www.enterprise-education.org.uk). The Trust empowers young people to realise their potential through business and enterprise. It brings together businessdynamics, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), Blue Skies and Achievers International. Each brand has a different but complementary focus and together we deliver a wide range of programmes.

The original trust was founded by 3i in 1977 and last year almost 47,000 11-19 year olds benefited from our programmes. Today we are supported by many of the top companies in Britain as well as trusts and foundations, as part of the drive to encourage young people to understand and get more involved in business.

About Wooden Spoon ('Spoon')

Spoon exists to improve the quality and prospect of life for children and young people who are disadvantaged physically, mentally or socially. In the UK one child in every hundred suffers from a lifelong disability that will profoundly affect his or her ability to lead a full and happy life. More than 3.5 million young people grow up in low income households or live in an environment where they are subjected to poverty of aspiration.

Over the last 25 years Spoon has spent £15million supporting more than 350 projects to enhance the lives of more than 500,000 young people. In 2008 alone 62 new projects were initiated with a total value of £1,822,000. It is only able to do this through the generosity of major sponsors such as TNT, the dedicated fundraising efforts of over 500 volunteers in 40 regions across the UK and Ireland, and the support of high profile rugby ambassadors from the worlds of Union and League.